Another week has passed in Canada, and the time is better than ever to be watching the cannabis space. While the government north of the border has quieted down a bit on the subject, industry and research continue unabated, while our friends to the south try to figure some things out.
Let’s follow this green brick road together, Canada. It’s your weekly news roundup with The Bis.
The CBC is reporting that young people who use cannabis face a greater long-term risk of developing depression and thinking of suicide. These are the results of a recent McGill University-led review of published studies, released in this week’s issue of JAMA Psychiatry.
The public news network spoke with Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a psychiatry professor at McGill. Her team in Montreal and the United Kingdom analyzed international studies on more than 23,000 people under the age of 18 who were followed for developing depression into their adult life.
In the long term, those who used cannabis were 1.5x more likely to have depression and 3x more likely to have had suicidal thoughts when compared to nonusers.
In Canada, people aged 15 to 25 make up the majority of cannabis users of all ages at an estimated 20 to 33 per cent, the authors said. That’s higher than among adolescent users in other developed countries.
In the meta-analysis, Gobbi estimated about 7% of depression diagnoses among Canadians aged 18 to 35 are linked to cannabis use — or about 25,000 people.
In a report published in BNN Bloomberg, Scotiabank analysts Oliver Rowe and Ben Isaacson discuss their research note, released on Wednesday, reducing its forecast of Canadian recreational sales in 2019 by 30%, due to a variety of supply-chain issues.
“As we expect these issues, particularly the limited retail presence in key provinces, to continue through 2019, we have reduced those volumes by 100 metric tonnes, or 30% of legal demand,” Scotiabank said to BNN.
Total cannabis demand in Canada is forecast to be 900 metric tonnes this year and should climb to 1,100 metric tonnes in 2020, Scotiabank said. Of that demand, the black market should account for about 71% of recreational cannabis sales this year, but will fall to 37 per cent in 2020, the analysts said.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives held its first hearing on how to regulate cannabis finacially. This is one of the first steps to making the state-level, legal industry.
“Today’s hearing is a big deal,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), to the Washington Post.
The House Financial Services subcommittee took up proposed legislation, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019 or SAFE Banking Act, that would protect banks and their employees from punishment for providing services to cannabis businesses that are legal on a state level.
This would be the first in a long process towards federal legalization. In the meantime, US companies will keep listing in Canada.
As St. Valentine’s Day draws ever closer, Lift & Co has released the results of a recent V-Day survey on whether Canadians plan to incorporate cannabis into their romantic engagements on February 14.
Only 11% of respondents in relationships said they plan to make weed part of their loving festivities. There is a slight gender gap, as 13% of men said they would be incorporating cannabis compared to 10% of women.
It should come as little surprise, but BC topped the chart for making it a green Feb 14.
A total of 17% of British Columbians will be indulging for the holiday with their partners, the highest proportion in Canada. It was followed by Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces (12%), Manitoba and Ontario (11%) Quebec (10%) and Alberta (8%).
There are some strange impacts observed when it comes to income levels. A total of 15% of people who said that honouring St. Valentine would also involve taking a bite (or toke) of the devil’s lettuce earn a salary of $50,000 or less — sort of sounds like a blog writer.
The numbers dipped down to 9% among those earning $50,000-$99,000 a year, proving you can afford a condo and still be kind of a wet noodle, and ramped back up to 12% for those earning $100,000 a year or more.