Canada

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In a move that can only be described as hypocritical, impractical and politically-charged, Quebec went through with its move to pass Bill 2.

As CTV News reports, Quebec’s alleged goal is to protect youth from marijuana’s adverse effects. While there is no denying that, as a drug, cannabis has its risks, most critics argue that this is not the way to go.

But as we have seen before, Quebec is not known for its common-sense approach to marijuana, which leads many to believe that the government is simply pandering to a socially conservative voter base.

Nonetheless, the bill sparked fury among industry representatives, advocates and health critics.

 

“Protect Young, Developing Brains”

 

Quebec Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant’s – the mastermind behind the bill – says it aims to “protect young, developing brains.” But he has essentially gone against that goal.

One of the reasons for legalization was to provide a safe, regulated alternative to the black market. It is no secret that illegal cannabis has no safety or manufacturing standards, leaving the door open to harmful microbes, fungi, heavy metals, and pesticides. The recent vaping epidemic based on illegal THC vape pens and cartridges is a prime example.

Francois Limoges, who is a spokesperson for the Quebec Cannabis Industry Association (QCIA) says:

 

“You’re pretty much telling the younger generation that you wanna protect, well, ‘go back to your dealers’ — or ‘find a dealer’ — because they’ve been buying legal cannabis for the last 12 months and as we know, when you’re a younger adult you’re not going to wait [until age 21].”

 

Limoges is also concerned that, once they reach legal age, disenfranchised consumers will be less likely to use legal marijuana.

 

Politically Motivated

 

It could be argued that Carmant is misguided, but his apparent disregard for the clear flaws presented about Bill 2 indicates that he has his agenda.

CTV News explains:

 

“Quebec’s association of public health has also criticized the bill, with spokesperson Marianne Dessureault saying it lacks a scientific basis. In an interview earlier this year she worried that ‘we are going ahead and maybe transforming a law that sought to protect public health, towards a law that has more of a political flavor.’

She described the bill as having a “populist appeal,” which “doesn’t have [a] place in public health policy.’”

 

 

Based on Stigma

 

Despite tobacco being the leading cause of preventable death and alcohol having a massive kill count of its own, both products are legally consumable by age 18. Yet cannabis, which to date has no recorded deaths related to THC consumption, is considered the worst of the three.

Strangely, voters are fine with declaring that 18-year-olds are adults when it comes to tobacco and alcohol. But cannabis is in a league of its own. It is quite clear that this is just an old Reefer Madness mentality that, to this day, people everywhere cannot shake.

Francois Limoges puts well when he says Bill 2 is based on “social conservatism from the government … [which] appears to be stuck in the old ways of thinking.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Support for Common Sense Policy

 

We understand the importance of protecting youth from the potential health risks of marijuana. But the Quebec government’s restrictive policies will do little – if anything – to support that goal.

Unless something changes, the negative impacts of this supposedly well-meaning bill will show themselves in the coming years, especially when it comes to the black market

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The first year of legalization saw its share of scandals. But while CannTrust stole the spotlight in the summer of 2019, Winnipeg-based licensed producer Bonify was arguably worse.

As we covered in our article from early 2019, Bonify’s most egregious offence was when it sourced and sold illegal cannabis into the open market. This was during a volatile time, where pressure to provide inventory was massive as a huge shortage bottlenecked the nascent cannabis industry.

However, BNN Bloomberg now reports that Bonify, despite the seriousness of their violations, had its licensed reinstated after a massive overhaul.

 

“A Landmark Moment”

 

When it comes to dealing with punitive measures from the government, there was no precedent for whether or not working to improve would even yield results. But Bonify proved that, while Health Canada does not hold back when it comes to non-compliance, it is possible to bounce back.

