The Bis Weekly News Update December 17 to 21

Another Thursday, another canna-‘Bis news report. 

It has been an interesting week all around in Canada’s green economy. The wheel joints keep on rolling as it comes to a close just before the holidays. All eyes are on Ottawa, as rumours about cannabis legislation being drafted before Christmas continue, legalization is named top news story of the year (w00t), and more. 

We’ve got the top stories of the week, ready for you here at The ‘Bis. 

CP calls cannabis legalization the top Canadian business news story of the year

The country’s top news wire service, The Canadian Press, the banner name in journalism and reporting, has named cannabis legalization, the top Canadian business news story of 2018.

It’s not hard to see why. Headlines have been filled with breaking cannabis news since it was announced that prohibition would be ending. Since then, recreational growers, ancillary business and all manner of media (including us) have emerged, generating a multi-billion dollar industry.

2019 will be especially interesting, especially with the addition of edibles…

Rumours of draft legislation on cannabis edibles before Christmas

The Globe & Mail, Marijuana Business Daily, and Vice have all been reporting on rumours of legislation on edibles coming before Christmas. With less than a week to go, it seem like they have been just that. 

Marijuana Business Daily reported that the “draft regulations for edibles and concentrate products will soon be published in the Canada Gazette.” 

The Canada Gazette is the official newspaper of the Canadian government. Released every Saturday, there is but one publication day left for the rules to hit the paper. 

The Cannabis Act set a deadline for October 17, 2019 for rules to be set up for both edibles and concentrates. If the government does nothing, they’ll automatically be added to the list of approved cannabis products on the one year anniversary of legalization. 

Needless to say, The ‘Bis will be watching Saturday morning to see what happens. 

There’s now a legal way to buy cannabis plants in Canada

Canadians have been legally able to grow four plants in their homes since legalization (depending on the province — sorry Quebec), but that doesn’t mean there have been legitimate sources to get cannabis plants or seeds for recreational users.

Until now.

Recently, Newfoundland and Labrador began offering cannabis clones for those interested in making their thumbs just a little bit greener.

Available on the province’s online retailer, Cannabis NL, — run by the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation — there are eight different strains of clones available for order.

A clone is a cutting taken from a larger plant that is allowed to root on its own.

Each plant is packaged into individual plant shippers, offering protection during shipping. Added foam insulation at the base of the plant is included to maintain warmth during transport.

Toronto has shut down almost 90% of its illegal dispensaries

A Report for Action, issued by the City Manager to city council on December 6, shows a nearly 90% reduction in illegal dispensaries across Toronto.

On the day prior to legalization, city staff identified 92 illegal storefronts reportedly
operating in Toronto. On legalization day, October 17, 2018, 56 of the grey-market outlets had closed. By the end of November, staff estimated that only 11 of these storefronts continue to operate, an 88% decrease.

Pre-legalization there was a plethora of dispensaries around the city; flashing your ID and a cash-only, tax-free transaction later, customers could leave with a brown bag of green. Post-legalization it has become decidedly more difficult.

According to the city document, between March 16, 2016, and November 23, 2018, approximately 1,260 charges were laid against storefront owners, operators, employees and landlords. These charges have resulted in 548 convictions and fines totalling $724,200.

The 2017 version of the Cannabis Control Act provided the city with the means to impose large fines and even jail time for those found to be in violation. For a corporation, the maximum fine for a first offence related to operating a storefront is $1,000,000, with a further $500,000 per day for repeat or continuing offences. Individuals convicted of the same offences could receive a maximum fine for a first offence of $250,000 and with a further $100,000 per day for repeat or continuing offences.

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