cannabis

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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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A crime lab in Douglas County, Nebraska, confirmed the efficacy of a test to determine whether seized cannabis is marijuana or hemp, according to Colorado broadcaster KETV.

When industrial hemp was federally legalized in December, it opened up a whole new market and helped legitimize (still unregulated) CBD products. However, this also created an unexpected headache.

The problem with the U.S. classification of hemp is that it is based on THC content, rather than the type of plant. Marijuana (cannabis sativa) is the THC-rich variant in the cannabis plant genus, while hemp (cannabis sativa L.) is 99.7% CBD.

In order to be classified as hemp, the dry herb must contain 0.3% THC or less. But with no reliable test to determine THC content to such a close level, law enforcement could not provide conclusive evidence that a suspect was in possession of marijuana. Individuals could simply claim they had hemp and would never set foot in a courtroom.

Now, the new test – originally developed in Zurich, Switzerland – will help law enforcement solve the hemp/marijuana conundrum.

 

Current Testing

 

At this time, testing methods are meant to fit the old laws, where cannabis of all forms was prohibited. But with a new legal limit being set for THC, crime labs need something more precise.

Originally, police used a field test known as the “Duquenois Levine test.” It relies on a chemical reaction that turns purple if it detects the presence of cannabis. The problem is that it does not differentiate between marijuana and hemp.

 

New Test is Street-Ready

 

Unlike the old method, the new one can instantly differentiate between marijuana and hemp. Using a simple chemical reaction, the sample turns purple for hemp and blue for marijuana.

Like the Duquenois Levine test, the new method is also meant to be used in the field. However, its role is meant to be preliminary, not conclusive.

First, law enforcement will use the old method to confirm the presence of cannabis. If the sample turns purple, the second test will be administered. Conventional wisdom would dictate forgoing the old method and skipping straight to the new option. However, the latter is three times more expensive, so only a supervisor can administer it once the Duquenois Levine test confirms the sample to be cannabis.

Even if the sample does blue, it needs to be sent to a lab to confirm whether the THC level is above 1% – the threshold assigned to determine whether criminal charges are to be laid.

 

False Sense of Security

 

The unintended consequences of hemp legalization may have thrown a wrench into marijuana prosecution in many states, but authorities caution that this is not some sort of passive legalization.

Christine Gabig, the local forensic scientist who validated the test in Douglas County, warns:

 

“There is no big crisis. Everybody was saying that nobody could get in trouble anymore for marijuana, or that we essentially legalized marijuana, or that we essentially legalized marijuana and that didn’t happen.”

 

Douglas County is the only location in Nebraska using this new test. But if successful, it will likely spread to other law enforcement agencies to combat the current leg.

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An unfortunate fact about politics is that it is not free from outside influence and – occasionally – corruption. This became apparent as Mexico’s legalization deadline approached.

Shocked by the sudden influx of corporate pressure, Mexico decided to delay voting on the bill, despite being on track to meet their deadline, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

However, this could prove complicated, given that the entire process began due to a Supreme Court mandate. Hopefully, the move will provide protection from corporate agendas in Mexico’s legalization process.

 

Corporate Lobbyists Swarm Legislators

 

A legal marijuana industry represents a huge economic opportunity for Mexico. Nobody understands this better than companies either already involved with or interested in joining the new cannabis market.

Unfortunately, many of these organizations and groups overstepped their boundaries and started pushing hard to influence the legislation. Marijuana Business Daily explains:

 

“Citing ‘unprecedented’ pressure from companies trying to influence Mexico’s cannabis legislation, voting on a bill to completely legalize marijuana – including its recreational use – will be delayed, according to media reports. Ricardo Monreal, president of the Senate’s Political Coordination Board (Jucopo) – a governing body of the chamber – told Milenio the bill ‘won’t be voted on this week, as was planned.’”

 

Had it not been for this sudden influx, the bill would have been voted on by October 29th. Now, thanks to these aforementioned lobbyists, the legislation will be addressed in in early November.