When Bonify’s licensed was suspended, they brought in RavenQuest Biomed to get them back in the right direction. Now, RavenQuest CEO George Robinson says:

 

“Having guided Bonify through corrective action vis-a-vis operational procedures, proper record-keeping, training, and all other standard operational procedures within the Bonify facility, we now have the roadmap to licence reinstatement for non-compliant operators. This is a landmark moment in an industry that has faced several high-profile compliance challenges.”

 

Essentially, Bonify went from a complete regulatory disaster to total redemption – although it took about eight months to accomplish. More importantly, it provides a living guide for companies like CannTrust, who are still fighting to once again become compliant.

BNN Bloomberg explains:

 

“Bonify’s ability to sell cannabis legally again also offers a clear pathway for other suspended producers to return to compliance with Health Canada if they can demonstrate that they can abide by the regulator’s various measures aimed at ensuring public safety and compliance with the law.”

 

A Learning Experience

 

The Bonify debacle has taught us some very valuable lessons. First of all, Health Canada is not to be trifled with. It is likely that offending licensed producers underestimated the government’s resolve to enforce compliance.

But we are in a time where image is critical. Any health issues from contaminated or substandard cannabis can drastically affect consumer confidence – something we desperately need in order to fight the black market. Consequently, regulators will scrutinize LPs very closely.

Second, it is clear that actions have consequences. Bonify’s offences were severe and the punishment more than fit the crime.

However, the third major lesson here is that there is always the opportunity to be better, whether it is due to Health Canada’s orders or voluntary, proactive measures to improve best practices.

In the words of George Robinson:

 

“The lessons from Bonify are clear: Follow the rules, train your staff and run a clean, well-designed facility capable of producing high-quality cannabis without cutting corners.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

WeedAdvisor understands the severity of non-compliance and its effects on both the industry and consumers. It is also important to understand that it is possible to unintentionally fall short of Health Canada’s highly intense standards.

Keeping track of every critical area is no easy task. But thanks to our business solutions, we make compliance automatic, easy and inexpensive.

Inventory tracking, real-time data gathering, reports, safety and quality compliance are just a few areas that our solutions effectively cover. In turn, this brings valuable protection against fines or suspensions, while ensuring continued public confidence.

 

 

 

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The first year of legalization saw its share of scandals. But while CannTrust stole the spotlight in the summer of 2019, Winnipeg-based licensed producer Bonify was arguably worse.

As we covered in our article from early 2019, Bonify’s most egregious offense was when it sourced and sold illegal cannabis into the open market. This was during a volatile time, where pressure to provide inventory was massive as a huge shortage bottlenecked the nascent cannabis industry.

However, BNN Bloomberg now reports that Bonify, despite the seriousness of their violations, had its licensed reinstated after a massive overhaul.

 

“A Landmark Moment”

 

When it comes to dealing with punitive measures from the government, there was no precedent for whether or not working to improve would even yield results. But Bonify proved that, while Health Canada does not hold back when it comes to non-compliance, it is possible to bounce back.

When Bonify’s licensed was suspended, they brought in RavenQuest Biomed to get them back in the right direction. Now, RavenQuest CEO George Robinson says:

 

“Having guided Bonify through corrective action vis-a-vis operational procedures, proper record-keeping, training, and all other standard operating procedures within the Bonify facility, we now have the roadmap to license reinstatement for non-compliant operators. This is a landmark moment in an industry that has faced several high-profile compliance challenges.”

 

Essentially, Bonify went from a complete regulatory disaster to total redemption – although it took about eight months to accomplish. More importantly, it provides a living guide for companies like CannTrust, who are still fighting to once again become compliant.

BNN Bloomberg explains:

 

“Bonify’s ability to sell cannabis legally again also offers a clear pathway for other suspended producers to return to compliance with Health Canada if they can demonstrate that they can abide by the regulator’s various measures aimed at ensuring public safety and compliance with the law.”

 

A Learning Experience

 

The Bonify debacle has taught us some very valuable lessons. First of all, Health Canada is not to be trifled with. It is likely that offending licensed producers underestimated the government’s resolve to enforce compliance.

