Hamilton, Ontario to Welcome High Tide

Alberta-based cannabis retailer High Tide announced last week that they have signed a letter of intent to assist a 2nd cannabis retail lottery winner. High Tide did not disclose the lottery winner but shared their plans to open a legal recreational cannabis store at a potential location in Hamilton.

Couche-Tard coming to Ontario in Partnership with Canopy Growth

Two Canadian industry giants are partnering up in a move that could shake up the Canadian pot retail industry. Canopy Growth is teaming up with Quebec retail giant Alimentation Couche-Tard to form a multi-year strategic partnership involving a new cannabis outlet set to open in London, Ont. Couche-Tard told Bloomberg news that the company intends to pursue cannabis store licenses across Canada when they become available. Those future stores may include Canopy Growth’s Tweed brand, but the company may also consider its own in-house stores, the spokesperson said.

Will it be Worth the Wait for Tasteless Cannabis Edibles?

If you are one of those who has enjoyed cannabis edibles, perhaps on the black market or in the U.S., the incoming wave of legal chewables and drinks may leave taste buds much to be desired. Many are abuzz about Canada’s proposed edible pot regulations, which could result in tasteless products wrapped in wasteful packaging. It could also shut out medical patients and fuel a continued black market which has not gone away in the early days of legalization. For now, much remains to be determined. Health Canada wrapped up public feedback on Wednesday for its draft regulations to minimize public health and safety risks posed by cannabis edibles, extracts, and topical products.

Meanwhile, Canopy Prepares Chocolates, Drinks, Vapes, and more

Despite potential imposed restrictions, Canopy Growth CEO says his company has big plans for their edibles and vape pen rollout. Bruce Linton told reporters that they are gearing up to release a wide range of cannabis-infused edibles and beverages when they become legal later this year, in a variety of offerings including non-caffeinated chocolate, five different kinds of beverages, and vape pens with new cartridge technology once Health Canada formally legalizes them. To prepare for anticipated demand, Canopy has secured several supply deals with MediPharm Labs and Valens GroWorks to obtain large amounts of cannabis oil, the critical ingredient needed to create edibles and vape pens.

Tilray buys hemp-food maker Manitoba Harvest for $419M

Tilray is acquiring the parent company of hemp-food maker Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million in a cash-and-stock deal as the Nanaimo, B.C.-based cannabis producer accelerates its entry into the North American CBD market. The deal will give Tilray ownership of a high-profile brand and one of the biggest hemp-food makers in the world while doubling down on its investment on the fast-moving U.S. CBD market. It also gives Tilray access to Manitoba Harvest’s retail network of 16,000 stores across North America that includes Costco, Amazon, and Wal-Mart.

Emerald Health’s Montreal Production Facility to Create 140 Jobs

Emerald Health Therapeutics says its’ expanded cannabis production facility is poised to create 140 jobs in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Eustache. The B.C. based company says it is nearing completion of a C$100 million upgrade to an indoor grow site. The production facility is set to include 23 growing rooms sprouting 200 strains of cannabis. The 140 jobs include planting, harvesting and packaging roles, as well as lab technicians, research and development scientists, and executive positions.

Aurora Moves Forward on Polaris Facility

Aurora Cannabis announced an update to its new facility expansion at the Edmonton International Airport. Aurora Polaris will be the company's production hub for higher-margin cannabis products such as edibles and other ingestibles. Construction of the facility is scheduled for completion in late 2019.

South Korea Medical Cannabis Law to go into effect in March

A groundbreaking law legalizing medical cannabis in South Korea that takes effect March 12 will pave the way for the first import of certain THC- and CBD-based medications. Although approved products will remain tightly restricted, the new law marks a significant milestone in the global industry and a turning point in how the drug is perceived in traditionally conservative societies.