October 17, 2018, the long-awaited day that cannabis goes legal across Canada has arrived and the world will never be the same. With all due respect to the great progress made by Uruguay, who helped pave the way for Canada, it can be argued that Canada, by permitting regulated sales to tourists is the first nation to truly legalize cannabis.
The cannabis industry has been one of the most exciting markets to watch and take part in over the course of the past few years, but new updates to legislation and the changing public paradigm of the industry have all contributed to an even more exciting market of the future. Thank you to Canada for taking a brave step into the unknown to pave the way for the rest of the world!
Article by Javier Hasse
17th October, 2018
On Wednesday , Canada became the first G7 nation and second country in the entire world (after Uruguay) to legalize adult-use cannabis. As the hands of the clock superimposed at midnight, the first retailers opened their doors in the provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, allowing long lines of customers in to pick up some good green.
While great news for recreational weed users, legalization might be problematic for patients: many fear the country’s supply will not be enough to cover the explosion in demand — with e-commerce software provider Shopify reporting more than 100 transactions per minute. After all, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce estimates that by 2020, the Great White North will be consuming about 810,000 kilograms (about 1.8 million pounds) of weed per year.
Interested in getting some expert opinions on the matter, MERRY JANE reached out to a few industry insiders and asked if the shortage concerns were justified.
It’s All In The Quality
Vinay Tolia, CEO of publicly-traded Canadian producer Flowr Corp. noted the fears are “absolutely justified on day one. Meeting health and safety standards on a large scale is not an easy task, and it’s apparent that there are big differences between what some LPs state as their capacity and what they can actually produce.” [Editor’s Note: Hyperlink added by MERRY JANE, not Tolia]
There are many other unknowns in the market, he added, arguing that the situation will be “dynamic” for some time, as suppliers figure out exactly what the consumers want and in what supply. It’s most likely we’ll see a steady offer of mass-market, low-priced cannabis, as there are a lot of LPs that can fill demand there; but premium quality, Snoop Dogg-approval-worthy weed will be a different issue.
The Early Days
Jessica Billingsley, CEO of seed-to-sale technology provider MJ Freeway seemed to disagree with Tolia, telling MERRY JANE that supply shortage fears are overblown “unless there is a tremendous amount of export pressure.”
“The Canadian cultivation operations have been built for scale,” she said. “Even if there is a temporary period of supply shortage at the start — two to three months, once the cultivation operations are fully online, there will be a glut that will even out and supply will meet demand.”
Down a similar lane, Kris Krane, president of cannabis investment firm and multi-state operator 4Front, said that while the size of the demand in the early days remains unknown, “it is reasonable to assume some supply issues in the early days as companies ramp up production” — as we’ve already seen in many U.S. states.
Also in agreement, Beth Stavola, COO and President of U.S. Operations of MPX Bioceutical, argued that we will need some time “to get production to where it fulfills the demands of the marketplace,” as Canada begins to issue new licenses and regulations. “Depending on how long this takes, there may be a temporary shortfall in supply, but hopefully it won’t be as dire as some suggest. If the government moves quickly to get licenses in place and expand the range of products available, they will have a thriving market in the near future.”
Finally, we reached out to equity analyst Alan Brochstein, best known as the 420 Investor, who’s been anticipating supply shortages for a while now. “It looks like there won’t be nearly enough product or SKUs of product on day one,” he stated. “With that said, the number of physical stores open on 10/17 truly rounds to zero in the scheme of things, and I expect online [sales] will be slow to take off as a channel — but will build over time.”
“It’s important to not judge the success on day one,” he continued, explaining we need to understand the launch will be “underwhelming but then moving in a positive direction over time, with more supply and points of distribution, as well as a better products set a year from now.”
Unlike the previous experts quoted, Jodie Emery, famed activist and owner of the hemp-themed café Jodie’s Joint, assured MERRY JANE that supply is definitely enough. The problem, in her view, lies in the new regulations and what the government allows to be sold.
