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This Week in Cannabis: Top Stories From Across Canada From Feb. 22-28

Walmart Canada stops retailing cannabis vaporizers, MADD Canada President raises eyebrows with claims is the leading cause of fatalities on our roadways, Martha Stewart gets into cannabis, and more top headlines from across Canada.

We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada.

MADD Canada President: Cannabis Kills Many Drivers; Everyone Else: No, It Doesn’t

MADD Canada president Andrew Murie raised eyebrows in a TV interview when he claimed “cannabis presence is the leading cause of fatalities on our roadways.” Auxly’s Chuck Rifici called the statement “completely false [reefer madness],” while Hexo’s Terry Lake demanded to know why CTV “didn’t… challenge this patently false statement.” MADD has a long history of claiming cannabis plays an integral role in fatal vehicle accidents, and critics have an equally long history of questioning the numbers upon which MADD bases those conclusions. In particular, MADD has found cannabis responsible for fatalities any time drivers were found to have cannabis in their systems—without knowing when in the last month the drivers in question actually consumed that cannabis.

The GrowthOp’s Emma Spears pointed out, however, that even according to MADD’s own questionable numbers which found cannabis “present” in 45% of vehicular fatalities, it would be impossible to claim cannabis as “a leading cause of fatalities on our roadways.” Spears also notes MADD’s own website acknowledges that the organization recognizes “the simple presence of cannabis does not mean a driver is impaired.”

Majority of Canadians Would Take Physician-prescribed, Insurance Covered Medical Cannabis

A poll commissioned by Tetra Bio-Pharma found Canadians are indeed very comfortable with medical cannabis—provided it’s prescribed by a doctor, and covered by insurance. If a drug containing cannabis were prescribed and covered, 65% of Canadians would take it (36% very willing, 29% somewhat willing), even as 54% consider it dangerous to self-medicate with cannabis without being followed by a physician.

Men (69%) have the greatest faith in physician-prescribed cannabis, as well as those adults below 34 (72%), and those who live in Ontario (71%). In the event that cannabis was prescribed but not covered by insurance, 38% would still be willing (14% strongly, 25% somewhat) to pay full price for it. In all, 82% of respondents would be willing to use cannabis to reduce pain, while 68% were open to trying cannabis for chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

WalMart Canada Removes Vapes, WalMart USA Still Sells Them (for Federally Illegal Cannabis)

WalMart Canada quietly removed the Canopy-owned Storz & Bickel Volcano Medic vaporizer, saying “We do not have plans to carry cannabis and cannabis-related products at this time,” despite the fact that they acknowledge the product as not designed for recreational use. “While the product you are referring to is a Class II medical device that has been reviewed and approved by Health Canada, we have removed it from our assortment.”

Interestingly, WalMart’s site serving the United States—where cannabis remains federally illegal—still offers a variety of Storz & Bickel products, including its original Volcano vaporizer, the Volcano Mighty portable vaporizer, and a series of cannabis-vaping accessories. The US site also carries cannabis vaporizers by other manufacturers, such as Arizer.

To Do List

Vape & Paint Night

VERNON, BC – Bring your favourite cannabis vape and a friend to this monthly event on Mar. 2 at Flower of Life Integrative Health Centre. Canvases, brushes, and paint are all provided along with tea and gluten-free cookies to keep the munchies at bay. Early bird tickets cost $20 while admission is $25 at the door. BYOW!

HempFest Cannabis Expo – Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB – Hemp Fest, happening Mar. 2 and 3 at the Edmonton Convention Centre, offers the perfect opportunity to learn more about cannabis and all of the new advances in the cannabis industry. Cannabis cooking demos, live bong and glassblowing, swag, and more await! Ticket prices start at $15.

The Pleasure Principle

Taking place at The Drake Hotel on Mar. 5, Latitude hosts this evening of honest stories and intimate conversations about sex, pleasure, and cannabis. The event is free to attend but RSVPs are required.


Latest & Greatest with Leafly

PODCAST – Leafly’s very own Managing Director Jo Vos joins hosts Kayla and Chris to share a glimpse of what its like to work in Canada’s fast-paced cannabis space and what’s happening behind the scenes at the world’s largest cannabis website.

Amanda Siebert, Toking & Storytelling

PODCAST –This week on our Leafly Canada podcast, Ian and Sarah are joined by the BC-based journalist and author of The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life.

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image
Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.

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