The Bis Weekly Update December 28 to Jan 3

Welcome to the other side Canada. It’s 2019 and cannabis news isn’t taking a day off. There’s been a surprising amount of activity over the holidays and this week has been no exception. 

Keeping you up to date and in the loop with our first weekly news round-up of the year. 

Alberta Premier says province is ‘far ahead’

Rachel Notley said in a year-end interview with CTV Calgary that Alberta appears to be “well ahead of the rest of the country” when it comes to retail cannabis.

The province has struggled this year in numerous industries, including a public battle with neighbouring BC over pipeline access. However, cannabis seems to be one area that they are excelling.  

As of New Year’s Day, there were 65 licensed retailers in the province, according to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Corporation, which licenses brick-and-mortar stores.

That’s compared to 12 government-operated shops in Quebec, one in British Columbia (with a second expected to open this week), and zero in Ontario, where retail locations won’t be allowed until April. Ontario will allow up to 25 privately-run stores in its initial phase.

“We’re pleased that the AGLC has been so far ahead on this,” Notley said.

“We have more product and more access to the product in Alberta than in other parts of the country,” she added.

Legalization has gone relatively smoothly, according to the premier, with police facing fewer problems than expected.

“We’ve heard from some law enforcement officials that things have been a little bit less chaotic than they thought,” Notley said.

The top Canadian weed stocks of 2018

The year has been a literal roller coaster for the cannabis markets, as record shattering highs and investment, were quickly followed by a large and steady downturn in the sector. In spite of this acquisitions and growth is top of mind for those at the helm of these companies.

Small Cap Power, a site for that calls itself the “industry’s leading and most trusted source for small-cap stock coverage, research, and analysis,” has released a list of the top performing cannabis stocks of 2018. 

The results are more than interesting: 

This company accesses the medical cannabis market through its subsidiaries. These include Solace Health, a licensed producer of medical cannabis, TerraHealth Network, a clinical support and educational platform, and SolaceRx, delivering innovative and specialized pharmaceutical products for healthcare professionals with the goal of addressing unmet medical needs.

No surprises here. Even with the recent downturn is stock prices Canopy Growth is still the country’s largest LP. To position itself in Canada’s recreational market, the Company has secured agreements with the Provinces of Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland & Labrador to supply the adult consumer market with cannabis. 

A health and wellness products company that operates to extract, purify, and formulate science-based nutritional products. In Sherbrooke, Quebec, the Company is focusing on the extraction and purification of cannabis oil for sale in the recreational cannabis market.

The year began strong for cannabis stocks, following a strong rally that began in the fall of 2017. However, a stock market correction saw significant declines in cannabis stocks, along with other major indices in mid-January. Cannabis stocks saw another rally following the passage of Bill C-45 in June 2018

A major catalyst was Constellation’s $5 billion investment in Canopy Growth Corporation in August. This rally lasted right up until legalization on October 17, when a selloff began due to concerns of overvaluations and supply shortages. 

Seeds are now (legally) on sale in Ontario

Ontario’s only legal source for recreational pot has added a few new products to their selection, offering the province’s first legitimate source for cannabis seeds.

As of this morning, January 2, two different seed strains are available for purchase on the Ontario Cannabis Store website. Both are from Ontario-based licensed producer, Tweed, a company now owned by Canopy Growth.

The seeds come in one size only and are listed on the OCS are $60 for a packet of four.

While not much other information has been released, the seeds can be used to grow two Tweed brand strains.

Argyle: Argyle from Tweed is a greenhouse-grown indica-dominant strain. It has a balanced THC-to-CBD ratio and low to medium THC potency. Its dense, verdant green buds are accented by orange hairs.

Bakerstreet: Bakerstreet is another indica-dominant strain with very strong THC potency. Its dense, deep green buds are highlighted with orange-hued pistils and covered with trichomes, and its terpene profile gives it a juniper scent.

Unlike some plants with both male and female parts, cannabis is a dioecious plant, meaning that each plant has its own unique sex. There is no indication on the OCS or Tweed’s website that the seeds come with their sex determined — illegal mail order seeds will sometimes boast this service.

EVIO Canada’s Keystone Labs Ready for Cannabis Pesticide Contamination Testing

EVIO, a provider of cannabis testing and scientific research for the regulated cannabis industry, announced that their Keystone Labs is now accepting legal cannabis in the form of dry flower and oil extracts for pesticide testing.

Health Canada has released mandatory pesticide requirements to all standard cultivators and processors of cannabis. As of today, January 2, 2019, producers are required to submit product samples to independent third-party accredited laboratories for testing cannabis, where they are screened for the absence of 96 specific pesticide ingredients before it can be sold.

“Using state of the art Agilent technology, Keystone is ready to perform Health Canada’s required pesticide testing and deliver accurate data to producers,” said Keystone’s President and founder Jodi McDonald. 

Adding that, Keystone’s business advantages include competitive pricing, efficient deliverable times, and industry expertise that will surpass market demand.

EVIO Canada acquired 50% stake in Keystone Labs in May 2018.

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