Kingston Dispensary’s “experiential hub” could make them Ahead by a Century

The Tragically Hip-backed cannabis producer, Up Cannabis plans to have an “experiential hub” inside one of Ontario’s first legal recreational weed stores located in the band’s hometown of Kingston. The cannabis company says its “store within a store” will be in a shop operated by Spirit Leaf Inc., which has signed an agreement with one of the lottery winners selected to apply for the initial 25 retail licenses in Ontario. The retailer already has Spirit Leaf stores in Alberta and Saskatchewan and plans to open its first Ontario location in the heart of Kingston on April 1, when private cannabis retail shops are set to open across the province.

Stats Canada reports 15% of Canadians have used cannabis since Legalization

Despite being legal in Canada for nearly four months, cannabis usage among Canadians doesn't seem to have much changed, according to Statistics Canada. Figures released this week from Canada’s national statistics agency show about 4.6 million people, or 15 percent of Canadians over age 15 reported using cannabis in the last three months. Statistics Canada expects nearly one in every five Canadians, or 19 percent, to use cannabis in the next three months.

Black Market will control 71% of Cannabis Sales in 2019

Recent research from Scotiabank analysts estimates that the black market will control 71% of cannabis sales in Canada in 2019. They note that the lack of consistent supply in legal cannabis shops across the country has been a major market stimulator for the black market – which is not plagued by the same regulatory restrictions, taxes and licensing fees as the legal industry, and can, therefore, offer consumers a more consistent supply at a considerably cheaper price.

West Coast Rec Brand Choom takes a stake in Ontario Retail Store

Vancouver based Rec Brand Choom has entered into a letter of intent agreement with one of the 25 Cannabis Retail lottery winners to open a location in Ontario. Chris Bogart, President, and CEO of Choom explains their excitement: "Being able to get an early start to establish Choom's presence in the private retail market in Ontario through an agreement with a lottery winner is a remarkable milestone for Choom. We are thrilled that the lottery winner chose Choom to help them successfully open and operate a retail cannabis store in Ontario."

Legal Cannabis Sales Top $6 Billion in Colorado

By the end of 2018, Colorado’s legal cannabis market hit US$6 billion in combined recreational and medical sales since the adult-use market launched on New Year’s Day in 2014. Since 2016, however, recreational sales have continued to climb, while medical sales have taken a serious dip. In 2018, there was a 6.5% drop in medical cannabis sales, as sales decreased from US$445 million to US$416 million. Recreational cannabis, meanwhile in 2018, saw an 11% increase from 2017 to 2018, from just over US$1 billion to US$1.2 billion.

EU votes to Advance Medical Cannabis

The European Parliament voted Wednesday to move a resolution that would help advance medical cannabis forward within its 28 member states to address barriers to medical studies, identify research priorities and improve access to cannabis-based medicines, according to Marijuana Moment. The vote is more of a symbolic development that could usher in new funding and research at the EU level to develop regulatory and research models for medical cannabis. The vote comes on the heels of reports the World Health Organization will look to recommend striking it from its list of drugs it deems the most dangerous.

CBD oil Setback in Europe

Europe’s booming CBD market is at risk of going bust after food officials recategorized cannabidiol as a novel food, effectively outlawing its sale across the union. The European Food Safety Authority said the substance must undergo further testing before it is approved, a process which could take two years. The EU Novel Food catalog now lists CBD as an unauthorized Novel Food, stating: “Cannabis sativa, extracts of cannabis sativa, and derived products containing cannabinoids are considered novel foods as a history of consumption has not been demonstrated. This applies to both the extracts themselves and any products to which they are added as an ingredient.

Khiron announces $25 million deal

Khiron Life Sciences announced Wednesday that it has entered into a $25 million bought deal financing with Canaccord Genuity Corp. and BMO Capital Markets as co-lead underwriters and joint bookrunners. The deal marks the first non-Canadian cannabis deal that a Schedule 1 bank has been involved with. Khiron’s core operations are in Colombia and is fully licensed to export medical-grade cannabis internationally.