As the week closes we are less than 20 days away from legalization and both corporations, the government, and the public are preparing for the massive change in both law and culture. To keep you up-to-date The ‘Bis collects the best news reporting from around the country into our news round up below.
Here is The ‘Bis weekly news update for September 22 to 28, 2018.
Ontario’s conservative government has introduced legislation that will control both the licensing and regulation of the province’s recreational cannabis sales.
The province says the bill will also allow those over the age of 19 to smoke cannabis wherever the use of tobacco is permitted. This is a massive shift from that of the recently deposed Liberals.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will assume the role of regulator for recreational pot.
The agency would have the power to grant licences as well as enforce provincial rules on cannabis sales.
The province said yesterday that anyone looking to open a pot shop will have to apply for both a retail-operator licence and a retail store authorization for each potential location, according to the CBC.
The bill would create a government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. to handle online cannabis sales, with a private retail model scheduled to be in place by next April.
A new study is showing the attitudes of the public when it comes to scoring their herb. Researchers found that people are likely to prefer buying the drug legally, over the black market.
Two studies, surveying hundreds of self-described cannabis users in Ontario and the US, in states where the drug has been legalized, was conducted by Michael Amlung, a psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences assistant professor from McMaster University.
“There is a clear preference in legal cannabis,” he said to the Toronto Star.
Amlung’s research found that prices around $10 to $12 per gram is the ideal purchasing price and one that aligns with black market pricing.
According to the CBC, at least seven Canadian cannabis producers have been quietly expanding to Colombia.
Collectively they have invested more than $100 million in the country and see it as a new potential frontier in the legal marijuana business.
“We understand the pain of the war on drugs. That war was here,” said Bibiana Rojas, managing director of Spectrum Cannabis Colombia.
The company will be investing $60 million in greenhouses, production facilities and research in Colombia in the next few years, Rojas said in an interview with the Canadian broadcaster from Bogota.
“For me, cannabis is a piece of hope,” she said.
Seven Leaf of Akwesasne, Ontario has become Canada’s first Indigenous owned and operated producer of medical cannabis licensed by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations.
“Seven Leaf has the potential to create a new economy on Akwesasne which in turn will impact the broader Akwesasne economy with new jobs and contracting opportunities,” said Lewis Mitchell, President of Seven Leaf.
The company already is employing many local people in the construction trades. At operating capacity, Seven Leaf expects to hire 75 people. It will complete its next phase of hiring within six months.
According to Mitchell, “Seven Leaf can offer steady employment for a range of work that makes it attractive for our high school and college graduates. We expect to have many jobs over the next year – from maintenance to growers to senior staff and everything in between.”
The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has shared in the celebration of the licensing of Seven Leaf.
“We look forward to the positive contribution Seven Leaf will have on Akwesasne’s economy and look forward to advancing our working relationship with Health Canada to ensure our common objectives are achieved,” said Abram Benedict, Grand Chief, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne
Boardwalk Rental Communities, a corporation that has over 5,500 units in Calgary and 22,000 across Alberta including Red Deer says it is in the process of changing leasing agreements that will prevent anyone who rents from them from smoking pot.
David McIlveen, director of community development with Boardwalk, says the company decided to prohibit cannabis primarily for safety reasons connected to the cultivation of the drug, but it also took into account reasonable enjoyment by residents.
“Our buildings are not made to cultivate large plants that require quite a lot of moisture and have been known to produce mold which impacts the safety of our residents.”
He adds that they aren’t going to be treating cannabis the same way as tobacco, because they are two different substances.
“It’s apples and oranges. They’re not related. Another thing to note is that when all of our residents moved in, there was no prohibition against smoking cigarettes and we didn’t institute a rule within the properties that we own that there would be no smoking which would be our prerogative.”