 

Trying to “Shield Legislators”

 

It is rather commendable that the Mexican government recognizes the dangers of outside influencers, be they corporate lobbyists, special interest groups or other organizations. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the government is taking steps to distance itself from outside influence:

 

“Monreal said Jucopo will now ensure that lobbying in the Senate remains under control. He said the body would ‘shield’ legislators from external influences, according to Excelsior. The responsibility of the bill would remain within the combined commissions of Justice, Health and Legislative Studies.”

 

By keep these influencers at arms length, it ensures that the legalization bill will be written to benefit consumers and the industry.

 

Supreme Court Complications

 

Postponing the legislative vote until November would not be a huge issue under normal circumstances, but this situation is far from normal.

Mexico’s move to legalize marijuana was not voluntary, with the Supreme Court adamant that the country stick to the previously allotted deadline.

Nonetheless, the Mexican government applied for an extension. So far, six judges support the extension, but eight votes in favour are needed. This is where things become murky:

 

“…at least eight members of the Supreme Court are needed to vote favorably. Six already declared to be in favor, but one declared to be against, and there’s uncertainty about the remaining three votes.”

 

Further complicating matters is that the court has started on a declaration of unconstitutionality. This means they can strike down any legislation considered unconstitutional. If they go down this route, it would automatically allow home cultivation of cannabis, but not a framework for the production, distribution or sale of recreational marijuana.

 

 

 

 

 

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CannTrust continues its fight to remain in the industry following a set of violations that nearly sank the company, according to BNN Bloomberg.

Initially, CannTrust’s situation seemed untenable. But when Bonify – a company known for allowing massive amounts of illegal cannabis into its supply – regained its license, CannTrust’s case actually has a fighting chance.

After months of investigation and internal changes, CannTrust submitted a remediation plan to Health Canada, aiming to meet all compliance requirements in the coming months.

 

Aiming for First Quarter 2020

 

CannTrust’s license was suspended in September. But rather than make gradual progress to improve operations, Health Canada discovered additional violations as time went on.

But after months of treading water, CannTrust has regrouped and intends to push forward. BNN Bloomberg explains:

 

“CannTrust Holdings Inc. has submitted a remediation plan to Health Canada as part of its efforts to regain the regulator’s trust and return to compliance. The embattled cannabis producer says it’s aiming to complete all of the activities detailed within the plan by the end of the first quarter of next year, according to a release late Thursday.”

 

CannTrust has a lot of work ahead of them in the coming months. With issues like illegal grow rooms, poor labour practices, black market seeds, security flaws and deliberate attempts to withhold information from Health Canada, the company has built up quite a rap sheet since July.

 

No Specific Details

 

CannTrust’s specific steps have not been publicly announced. However, they do give a general idea as to what the plan entails.

The company says their plan includes:

 

“…an expanded internal training program, a strengthened governance and operations framework, infrastructure enhancements, and prescribed accountabilities and timelines for a variety of specified tasks.”

 

From what we can glean, the plan is highly focused on efficiency, compliance, facility enhancements and training – all of which were lacking prior to CannTrust’s suspension.

Although we are kept guessing about whether CannTrust will succeed, interim CEO Robert Marcovitch is optimistic, saying:

 

“CannTrust is confident that its remediation plan addresses all the compliance issues identified by Health Canada.”

However, not everyone shares Marcovitch’s optimism. Derek Dlay, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity believes CannTrust is on the right track, but also adds:

 

“Having said that, there is still significant uncertainty whether CannTrust will eventually achieve full compliance in the near term.”

 

Realistically, only CannTrust knows how much legwork is ahead of them. Those of us on the outside can only speculate.

 

Massive Layoffs

 

Unfortunately – albeit unsurprisingly – CannTrust was forced to scale back its workforce. In September, the company laid off 180 workers. Now, another 140 are joining them in order to save money in the interim.

CannTrust says these layoffs will save them $400,000 per month in labour costs. However, they need to rehire these employees within 35 weeks, or the total severance will be $880,000.

Marcovitch is not happy with the situation, but admits that it is necessary in order to reflect the company’s current sustainability. He explains:

 

“This was a difficult decision, but it is imperative that our workforce reflects the current requirements of our business. Reducing [CannTrust’s] current operating expenses supports our financial sustainability, and places us in the best position to fully resume production upon the reinstatement of our [licences]. We look forward to rehiring at that time.”