“Canada has enough cannabis supply to meet demand,” she told MERRY JANE, arguing that Canadians have been growing enough weed to supply everyone for decades. The problem is that “the federal government isn’t legalizing that supply, though.” She added, “This is ill-deemed ‘illicit cannabis,’ just as it was ‘illegal cannabis’ before today.”
Emery also noted that “the costs and barriers to getting licensed as a federal legal grower are too prohibitive and prevent the existing suppliers from being able to transition into legality. Legalization should mean the legalization of the industry that grew despite prohibition, not the exclusion of those pioneers and prohibition victims.”
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More News from Canada….
The first recreational cannabis to be legally bought in Canada was purchased at midnight on Wednesday on the eastern island of Newfoundland amid queues of hundreds of people. Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001.
Anthems of Canada [Altered Lyric Experience by Colonel Kurtz]
Our healing and nourishing plant!
True planetary love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The Truth of Nature, strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep its legislation gloriously free!
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
O Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee.
Recreational marijuana will be legal throughout the country, but rules will vary from province to province.
Can I grow my own?: Federal guidelines allow recreational users to grow up to four plants per household, up to a metre tall. Most provinces have acceded to this suggestion, with some (like British Columbia) stipulating that the plants must be grown in a secure location out of public view. In Manitoba and Quebec, however, home growing is illegal. Landlords in some provinces are also pushing for the right to ban tenants from growing cannabis in their rental properties. Also: do not move your plants while they’re budding or flowering! Appearing in a public space with a blooming cannabis plant nets you a fine up to $5,000, or five years behind bars.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada for recreational-use, contravenes the key International Drug Control Convention, and is “not a healthy” lifestyle choice. That’s according to Viroj Sumyai, head of the independent UN-backed International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), in an interview with UN News.
As cannabis is legalized, let’s remember amnesty [The Conversation]
Before we celebrate, let’s take a moment to remember the Black and Indigenous peoples who have been overrepresented in Canada’s cannabis-related arrests, despite similar rates of cannabis use across racial groups.
Young drivers who use cannabis at higher risk of collisions for at least 5 hours, McGill finds [CBC]
Peer-reviewed study finds ‘significant impairment’ on complex, driving-related tasks.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Saturday morning the incoming Quebec government’s plan to raise the legal age for smoking cannabis to 21 could leave an opening for organized crime.
Canada on Wednesday will become the largest country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. That means it will be available under the law in seven more NHL cities (it’s been legal to adults in Denver since 2012). The move is a step forward for those who believe marijuana has been stigmatized and should be accepted as a form of treatment.
We spoke to dealers, cannabis farmers and edible bakers about their plans post-legalization.
This is an excellent introduction to Medicinal Cannabis as a treatment option.
Written by Australian GP Dr Teresa Towpik, this is an easy to understand resource for both doctors and the layman alike.
This book provides a lot of information on how Medical Cannabis works, why it works, so you can see exactly how it may help you. Essential reading for anyone interested in learning about Medical Cannabis as a healing modality.
“I remember my frustration, trying to find a simple guide that could explain step by step the intricate properties of cannabis in an easy to follow and understandable manner. I was reading one article after the other and it wasn’t easy.
In this book, I am hoping to achieve that, an easy step by step guide. I hope that patients as well as doctors find it useful and find the inspiration to further studies.”- Dr Towpik, GP.
About Dr Teresa Towpick
Born in Poland Teresa worked as a junior doctor in a hospital in Glogow, a small town not too far from the German border. Arriving in Australia in 1987, she worked in Fairfield and Liverpool hospital then General Practice from 1993. She worked as a solo GP for a few years, then in a small family practice and later in large medical centres, currently based in Katoomba.
Over the years Teresa embraced different aspects of healing, not only as a doctor but as a patient as well. When going through breast cancer 16 years ago, she learnt about different patient’s attitudes and expectations realising that modern medicine is very much based on evidence. “The absence of evidence is no evidence of absence. We need balance and we need to listen to patients as well”.
Healing occurs on many levels, physical, emotional and spiritual and Teresa sees great potential in cannabis which is an ancient, sophisticated and diverse medicine. She is engaging in further learning, research and the application of cannabis in general practice.
