The ‘Bis weekly news update – September 1 to 7, 2018

The month starts off with a bang as we get closer to October’s legalization date.

Canada’s model for a legal cannabis is being exported around the world and a former Mexican president is predicting they will soon be following us in going green. Some members of the industry think there will be a workers shortage while Auroa pays off a $200 million loan.

This is The ‘Bis weekly news update for September 1 to 7, 2018.

There may not be enough workers to staff the legal cannabis industry

Cannabis industry insiders are sounding the alarm that there is a shortage of skilled workers on the horizon for the sector.

According to an article in The London Free Press, the industry could add as many as 150,000 jobs over the next few years. Available positions include everything from entry-level to executive roles at some of the country’s largest cannabis companies.

“You’ve got this booming sector. Ideally, you’d love to find people with experience, but you can’t anymore, it’s too hard to find,” said Brian Wagner, the chief executive of Cannabis Compliance to the LFP.

“It’s a really tough spot.”.

Mexico’s former president calls for legalization while in Toronto

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has suggested that cannabis should be added to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Fox, a member of the board at Vancouver-based cannabis producer Khiron Life Sciences Corp., told Bloomberg he expects Mexico’s government to legalize cannabis completely by 2019. The country legalized medical pot in 2017.

“We can change criminals for businessmen, we can change underground, illegal non-taxpayers into an industry, a sector of the economy,” he said Thursday in an interview in Toronto, where he met with Khiron’s board. “I think it should be part of Nafta and that’s what I’m pursuing.”

Aphria leaves the US until federal laws change

Ontario-based Aphria announced that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with a group of buyers, its complete divestment from its last US holdings.

Reaching a deal that allows them to unload 100% of the Company’s outstanding investment in Liberty Health Sciences.

Aphria retains the option to repurchase the shares or any replacement securities from the buyers for a period of up to five years,

“Given the current federal legal framework in the United States, we have made the strategic decision to divest our remaining US holdings at this time in order to permit us to focus on other … strategic opportunities in Canada,” said Vic Neufeld, Chief Executive Officer of Aphria. “We view this decision as only a temporary departure from investment in the U.S. cannabis industry until such time as U.S. federal cannabis laws are reformed,”

Aurora Cannabis pays off $200 million in debt with BMO

Aurora Cannabis has closed a $150 million term loan and a $50 million credit with the Bank of Montreal (BMO).

“We are incredibly proud to have successfully closed this historic debt facility supported by a premier Canadian bank, BMO, who understands our needs and potential. This is both a reflection of the rapidly maturing nature of the broader cannabis industry and strong validation of the economic potential of Aurora’s best-in-class, technologically advanced production facilities,” said Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora.

Included in the loan deal was the option to upsize the facility to $250 million total following the October 17 legalization date. 

BC prosecutor wants doctor’s testimony tossed out of court

A lawyer for the federal government is asking the BC Supreme Court to toss out the reports of three doctors and a criminologist she argues are either unqualified or biased in favour of medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver.

Andrea Gatti said the reports solicited by lawyers for dispensary operators should be tossed as Vancouver seeks an injunction to shut down the pot shops.

“Because each of these reports has at least two deficiencies, Canada says the entire reports should be found inadmissible,” Gatti said Wednesday.

Two of the three doctors practise exclusively in Ontario, and Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson suggested that may be an issue in the relevance of their opinions.

Gatti said the report of Dr. Carolina Landolt, a rheumatologist who operates a cannabis clinic in Toronto, makes overarching statements about patients despite her lack of expertise.

No decision has been made as of yet.

Back to Blog