But we are in a time where image is critical. Any health issues from contaminated or substandard cannabis can drastically affect consumer confidence – something we desperately need in order to fight the black market. Consequently, regulators will scrutinize LPs very closely.

Second, it is clear that actions have consequences. Bonify’s offences were severe and the punishment more than fit the crime.

However, the third major lesson here is that there is always the opportunity to be better, whether it is due to Health Canada’s orders or voluntary, proactive measures to improve best practices.

In the words of George Robinson:

 

“The lessons from Bonify are clear: Follow the rules, train your staff and run a clean, well-designed facility capable of producing high-quality cannabis without cutting corners.”

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

WeedAdvisor understands the severity of non-compliance and its effects on both the industry and consumers. It is also important to understand that it is possible to unintentionally fall short of Health Canada’s highly intense standards.

Keeping track of every critical area is no easy task. But thanks to our business solutions, we make compliance automatic, easy and inexpensive.

Inventory tracking, real-time data gathering, reports, safety and quality compliance are just a few areas that our solutions effectively cover. In turn, this brings valuable protection against fines or suspensions, while ensuring continued public confidence.

 

 

 

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According to CBC News, many analysts say that the upcoming round of edible products will boost cannabis sales and take away business from grey market dispensaries. With many users understandably turned off by the idea of smoking, it is safe to say that these products will be well-received in some circles.

But are experts truly correct in their prediction? Let us not forget what happened with the first stage of legalization. Investors flocked to licensed producers in droves, driving up stock prices well above the companies’ respective valuations. In the end, sales were – and continue to be – short of expectations.

Analysts and industry insiders alike, however, seem more comfortable with the future of edibles. However, this is likely because they missed one critical factor.

 

Cannabis Industry “Optimistic”

 

Licensed producers have a lot of faith in their products and the legal market as a whole. Understandably, a major goal is to eliminate their primary competitor, the illegal industry. However, experts warn that the fight is far from over:

 

“Licensed cannabis producers are optimistic that the introduction of legal edibles will help displace the black market, but analysts say it will take time to displace illegal sales.”

 

Aurora Chief Corporate Officer Cam Battley says consumers are interested in edibles because they provide an alternate consumption method to smoking. Battley says:

 

“This will give the legal industry the real opportunity to make significant strides in replacing black market sales with attractive and safe adult consumer products,” Battley said. There is a willingness to pay for products that are deemed to be properly regulated.”

 

Andrew Udell, another analyst, says a successful legal edible market requires a certain equilibrium between competitive pricing and public safety. He explains that we need to:

 

“Try and find the right price at the right size for how much goods or products should cost, versus societal goals of, say, public health and reducing social costs of consumption.”

 

Unfortunately, these “societal goals” could prove to be the Achilles heel of the edible industry.

 

One Size Does Not Fit All

 

While safety is a bonus for many consumers, the limitations on Canada’s edible products will force many recreational users to stay with the grey market.

At a THC limit of 10mg per unit, this level is adequate for new and casual users. But veteran consumers are another story.

Many heavy users consume products containing hundreds of milligrams of THC. For them, 10mg will not provide any intoxicating effects. These individuals will have no choice but to buy from illegal sources, whether they want to or not.

Analysts may be correct that legal edibles will affect illegal sales to a degree, their appeal is heavily limited by the outrageously minuscule potency. This is something that seems to have eluded them and will likely set them up for disappointment.

But we cannot entirely blame the government for this decision. In the months leading up to legalization, the media started a frenzy as they reported story after story on children and adults ingesting excessive amounts of THC.

Even though the edibles in question were all purchased illegally – a fact that most of the stories conveniently failed to address – it made people and lawmakers uneasy. Consequently, the government overcompensated and will likely see the unfortunate results.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Hope for a Growing Industry

 

As a provider of critical business solutions for cannabis retailers, licensed producers, and government agencies, WeedAdvisor stands firmly in support of the legal edible market. However, we cannot ignore the fact that, like the first wave of legalization, people are being overly optimistic.