“I am hoping that it will be legalised and regulated soon, so doctors and patients can take advantage of its great healing potential”.
Medical Cannabis Reviews & The Hemp Happy network supports the Research, Political Canvassing, Seminars, Activities and the ongoing Education from the “Non -For-Profit”
Medical Cannabis Research
In February 2016 legislation (Narcotics Amendment Bill 2016) to legalise medical cannabis in Australia passed through federal Australian parliament in record time. It was supported by all sides of politics. This means as at 1 November 2016 Australian patients with certain serious medical conditions and under strict controls will be able to access these products through medical professionals.
Cannabis has been used as a medicine since ancient times. In modern history it was used extensively in pharmacy formulations in the early 19th century.
Cannabis used as a medicine has made a resurgence in recent years and is now legal in a number of parts of the world. Whilst anecdotal cases are plentiful scientific studies are still being undertaken to determine the effectiveness in certain disease states. The main ones we are studying below:
Medical Cannabis Research Australia was established in December 2016 by Paul and Sharlene Mavor and Tony Hume.
Paul Mavor is a pharmacist and has practiced for over 26 years in WA and owned a number of pharmacies. He has an interest in the pharmacokinetics of different cannabis dosage forms.
Sharlene Mavor is a medical scientist with majors in Microbiology, Virology and Biotechnology. She has worked in a number of laboratories both in Western Australia and in the UK. Sharlene has a particular interest in different cannabis strains, potency and purity testing and extraction methods.
Tony Hume is an experienced fund raiser and has a diverse background in education, health and philanthropy. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s course and is accredited as a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) world-wide. Tony also is an Independent Director for the Yinhawangka people in the Eastern Pilbara region. He is passionate about positive community impact and making connections in the community to maximise peoples’ opportunities.
Medical Cannabis Research Australia is committed to improve the lives of Australian persons and families by reducing the suffering, prevalence and impact of a variety of diseases through the use of medical cannabis. This will be achieved with a focus on clinical trials and ethical supply of medical cannabis. Research will be conducted to support and promote public awareness for the use of medical cannabis including education for clinical practitioners with new treatment options, both locally and globally for their patients. We aim to educate and advise health professionals, patients, their families and carers in the use of medical cannabis through media, education and fund raising campaigns and further cooperate with government and likeminded organisations in order to advance the research, treatments, equity and quality of life which can be assisted with the use of medical cannabis.
Clinical Studies are underway in several states of Australia
These are largely government sponsored
NSW – terminal cancer – vaporised THC vs THC+CBD
-paediatric epilepsy – cannabidivarin, CBD
-Chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting – THC + CBD
QLD – cannabis oil in paediatric epilepsy
ACT – cannabis for melanoma
Vic – paediatric epilepsy – synthetic cannabidiol
These are very special times that we live in today!!!
Unless the US federal government steps in, Colorado will soon have a regulated industry for recreational marijuana.
Like Colorado, Washington state also passed a voter’s initiative to legalize marijuana with 55 percent of the vote. Now both states are looking to each other to try to implement the will of the voters.
If you’ve taken a recent trip to Seattle, its easy to spot people openly smoking marijuana near tourist destinations like the Space Needle. Much like Colorado, police have pretty much stopped busting those with less than ounce.
A local named Aaron told us in and interview, “Officially people aren’t supposed to smoke marijuana in public.” But he said, “It doesn’t stop anyone that much right now.”
In Seattle, visiting the world-famous farmers’ market called the Northwest Cannabis Market will show you a vast market filled with vendors selling medical marijuana and even a marijuana smoking room, similar to a wine tasting room at a winery.
“Colorado is a huge inspiration for us. We truly learn everything there,” Cannabis Market owner George Patterson said.
In Washington, medical marijuana isn’t as big or well-regulated as medical marijuana is in Colorado, but this small victory is a pivotal moment for cannabis enthusiasts everywhere. Large signs for brand new dispensariesare are now hard to miss in some Colorado neighborhoods. Many dispensaries in Washington don’t even have signs yet, and are run by word-of-mouth. Now more than ever is the time to get on-board the Green Revolution. Enjoy growing plants, and helping out your local community by selling legal buds and smoking them as much as you like and wherever you like once you are growing unlimited supplies of killer herb. Check out my affordable growing tutorials located in my Complete Marijuana Grow Guide.