 

 

WeedAdvisor’s Compliance Solutions

 

Out of all the errors producers, distributors or retailers can make, non-compliance is arguably 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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Germany is considering joining the list of industrialized nations who plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the near – albeit unspecified – future.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party, the Christian Democratic Union, opened up to the idea of legalization in what German broadcaster Deutsche Welle calls “…a historic policy turn for the conservative party.”

Although medical marijuana was legalized by Merkel’s administration, it is strictly limited to severe illnesses when other treatment options have been exhausted. Naturally, this sudden swing is rather unexpected, coming from a centre-right party.

Regardless, there is a very real possibility that prohibition will end in Germany, bringing the first major European player into the market.

 

A Massive Market

 

Luxembourg already announced its intentions to legalize marijuana. But despite being first in this regard, Germany is likely to steal Luxembourg’s thunder.

At about 83 million people, Germany is the second most populous country in Europe (Russia being the first, at 145 million). Compare this to Luxembourg, who currently has just over 600,000 citizens, and it is evident who will be the behemoth in this industry.

Furthermore, the next ranking country comes nowhere near Germany’s population. The United Kingdom sits at a distant third with 67 million residents.

If executed properly, Germany’s influence on legalization could be massive, inspiring other prominent countries to follow in its footsteps.

According to Deutsche Welle, about four million Germans admit to using marijuana – and those are just the ones willing to be honest in government surveys.

 

“There is also a potentially untapped market. Following legalization, Canada saw little change in marijuana consumption rates, except among baby boomers. These individuals flocked to legal cannabis for mostly therapeutic reasons, as they had the money to do so and were nervous about dealing with the black market.”

 

Germany could equally see a similar trend.

 

Shifting the Argument

 

It is no secret that cannabis itself – let alone legalization – is bogged down by controversy, thanks mainly to decades of misinformation from politicians, educators and law enforcement. Consequently, this turns marijuana into a moral issue, which distracts from the real purpose of legalization.

Germany’s previous drug commissioner, Marlene Mortler, was staunchly anti-cannabis, claiming (as many do) that legalization sends a message to youth about marijuana being completely safe. She claims this is untrue and, admittedly, she is right; there are risks. However, the dangers are nothing near what the public has been force-fed.

However, Mortler’s replacement, Daniela Ludwig, is not on the same page as her predecessor. She wants to take a more pragmatic approach. Ludwig says:

 

“We need to stop with the ideologically charged black-or-white debates, because we won’t get any further.  At the end of the day, what is the best way to protect the health of people, especially young people, and which path makes the most sense for the situation in this country?”

 

Ludwig hopes that legalization will free up police resources so that they can shift their focus on the illegal market. But if Canada’s situation is an example, it may be some time before police can adjust. In fact, it may initially raise costs as law enforcement establishes its own practices to handle things like cannabis impaired driving.

 

WeedAdvisor’s European Presence

 

As a global provider of business solutions in the cannabis industry, WeedAdvisor sees enormous opportunity in a potential German market.

Given how inaccessible cannabis is in that country, setting up a framework for recreational consumption will be a huge shift – much bigger than Canada’s. This is why we offer an all-encompassing list of business solutions to suit the needs of retailers, licensed producers and government agencies.

Each option is tailored to fit the individual needs of our clients, improving efficiency and generating excellent ROI in the process.

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Legal marijuana retailers in the U.S. have made some changes due to the vaping crisis. According to NPR, the report of vaping illnesses continues to mount, with the CDC still desperately trying to find a cause.

Meanwhile, some states responded by cracking down on vaping, imposing emergency restrictions in hopes that doctors can eventually find some answers.

But while vaping advocates have been rather critical of the government’s “heavy-handed” approach, legal cannabis retailers tend to agree that there needs to be more oversight when it comes to THC products.

 

Being Proactive

 

Legal states have regulations in place to test cannabis and cannabis products for safety. However, none of them test for other ingredients, which makes it easy for substandard THC vape products to end up on store shelves.

To their credit, none of the open market products tested by the CDC contained vitamin E acetate, which remains the prime suspect in what now amounts to over 1,600 cases of lung damage.