The reality of the situation will not be clear until edibles finally reach consumers. In spite of potential challenges, we hope this addition to the open market will ultimately achieve its goal of promoting legal sales.

 

 

 

 

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One universally notorious consequence of legalization is that large grow operations a ripe for the picking by thieves. Given the size of some of these fields, keeping every area safe is a logistical nightmare. Consequently, it is not hard for thieves to sneak in and take plants – as is the case with one story reported by ABC News.

However, ever since hemp was legalized in the U.S., it effectively became an involuntary decoy for people trying to steal marijuana from local growers.

It is fair to say that petty thieves are not exactly a pillar of intelligence, especially when it comes to botany (or any science, for that matter). Unfortunately, one Indiana grower is just a single example of an increasing and concerning trend.

 

Mistaken Identity

 

To those familiar with cannabis, the physical differences between hemp and marijuana are blatantly obvious. Unfortunately, criminals are not aware of this key distinction and legitimate businesses pay the price for that ignorance, as is the case with one Indiana grower:

 

“People are stealing hemp plants from a local legal growing hemp business after mistaking the plants for marijuana. US Hemp Co. launched in 2019 and the business started harvesting in Indiana’s first legal hemp crop in 80 years. Will Weaver, one of the founders at US Hemp Co., chased down two suspects in Elkhart County on October 17 after watching the suspects remove the hemp plants from one of the business’s fields.”

 

Weaver says this is a chronic issue that understandably “…makes you feel violated.” He says that every time he catches people trying to steal his plants, they always say they thought they were stealing marijuana.

Unfortunately for Weaver and those like him, this problem is gaining momentum. According to ABC News:

 

“Between the customers, US Hemp Co. harvests for and themselves, there were 11 days straight and approximately over 20 people put in jail over hemp thefts during the past few weeks, according to Weaver.”

 

“None of it is Marijuana”

 

Weaver makes it clear that there is nothing in his field worth stealing:

 

“In reality, none of it is marijuana. All of it is below 0.3 THC level…so you could smoke the whole field, you’ll never get high.”

 

Furthermore, stealing hemp is a lesson in futility. Even if thieves get away with a tiny haul of hemp plants, there is no way for them to make money.

Unlike marijuana, there is no black market for hemp. Weaver also explains that selling the hemp through legitimate channels (the only real option) would require a certificate of analysis and a license – neither of which hemp thieves are likely to have.

 

Still Does Damage

 

Although the joke is effectively on the thieves who get caught and charged, it is no laughing matter for Weaver and his counterparts in the industry. He explains:

 

“There’s no value to [hemp]. It looks a little different, it smells different and there’s no value to them. They’re just taking money out of our pocket…that’s all they’re doing.”

 

Weaver frankly explains that this grow operation is his livelihood. These pointless thefts affect his bottom line and – in turn – his livelihood.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Concern for Unintended Consequences

 

Legalization of cannabis has been beneficial, but with it came some unintended consequences. In the past, we have mentioned thefts and armed robberies at Canadian facilities. It appears that legalization has the same effect in the U.S.

Unfortunately, little can be done other than to increase security. However, small growers do not have the resources to hire security staff or services.

Although we would like to see this trend reverse – and it may very well do so – having a controlled substance so easily within reach is simply too tempting and, more importantly, too easy, for some unscrupulous people to not steal.

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Former chair of Canada’s marijuana legalization “task force,” Anne McLellan, is happy with the outcome of legalization, but that does not mean she has no concerns, according to CTV News.

Anyone following legalization’s progress can agree that its initial rollout was catastrophic, leading many permanently back to the black market.

However – as we and many others predicted – the situation is improving. With the black market being less prolific and supply shortages on their way to becoming history, McLellan is happy, aside from a few warning signs – especially (but not exclusively) around vaping.

