This Week in Cannabis: Top Stories From Across Canada From Dec. 21-28
Regina retailers consider forming a co-op, Vancouver’s first recreational cannabis store is about to open, and Manitoba premier Brian Pallister apparently didn’t realize oil, oral
sprays, and oil capsules are already legal.
We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada. LEAFLY’S STRAIN LIBRARY HAS ‘EM ALL
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Some First Nations Ban Ontario Cannabis Store Deliveries
Thanks to a provision in the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, First Nations Reserves may request the Ontario Cannabis Store not deliver recreational cannabis to their communities. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, 580 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, was the first Nation to put the ban in place in their community, but they won’t be the last. While some First Nations have traditionally been dry communities and oppose the sale of recreational intoxicants in their territories, others take issue with the Ontario Cannabis Store as a provincial body, which many communities feel should have no jurisdiction on Reserve lands.
Recreational Co-Op for Regina?
From the beginning of discussions about recreational retail, independent stores have expressed worry they will be trampled by the industry’s heavy hitters. As a Tweed store opened in Regina, local independent cannabis stores began talking about how they could compete with a retailer connected to Canopy. They came up with a plan to form a co-op that will allow them to buy wholesale on a level competitive with Tweed. To date 18 retailers have been involved in co-op discussions, which some have indicated will prioritize local products.
Manitoba Premier Discovers Existence of Oils, May Ban Them
Conservative Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister announced this week that he had never seen oral cannabis sprays before mid-December, adding, “I thought oils were with edibles and not available until next year (under federal law).” Having learned that oils, oral sprays, and oil capsules were legalized in October along with fresh and dried cannabis flower, Pallister’s government has considered adding them to the public-consumption ban they passed on all other forms of cannabis. As yet they have not decided whether or not that ban will go ahead.
First Retailer Set to Open in Vancouver
After more than two months since legalization, a Vancouver retailer got the news on Christmas Eve they’d be the first cannabis store to be licensed to operate in the city. Evergreen Cannabis Society, a small Kitsilano store run by a married couple, became only the fourth private recreational cannabis retailer to receive a sales license. (There is also a single brick-and-mortar BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops). At the moment, dozens of other stores are at various stages of the application process, and for many, the demands of applying are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. BC Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said his government’s decision to roll out recreational retail slowly spared stores the shortages that plagued Alberta.
“We said all along that this was going to be a gradual evolution, that you were not going to suddenly see 200 stores overnight,” Farnworth told Global News. “You are going to see more and more stores open in the months ahead.”
The Latest From Leafly
To Do List
TORONTO, ON — Taking place first thing in the a.m. on Saturday, Dec 29, this wake and bake session includes a couple of recipe demo and a complimentary breakfast. Participants are encouraged to bring one gram bud of their favourite cannabis to exchange with others.
VANCOUVER, BC – Ring in 2019 at this alcohol-free, 420-friendly party hosted by High Score retro gaming lounge at 649 East Hastings. Entry is $5 for an evening of games, prizes, and more.
CALGARY, AB — Tickets ($150) are on sale now for this ‘elevated dining series’ taking place on Jan. 26, 2019. On the menu, a five-course cannabis-infused menu from Lil’ Truck On The Prairie with a chance to learn about cannabis, wine, and gastronomy from Andrew Freedman, a cannabis sommelier.
PODCAST — Harm reduction worker Zoe Dodd joins our hosts on this week’s Leafly Canada podcast, to chat about how setting up an overdose prevention site forced the federal government to change its drug policy to address Canada’s opioid epidemic