The ‘Bis weekly news update – April 21 to 27, 2018

Every week we scour the news-scape to bring together the most important Canadian cannabis stories of the week. Everything from updates to legislation, business, and culture is included here.

Here is our weekly roundup of the top cannabis news

1. BC releases plan for cannabis control and sales

They may be fashionably late to the party, but British Columbia has finally arrived. The province’s lawmakers have begun to table their legislation for the use and control of recreational cannabis.

BC’s designs for cannabis are not fully complete but some notable points from the province’s announcement yesterday include:

  • Liquor stores will not be allowed to sell cannabis. The B.C Liquor Distribution Branch will operate its own chain of cannabis stores.
  • Cannabis will not be allowed in vehicles unless in a sealed package or in an inaccessible place.
  • Use of non-medical cannabis will be banned in beaches, parks, playgrounds and other places “frequented by children.”
  • Private retail licenses will be available and the government has placed no cap on the amount that may be distributed.

While their BC Cannabis Store logo seems to be from the same design team that brought us the exciting Ontario Cannabis Store branding, it is good to see BC moving forward. Until now they were the only province that had not tabled some form of plan for cannabis control.

2. Driving and sex: what cannabis users think about impairment

Recently PSB Research and Civilised, a cannabis culture magazine, polled 600 Canadian pot users to better understand their beliefs about the drug and impairment – they also surveyed 1000 Americans but we’ll skip over that part.

They found that 72% of non-cannabis users in Canada said they believe that using cannabis impairs an individuals ability to drive, and 52% percent of users agreed.

This belief is confirmed by a French study conducted in November 2017, that found high drivers are more than 17 times more likely to cause a fatal accident.

The survey also dove into some more intimate subject matter. When asked about the effects on libido, 21% of non-user Canadians said they believe cannabis impairs a person’s sex drive, 16% of users in Canada (and the US) felt the same. Overall very few negative effects have been noticed anecdotally in the bedroom.

3. New data shows cannabis industry predicted to grow 14% annually

Market projections by New Frontier Data, a company that specializes in data collection, interpretive analysis, and business intelligence in the cannabis industry, has some good news for those invested in the legal cannabis industry.

Their 2018 Industry Outlook report predicts that the market for pot will grow into a $25 billion industry by 2025. The report also predicts a growth rate of 14.7% per year.

The research credits the shifting attitudes of the public as “instrumental to the rise and growth in the pot-stock market.” Cannabis is coming up green!

4. Canada is now producing 10 times more cannabis than 2015

It’s not a stretch of the imagination to think that Canada pot production would be at an all-time high. Legalization is now (hopefully) only a few months away and the government and businesses alike are gearing up for the coming demand.

Recent numbers from Statistics Canada in December 2017 show that the sheer amount of cannabis being produced has grown exponentially in the past three years.

In 2015, just under 10,000 kilograms of medical marijuana was being produced legally in Canada. By the end of 2017, that number had risen to over 80,000 kg. Production has been required to keep step with demand, as there were a reported 42,106 patients who required the medicine in 2015, and, while the exact number has not been released yet, there is an estimated 250,000 patients currently nation-wide.

Besides just production numbers last December saw Canada’s then 55 licensed producers – the number has grown significantly since –  reporting employment of 2,399 people.

5. Dixie brand Cannabis drinks looking to go public next year in Canada

The Colorado-based cannabis-infused beverage maker, Dixie, is eyeing Canada as a potential market.

The company is expected to make an initial public offering (IPO) by the end of this year or early into the next, according to a report by Bloomberg. This move will happen as the company seeks capital for expansion and acquisitions. Their CEO has said he wants to list in Canada.

“We need access to capital, we need liquidity because this growth is very expensive,” said Chief Executive Officer Chuck Smith at the Cannabis Invest U.K. conference in London. “We’re going to continue to acquire brands or innovate them.”

Dixie will have about $20 million in revenue this year and up to about $50 million in 2019, according to Smith.

If all goes well the Denver-based Dixie will be bringing its berry lemonades, root beers, and chocolates to more markets in the US and break into Canada.


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