 

Where Legalization Stands

 

A lot has changed in the last year, which involved a mix of positive and negative events. Most licensed producers worked diligently to ensure supply needs were met, but there were still problems along the way.

The biggest obstacle is the black market and its advantage over legal cannabis. CTV News says:

 

“In the second quarter, household expenditures on legal pot was $443 million, up from $172 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. But illicit pot expenditures were $918 million in the second quarter, down from $1.17 billion in the fourth quarter of last year…”

 

These numbers are rather encouraging, but we are nowhere near the point where the open market overtakes illegal cannabis.

We should point out, however, that these changes show a reduction of about $252 million in sales for the black market, while legal cannabis revenue increased by roughly $271 million – a 60% jump.

 

Current “Red Flags”

 

McLellan points out that there are a few “yellow flags veering to red,” specifically when it comes to public trust and health.

 One notable event was Redecan’s moldy cannabis, which resulted in a complete recall from the Ontario Cannabis Sfore (OCS) and other retail sources.

However, the most scandalous example is CannTrust, a disgraced medical and recreational licensed producer whose license was recently suspended by Health Canada. What began as a detection of unlicensed grow rooms soon revealed a variety of other violations, including attempts at a cover-up by senior management, along with the growth of illegal seeds.

McLellan admits that CannTrust’s actions make the legal industry look bad during a time when public confidence is critical.

Discouraging as this may be, McLellan points out that this is not unusual. Canada went through the same thing generations ago. McLellan explains:

 

“The last time we did this was with the end of liquor prohibition, and dare I say, no one in this country was alive to see or understand how that took place. That took years to create a regularized, normalized legal market around liquor.”

 

Today, the alcohol industry is legitimate and perfectly regulated. If history is any indication, cannabis will soon reach the same point.

 

The Vape Crisis

 

According to McLellan, the vaping illnesses reported in the U.S. are at the forefront of everyone’s minds and bad PR for legal cannabis. With the death toll in the U.S. hitting 33 people, Canada finally saw its first confirmed case, discovered in Quebec.

Vitamin E acetate is the biggest suspect, which is used as a cutting agent in illegal THC vape products. Health officials are still waiting for definitive proof, but the legal market will not contain any contaminants or fillers that pose such a risk. According to Global News:

 

“A Health Canada spokesman said in an emailed statement that it is monitoring the situation in the U.S. and Canada and that additives such as vitamins — vitamin E acetate is one suspected culprit — are prohibited from use in cannabis vaping products. He added that it ‘will take additional action if warranted and as appropriate, to protect the health and safety of Canadians.’”

 

Unfortunately, many people will recoil in fear at legal THC vapes as well, which McLellan sees as a threat to public trust in the system.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Prediction of a Brighter Future

 

As a provider of business solutions to the cannabis industry, we understand the struggles legal marijuana continues to face.

Controversies and health concerns are likely to stay for quite some time, but ongoing research and possible reforms will hopefully solve these issues in the end.

But until that time comes, WeedAdvisor encourages everyone to support the legal market and stay informed on any emerging health issues.

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Exactly a year after legalization, edibles are no longer banned in Canada. For many, this means a slew of options that eluded consumers since October 2018. Individuals seeking therapeutic benefits without smoking will make up a huge portion of the customer base.

But with a prolific grey market offering its own line of powerful edibles and wide array of options for experienced recreational users, legal retailers have their work cut out for them.

We covered multiple stories in the past regarding edible poisonings in children and adults, thanks to a lack of knowledge and poor judgment when consuming or storing these illegal products.

Although illegal edibles are highly potent, this does not mean that their legal counterparts do not pose some degree of risk to newcomers.

To shed some more light on the topic, CTV News sat down with Dr. Amy Porath. Porath, who is the director of research at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, has some key points to discuss, especially for those with little to no experience.