Still, the regulatory gap raised concerns, prompting many shops to contact their suppliers and verify the ingredients in the vape cartridges. Although retailers are taking action, they feel that more focus needs to be put on the black market.

Kevin Heiderich is the co-owner of House of Cannabis, located in Tacoma, Washington. He is one of many owners who believes the industry needs more oversight. NPR explains:

 

“Heidreich supports more rigorous testing so the regulated market is perceived as safer. This summer, his shops began contacting all their suppliers to verify what’s in their products.”

 

He is concerned about “bad actors” pushing dangerous products into the market, be it through legal or illegal means. He and others in the industry want to keep their products clean and safe, both for public health and their bottom lines.

Heidrich adds:

 

“Hopefully, that is the exception to the rule, and any regulation that does come down puts an end to those sort of business practices. We don’t need those people in the market.”

 

The Need for Self-Regulation

 

Naturally, consumers have changed their buying habits when it comes to THC vapes. The recent illnesses bred a certain mistrust for a product that was rapidly growing in popularity.

But if Heidrich is any indication, businesses cannot wait for state governments extend their testing requirements for vape products. The onus is therefore on store owners to ensure that everything they receive is clean and safe.

However, this kind of initiative is not unheard of. In fact, the nicotine vape industry grew for years in the U.S. before the FDA regulated e-liquids in 2016. Prior to that, e-juice manufacturers relied on their reputation for success. As a result, they worked hard to provide high-quality liquids.

The e-cigarette industry had its own brief scare surrounding an ingredient called diacetyl, which health officials at the time (incorrectly) associated with lipoid pneumonia or “popcorn lung.” In response, manufacturers took it upon themselves to reduce diacetyl in their products or remove it entirely.

Ultimately, retailers need to take a strong initiative if they want to maintain public confidence and – hopefully – stem this growing epidemic.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Interest in Public Safety

 

During a time when information is sorely lacking, educating the public as much as possible is a critical step in preventing harm. This is why WeedAdvisor has been keeping track on the vaping epidemic’s developments.

We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds and provide some answers as they become available.

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Canadian licensed producer Hexo Corp. recently announced that it will lay off 200 workers, reports the Ottawa Citizen. With its main plant in Gatineau, Hexo began as Hydropothecary, a medical cannabis provider with its own line of proprietary strains, sprays and other products.

Recently, the company made headlines for its new cannabis product, which undercuts the average price of illegal marijuana by about one dollar per gram. Unfortunately, it may be some time before this product takes off. Meanwhile, the company has to cut costs.

A once expected cannabis boom soon fell short of expectations after several variables were introduced, both before and after legalization. In Hexo’s case, the predicted $400 million net profit did not materialize.

The worst part is that none of this is Hexo’s fault, meaning there is little they can do to remedy the situation.

 

A Regrettable Decision

 

As of May 2019, Hexo had 1072 employees, which are now about to be cut down to around 800. To their credit, however, Hexo has expressed regret over the move. CEO and co-founder Sébastien St-Louis said in a statement:

 

“This has been my hardest day at Hexo Corp. While it is extremely difficult to say goodbye to trusted colleagues, I am confident that we have made sound decisions to ensure the long-term viability of HEXO Corp.”

 

Whether in the interest of fairness, finance or both, the layoffs will span all levels of the organization, from junior employees to executives. Every one of their facilities – Gatineau, Belleville, Montreal, Niagra and Brantford –will lose employees.

 

Black Market, Regulations and Slow Rollout to Blame

 

Although the last year has seen some improvements, there are still massive obstacles that stand in the way of Hexo’s (and other companies’) profits. The Ottawa Citizen explains:

 

“In its statement, Hexo cited a number of reasons for the layoffs: the delay in opening retail cannabis stores; regulatory uncertainty; pricing pressures; and ‘jurisdictional decisions to limit the availability and types of cannabis derivative products [that] have contributed to an increased level of unpredictability.’”

 

The “jurisdictional decisions” Hexo mentions is Quebec’s overzealous decision to ban certain edible products. Despite the fact that the federal government approved many of the affected products, items like baked goods and other sweet items will be banned in recreational stores. This is bad news for Hexo, who is working on chocolate and candy edibles.

