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This Week in Cannabis: Top Stories From Across Canada From Jan. 25-31

February 1, 2019

Edibles and extracts might not actually be available for sale when they become legal on Oct. 17, cannabis light pollution is a real thing and it’s affecting the colour of the sky in certain areas of Ontario, and a cannabis store in Newfoundland has closed, just four months since legalization.

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

Bill Blair: “You Weren’t Planning on Buying Edibles on October 17, Were You?”

For the many consumers waiting for the launch of federally regulated edibles, concentrates, and topicals, Ottawa’s cannabis point-man Bill Blair had disappointing news: while the federal regulations on those forms of cannabis must be filed by October 17, there will be subsequent steps required before LPs can bring new products to market. He gestured to the 17 weeks that passed between the passage of the Cannabis Act and the first day of legal flower-and-oil REC sales in October as a suggestion of how long Canadians might have to wait for edibles and vape-pens, which dominate US markets.

It remains possible the federal government will file its regulations prior to October 17, but regardless LPs and other companies will be required to give the government 60 days written notice before selling new cannabis products. If that’s the only delay, consumers can expect the first new cannabis products no later than mid-December, but if Ottawa decides on other post-regulation delays, new products may not be legally available until 2020.

On his private Twitter, Health Canada analyst David Brown explained, “This is an oft-overlooked point. It’s not that sales will ‘miss’ a target date, but that the target date/coming into force will be the start date for producers to begin making these products. Don’t expect edibles in stores on day one as they likely won’t exist yet.”

LP Greenhouse Light Pollution’s Surprisingly Dire Consequences

LPs don’t mess around with their greenhouses—they’re out to grow cannabis to make money, so they make sure their plants get every second of simulated sunshine they can. For residents with LP greenhouses in their neighbourhoods, however, an unintended consequence of greenhouses using artificial light is skies lit up much of the night, making stars invisible, and changing the colour of the skies. That’s bad enough, but artificial light interferes with hunting by nocturnal animals, disorient migratory birds, and may have a variety of other impacts on local ecosystems. As well, light pollution may encourage illness among humans.

This is an issue that has affected California’s Humboldt County for some time, but with the number of active LPs nearing 150 with hundreds more in the queue of licenses, this will soon be a Canada-wide issue. Last year, Canopy responded to complaints from residents near its Langley, BC production site by adding shades to its greenhouses—a costly project and one that can take a long time to accomplish. But hoping LPs will act in the neighbourhood interest will likely give rise to municipalities confronting LP light pollution with new regulations.

Emery Outrage Spurs Argentine Feminist Opposition

In a tweet with a link to Deidre Olsen’s Leafly article about their experiences with Marc Emery, Argentine congresswoman Gabriella Cerruti announced she would not attend the Seminario International el Cannabis in Buenos Aires next week unless Emery was removed from the speakers’ list. “Though we consider that these spaces of debate and reflection on cannabis uses are essential,” Cerutti said, “in these times of feminist power we believe that the right decision is to act prudently and not participate in this panel until the situation is clarified.” Emery was removed from the event and Cerutti tweeted that she would attend.

As Cerruti was taking her stand, Vice News was publishing even more allegations against Emery from a dozen sources, to which Emery responded with a Facebook post in which he addressed (and in some cases dismissed) four of those who allege he behaved inappropriately. Pablow Ferreyra, who was to speak on a panel with Emery, said, “As defenders of individual rights and liberties we accompany the feminist movement.” Emery was also removed from Vancouver’s upcoming Legalized Summit, where he was to be a keynote speaker and receive a lifetime achievement award. “We can’t be associating our brand with those kind of allegations,” said Legalized Events COO Harman Kang. “No way I would want to have him be put up for a lifetime achievement award.”

To Do List

Busted Book Launch with Susan Boyd

VICTORIA, BC — Join the distinguished professor from the Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria as she documents the history of prohibition. The event is free to attend and takes place at the GVPL Central Branch Community Room on Feb. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Opening a Cannabis Retail Store in Ontario

TORONTO, ON — Cova hosts this informative session for would-be cannabis store operators on Feb. 5 at the Holiday Inn Toronto-Yorkdale. The free seminar is geared towards industry professionals and takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Jay Danger Dabs

PODCAST — This week on our Leafly Canada podcast, we chat with the cannabis activist recounts his first time dabbing and goes on to explain the different forms of dabs, how to make them, and how to consume them.

Explosive Design

PODCAST — Imraan Khan and Taylor Keefe of Detonate Cannabis Agency join hosts Kayla and Chris to chat about the challenges and restrictions of marketing cannabis in Canada post-legalization.

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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