 

Latent Effects

 

Smoking may be hard on the lungs and throat, but it is the best option for quick onset. Edibles, on the other hand, take time. In fact, it can take up to six hours before users feel any effects – although it is typically more in the range of 30 minutes to four hours.

The exact time varies due to factors such as potency, stomach contents or even the type of food consumed prior to using the edibles.

Porath Warns:

 

“…it takes a lot longer for people to experience [the intoxication]. And that’s because the product has to go through the digestive system,” she said. One of the biggest mistakes people can make is to accidentally consume too much and experience a stronger, unpleasant and unintended high.”

 

Also known as “greening out,” this experience typically involves symptoms like severe dizziness, nausea and uncontrollable vomiting.

To date, nobody has died from a THC overdose, but that does not mean the symptoms it brings cannot be dangerous or deadly.

For instance, THC greatly increases heart rate and blood pressure, which can exacerbate existing conditions. Excess THC can also cause hallucinations, severe paranoia and anxiety.

To prevent this, it is important to test the waters carefully. “Start low and go slow” is the common motto and it is something all users – regardless of experience – should follow.

 

Edible High Lasts Longer

 

Another consideration is that, while smoked cannabis typically wears off in roughly two to three hours, edible highs last much longer. Potency and the types of strains used are both mitigating factors here.

Once the high peaks, “residual effects” could still exist 12 to 24 hours after consumption. Dr. Porath warns:

 

“It’s important to keep that in mind if say you’re using the product on a Sunday evening and you have to go to work on Monday.”

 

If individuals need to be sober in 12 to 24 hours, it is better to use smoked herb to ensure that any effects are long gone by then.

 

Higher Potency

 

Users also need to be aware that edibles are much more concentrated and are therefore much more potent. There are two main reasons.

First, edibles are made with cannabis extracts, like oil or “cannabutter.” It is easy for a small amount of these substances to contain a lot of THC. Smoked herb with 30% THC means that each gram contains 30mg of tetrahydrocannabinol. But when ignited, a lot of that THC evaporates, leading to even less being taken in.

But with edibles, there is no instant evaporation and the amount of food product required to deliver THC is much lower. In fact, one illegal dispensary was raided in May of 2019 and found to carry edibles the size of Lego bricks, each containing 250mg of THC – equal to about eight grams of 30% THC smoked herb.

Consuming that much THC will easily lead to hospitalization from high heart rate, blood pressure, hallucinations or vomiting.

Dr. Porath has some recommendations to avoid the above scenario. First, she recommends first-time users to consume edibles with someone else nearby who is either experienced or does not intend to use cannabis.

She also encourages consumers to only buy legal edibles, since they are limited to 10mg of THC per unit.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Emphasis on Safe Cannabis Consumption

 

Legal marijuana is uncharted territory. Based on incidents involving illegal products, it is clear that users – especially new ones – need to be extremely careful. Fortunately, retailers are happy to give their clients guidance on safe consumption.

WeedAdvisor looks forward to the second phase of legalization and will happily add these new edible items to our list of reviews. We encourage potential customers to keep an eye on our review section for the latest products as they are released.

 

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According to CBC News, recent statistics show an uptick in drug impaired driving and theft – specifically marijuana theft.

The impact on public safety, especially as it pertains to driving, is something that legislators and opponents frequently thought about. Fearmongering over a massive increase in impaired driving accidents or deaths became a key tool in the prohibitionist arsenal.

Admittedly, 2019 has seen a rise – at least for the Waterloo Regional Police Service – in cannabis DUI charges.

A rather unexpected consequence, however, involves cannabis theft, which adds to the overall theft rates in the area.

While Waterloo is just one small sample, it is indicative of a larger trend. But while these statistics may seem fairly clear, there are some other factors to consider.

 

Gradual Increase in Drug-Impaired Driving

 

Incidents of drug-impaired driving have peaked this year, reaching a total of 75 as of October 17th. On the surface, this could indicate that cannabis legalization is to blame. But based on previous patterns, legalization may not be as culpable as some might want to believe.