Furthermore, topicals will only be available for medical recipients. Given that a large portion of Hexo’s customer base is located in Quebec, this seriously cripples Hexo’s profitability.

Meanwhile, its other cash cow, Ontario, suffered from lower sales due to its delays in opening physical dispensaries, which are still currently limited to 75. However, 22 of those 75 approved stores are currently open, along with just 24 in Quebec.

Finally, there is the black market, which still dominates around 80% of the cannabis market. Hexo’s new value strain may help make a dent in illicit sales, but this will take time.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Role in Supporting Licensed Producers

 

Naturally, we are saddened by the latest news from Hexo, both for its employees and the industry itself. With stories like these, it is easy to believe legal cannabis has a bleak future.

But keep in mind that analysts made similar doomsday stories during the initial rollout, when things were in much worse shape.

Until revenue increases for licensed producers, saving money is crucial. WeedAdvisor’s many business solutions are not only inexpensive, but also meant to improve efficiency and ensure compliance, preventing potential fines and other financially harmful issues.

 

 

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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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In a hardly surprising turn of events, the RCMP conducted another raid that yielded a plethora of colourful edibles, according to City News.

The media hysteria around edible poisonings has died down significantly, but the upcoming entrance of edibles into the legal market has sparked some concern.

Following the product seizure, the RCMP put out the following tweet:

 

“We’re asking that if you are going to be purchasing these kinds of edibles in the future that you are aware of how they may be mistaken for regular candy and snacks and ensure they are stored safely.”

 

Attached were several pictures of the edibles seized, looking identical to common products found in any food or confectionery store.

But while these products could be harmful to small children, preventing accidental consumption is not a difficult thing to do.

 

Responsibility and Open Dialogue

 

Law enforcement and government regulation are critical, but the widespread and decentralized nature of the black market makes it difficult to stop. Consequently, the onus lies on parents.

Regardless of where they get their edibles, parents need to keep them stored safely away. It is also critical that adults be open about the nature of these products and the harm they can do to very young children.

Corporal Brett Cunningham from the Burnaby RCMP says:

 

“We’re asking that if you have these kinds of edibles in your home that you are careful where you leave them and ensure they are not confused for non-cannabis products.”

 

Essentially, the same logic parents would apply to alcohol and tobacco should apply here. These are age-restricted products and need to be treated as such.

 

Packaging Differences

 

Although not the best for marketing, the logic behind plain packaging is that it is less eye-catching to minors. But the real problem with the grey market’s use of appealing labels and designs is that it can lead to simple mistaken identity, especially for children who are too young to read.

So far, no recorded deaths have been associated with THC poisoning, but even the relatively low potency of legal edibles (once available) could easily sicken a small child.

But candies are not the only potential risk:

 

“When it comes to the edibles, it wasn’t just candy that worried officers. Other items seized include potato chips, drinks, cookies, cheesecake, and even macaroni and cheese.”

 

Cannabis drinks and cookies are commonly-known, but more obscure foods can potentially even catch adults off-guard. Plain packaging naturally would help differentiate regular products from THC ones, but some of the above items are not available legally, making them a perpetual risk.

 

Legal Edibles as a Safeguard

 

Many are concerned about legal edibles hitting store shelves in December. But even if adults are careless with the way the handle edibles around children, legal products have a failsafe.

Legally, these products cannot contain more than 10mg of THC per unit. This is still a decent amount for new and occasional users, but the dosage is safe enough to prevent severe reactions.

Of course, a smaller child will react more strongly to 10mg, but not nearly as badly as illegal edibles, which can easily contain hundreds of milligrams per unit.

However, this is not an open invitation to be reckless. 10mg may not require a frantic trip to the emergency room, but it can easily lead to “greening out” – a term used when someone consumes more THC than they can handle. Thresholds vary, but the symptoms typically involve severe dizziness, poor coordination, nausea, and vomiting.

 

WeedAdvisor’s Emphasis on Responsible Edible Consumption

 

Public health and safety are things we always take seriously. When children get their hands on THC products, it is usually due to negligence by adults.

Accidental underage consumption is 100% preventable, provided that adult users are careful when storing these products. Again, we also must stress the importance of open communication so that young children understand why these edibles are off-limits.