The ‘Bis weekly news update – September 8 to 14, 2018

Another week closer to legalization means another weeks worth of news. Various governments and officials have been very vocal about pot the past seven days, including Justin Trudeau.

Stay in the know with that changing landscape of Canada and cannabis with The Bis.

Trudeau warns Canadians about travelling while stoned

A few edibles might just be the best way to chase away a hang over during a flight. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has advised Canadians against it.

Trudeau made the comment during a radio interview on CBC Manitoba hours before a visit to Winnipeg.

A caller wanted to know what he would say to a U.S. border guard if he was asked if he had ever tried cannabis.

The recreational use of marijuana in Canada officially becomes legal on Oct. 17, and the prime minister says his government is working with the American officials to ensure that travel to the U.S. does not become a problem as a result of the change.

“I’ve never lied to a border guard,” Trudeau told the CBC on Tuesday, while also noting that every country has the right to decide who crosses their borders.

“I certainly won’t work to assume or impress upon the U.S. who they have to let in or not. They have legalized marijuana in a number of their states and we’re trying to make sure that travel between our two countries is not disrupted.”

But Trudeau also said it’s important to remember that cannabis is being legalized to protect children and vunerable communities.

“It’s not a health food supplement. Choosing to partake of marijuana has consequences for individuals, for lives in different ways, and we’re not encouraging that.”

Cannabis-only mutual fund advises investors to get ready for major lows come legalization

The manager of the first Canadian mutual fund focused specifically on cannabis is cautioning investors ahead of legalization.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a steep, sharp pullback, which will scare all the people that got in late, have a little bit of consolidation and then we start the next phase up,” said Bruce Campbell, founder of StoneCastle Investment Management Inc., to the Financial Post.

His company has launched the StoneCastle Cannabis Growth Fund on Friday, a month before Canada legalizes recreational weed. The actively managed fund will use technical analysis to track momentum in the sector. It will invest in cultivators as well as ancillary businesses such as retailers, delivery and testing systems and real estate.

Medical marijuana users may seek ‘alternative’ sources in event of Canada Post work stoppage

Canada’s largest producer of medical cannabis says a work stoppage at Canada Post could leave many of its customers without their medicine.

In an article in the Globe & Mail, Jordan Sinclair, vice president of communications expressed his fear this could lead to patients using unregulated, black market sources of cannabis to fill their prescriptions.

“What ends up happening is that people either go without their medicine or they find an alternative source,” said Sinclair.

“Those are the choices people have. There is no other legal means of getting cannabis in Canada, aside from through the mail.”

The company has written to Canada Post and federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor as it prepares contingency plans for a possible strike or lockout.

“The message that we have to Canada Post and to the health minister is that this is an essential service,” said Sinclair.

“It is essential for people to get their medicine and if the only route is through the mail, then that has to be taken into consideration.”

Canadian cannabis industry workers could face legal consequences when crossing into the US

Canadians who work in the cannabis industry, investors and -yikes- even those invlved in cannabis media, will face significant risks when crossing the U.S. border even after the drug becomes legal in Canada next month, according to comments by a senior official overseeing U.S border operations.

A lifetime ban on entering the U.S. will apply to travellers who admit to using marijuana, employees in the marijuana industry, and investors in the marijuana sector, said the official.

“We don’t recognize that as a legal business,” Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations at CBP, told POLITICO.

Owen said U.S. Customs and Border Protection will apply existing laws against admitting drug users and drug traffickers into the United States. Among the details he laid out:

Canadians caught crossing the border with marijuana in their car will face prosecution or a fine of USD$5,000.

Calgary says no to public cannabis consumption sites

The City of Calgary has been considering placing four public cannabis consumption sites around the region. They opened up the idea to the public through a consultation process and the results were a resounding no.

A September 12 release stated that the city was withdrawing the proposal, citing negative public feedback as one of the main factors in the decision.

“The intention in providing these public consumption areas was to ensure that everybody would have a safe, legal place to consume if they choose to,” said Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra in the release.

“Amidst the support and significant opposition to these proposed cannabis consumption areas, the argument that resonates with me is that only a couple of sites in a city this size does not meet the test of being broadly accessible and would lead to foreseeable challenges.

“Ogden, Bridgeland-Riverside, and Inglewood are at the forefront of the transformation Calgary is undertaking into a city of great neighbourhoods, and this is too much to ask of only them.”

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