CBC News explains:

 

“In 2018, there were 69 drug-impaired charges, 70 in 2017 and 53 charges in 2016 connected to drug-impaired driving, according to Waterloo regional police.”

 

If authorities had seen a sudden spike in drug-impaired driving between 2018 and 2019, then legalization could be held accountable. But it is clear that an upward trend was in place over the last three years – almost three of which did not fall during the October 17th, 2018 period of legalization.

But this and other considerations are things that police openly admit:

 

“Staff Sgt. Mike Hinsperger says the increase in drug impaired driving charges is part of a longer-term trend that preceded legalization…’The types of impaired by drug investigations we’re involving ourselves in are, more often than not, multiple drugs combined causing the impairment.’”

 

Furthermore, these rates are not particularly alarming. If we take the 2019 average, this amounts to about six incidents per month.

Alcohol, police say, still remains the biggest culprit, with 350 people charged in 2019 so far.

One reason for this trend could be that police do not have to suspect an individual is intoxicated before administering a test for alcohol. Drugs, however, require a reasonable suspicion before police can investigate further, meaning tests are less frequent.

This of course leaves some unanswered questions that will hopefully be clearer as more data becomes available.

 

Marijuana Theft

 

One trend that certainly rose is marijuana theft. Granted, it is hard to make formal comparison to pre-legalization numbers, since illegal cannabis users are unlikely to report their stolen drugs to police.

However, it is clear that legalization opened the door to these aforementioned crimes. The unfortunate part is that these theft incidents are preventable if people simply follow the rules.

According to CBC News:

 

“Wellington County OPP Const. Joshua Cunningham has noticed even if people are purchasing marijuana legally, they’re not always following the rules. ‘People aren’t storing and carrying and using marijuana as the regulations are set out [says Cunningham].’”

 

Another thing Cunningham notices is that thieves are getting quite bold. Police have seen increase in break-ins, with suspects going into people’s homes and yards where cannabis is growing legally.

At this point, it is important to remember that regulations allow a maximum of four plants per household in most provinces (zero in others). These need to be inaccessible to children and hidden from plain sight. This is important for public safety and prevents citizens from being targeted by thieves.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Support for Public Safety

 

As a proud provider of business solutions in the cannabis industry, WeedAdvisor understands that legalization is not without its flaws. A lot of the consequences are still unclear, but there are certain areas that definitely raise some concerns.

We encourage all consumers to follow the law when it comes to driving under the influence and to keep their plants or products well-hidden.

 

 

 

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Medical and recreational marijuana producer CannTrust is about to lose $77 million worth of inventory as it fights to stay afloat, according to Markets Insider.

A classic example of what happens when you attempt to dupe Health Canada, CannTrust needs little introduction. The ironically-named company made headlines in September when its license was suspended after a lengthy investigation.

Health officials uncovered massive company negligence, incompetence, corruption and overall misconduct. This led to a huge corporate shake-up, starting in July with the resignation or dismissal of key upper management members, most notably ousting the company’s CEO, Peter Aceto.

But a lot has happened since July, when the first infractions began to unveil. After months in damage control mode, the company is making huge steps – and sacrifices – to one day again be open for business.

 

“Remediation Plan”

 

CannTrust’s board of directors is working to make its way into Health Canada’s good graces, but the goal requires some very difficult steps. The most glaring, of course, being the massive inventory loss:

 

“The cannabis producer CannTrust Holdings said it planned to destroy $65 million worth of weed inventory and roughly $12 million worth of ‘biological assets’ like plants in an attempt to gain regulatory approval in Canada.”