While Colorado has designated money for legalized pot for education purposes, Washington expects billions primarily for health care.
Washington’s marijuana revenue will also go to education, research and substance abuse prevention. The intent of the new law is designed to take marijuana out of the hands of illegal drug cartels and bring it under a tightly regulated, taxed system like alcohol.
Washington has even already set a limit for driving under ‘cannabis intoxication.’ According to recent laws, a driver’s blood should not have more than a THC concentration of 5.00 nanograms per milliliter. Colorado is still wrestling with the issue. That’s quite a stir in Frankie’s Sports Bar in Olympia where people can go buy a beer and openly smoke marijuana. Frankie Schnarr owns what could be the first of many marijuana bars in Washington.
“I don’t mind a guy coming up here, toking a pipe or cigarette. But I don’t want a big bong over there and 15 guys getting stoned,” Schnarr told us.
With bars and markets already catering to the marijuana user, some people in Washington hope the state will position itself as a tourist destination for cannabis connoisseurs.
Until next time,
Stay Green, and continue your support for legalization, and thanks for all the help and supporting our mission to spread and promote cannabis awareness! We’re winning the legalization fight!!!!!!!
Peace brothers and sisters,
It’s true that no one is an island.
The concept of a community is one of the basic building blocks of the human experience, and we have been building communities since we first walked the earth.
Traditionally, human beings formed families, and families became tribes. These were large collectives base on common factors like geography, DNA, and eventually languages and core values.
Over time, tribes grew into kingdoms and empires, and the common factors which tied people together became increasingly blurred. Today, kingdoms and empires have become nation-states…and the common factors which bind us together are rather limited.
Sure, we might look alike, talk alike, dress alike, and hail from the same postal code or some other invisible lines on a map, but shared core values are a thing of the past.
Are any of these systems truly fail-safe?
Decimalization removes the consumer — the marijuana smoker — from the criminal justice system, while maintaining criminal penalties against those who sell or traffic large quantities of the drug.
In 1972, President Richard Nixon’s National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended that Congress adopt this policy nationally in the United States.
Since then, more than a dozen government-appointed commissions in both the U.S. and abroad have recommended similar actions.
None of these commissions have endorsed continuing to arrest and jail minor marijuana offenders.
Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 829,000 individuals per year — far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
This policy is a tremendous waste of national and state criminal justice resources that should be focused on combating serious and violent crime.
In addition, it invites government unnecessarily into areas of our private lives, and needlessly damages the lives and careers of hundreds of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Former President Jimmy Carter told Congress in 1977, that:
“Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against the possession of marijuana in private for personal use.”
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans.
According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Our public policies should reflect this reality, not deny it.
Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.
Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.
According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet:
“The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. … It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat … than alcohol or tobacco.”
As with alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking can never be an excuse for misconduct or other improper behavior. For example, driving or operating heavy equipment while impaired from marijuana should be prohibited.
Most importantly, marijuana smoking is for adults only, and is inappropriate for children.
There are many activities in our society that are permissible for adults, but forbidden for children, such as motorcycle riding, skydiving, signing contracts, getting married, drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco.
Eventually there WILL be the development of a legally controlled market for marijuana, where consumers could buy marijuana for personal use from a safe legal source.
This policy, generally known as legalization, exists on various levels in a handful of European countries like The Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of adolescent marijuana use than the U.S.
Such a system would reduce many of the problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a “black market.”
From the beginning, lawmakers and politicians debated fiercely whether law enforcement – no matter how well funded and well trained – could ever defeat the drug problem that they perceive.
A decade ago, no politician who wanted to keep their job would breathe a word about legalization, but a consensus is growing across the country that at least marijuana will someday be regulated and sold like tobacco and alcohol.
“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.”
– President John Adams, United States of America
P.S. – When you look at how much the world has changed over the last several years, and you consider how fast things are changing now, we only have a few years remaining before much of what we know today changes dramatically.