 

But this is just the beginning. According to an October 14th press release CannTrust has several key steps planned. This “remediation plan” is to demonstrate CannTrust’s intention to be cooperative and transparent with Health Canada, while working to become compliant:

 

“Measures to ensure that cannabis will be produced and distributed only as authorized, including measures to control the movement of cannabis in and out of CannTrust’s site;

Measures to recover cannabis that was not authorized by CannTrust’s license;

Measures to improve key personnel’s knowledge of, and compliance with the provisions of the Act and the Regulations that apply to CannTrust; and,

Measures for improving the manner in which records are kept, including a plan to improve the inventory tracking, and any interim measures to ensure that information provided to Health Canada can be reconciled.”

 

The press release also notes that, while the value of the inventory is significant, it is unsellable – returned by various patients, distributors and retail stores.

However, this is just the beginning. CannTrust is set to provide a more detailed plan by October 21st.

 

Making Room

 

Perhaps the simplest way to describe CannTrust’s purge is the desire to create a clean slate. CannTrust says that, once the non-compliant products are destroyed, it will leave room for cannabis that has been grown, processed, packaged, stored and monitored as per Health Canada’s regulations.

 

Immediate Impact

 

The news of CannTrust’s commitment garnered some positive attention from the stock market. Following the announcement, CannTrust’s stock value increased by 25%.

Granted, the value plunged by nearly 78% during the course of their ordeal, worth $1.06 per share as of October 14th.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

Out of all the errors producers, distributors or retailers can make, non-compliance is arguable one of the most egregious. Whether accidental or intentional, the consequences may amount to millions in fines, lost productivity and severe loss of public trust.

WeedAdvisor understands the critical balance required to ensure compliance, which is why one of our many business solutions include key functions like inventory tracking, real-time data, safety monitoring, reporting and more.

We help our clients remain compliant in a seamless, automated fashion, so they can focus on providing the best products possible.

 

 

 

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The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is turning to the private sector in order to ease the supply and distribution issues it faces, according to CBC News.

One year after legalization, things have drastically improved, but Ontario – and much of the country – still has an uphill battle ahead before they can confidently say supplies consistently meet demand.

The discussions are still preliminary and far from definitive. But the current situation and upcoming developments may force the OCS to re-examine its current model.

 

A Better Alternative

 

Ontario is no stranger to government monopolies. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) is currently the only entity allowed to sell all alcohol products.

Ontario’s former Liberal government under Kathleen Wynne loosened these rules slightly by allowing lighter alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine, to be sold in grocery stores.

The only other outlet selling alcohol is the Beer Store, which, as its name implies, is limited to beer.

However, Wynne planned on creating OCS retail outlets similar to the LCBO. This system is often perceived as less than ideal by the general public and it is clear by the OCS’ current situation that complete government control can lead to bottlenecks.

If seeking outside help from private distributors helps the OCS keep up with customer and dispensary orders, it will go a long way in not only making the cannabis industry more efficient, but also help patch its admittedly tarnished image.

 

“Prudent Steps”

 

In light of the situation, OCS officials have already started exploring what this private/public distribution hybrid might look like. They seem satisfied with the current situation, but acknowledge that there is room for improvement. OCS CEO Cal Bricker tells CBC News:

 

“While centralized distribution services have served existing retailers … the OCS is taking prudent steps to consult the industry on opportunities to increase their involvement in participating in the storage and transportation of cannabis products to retail stores.”

 

Based on the last year, the OCS may be headed in the right direction. It’s inability to adequately supply consumers was the source of numerous complains and negative experiences that drove people back to the black market.

 

 

Edibles May Bring Changes

 

With the release of edibles in retail stores only two months away, demand is expected to increase dramatically. The OCS simply cannot afford another fiasco like the one in 2018.

If private distributors can dramatically ease the workload, then now is the best time to look at reforming the current system – sentiment that Bricker certainly shares.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Service in All Sectors

 

We understand that the cannabis industry is constantly evolving. This is why we offer a variety of solutions to make daily functions and major processes – such as compliance – easy and inexpensive for our government and business clients.

As the role of different organizations expands to handle a growing market, we look forward to working with these companies and their government counterparts.