The OCS Announces Forthcoming Same-day Delivery

The Ontario Cannabis Store, Ontario’s online (and currently only) legal recreational cannabis retailer, has announced its intention to get cannabis to consumers more quickly and efficiently—and has started seeking bids from couriers to take on the task. Right now, the online portal of the Ontario Cannabis Store is the only option for the legal purchase of recreational marijuana in the province. Delivery is only via Canada Post, coming no sooner than the next business day.

Supply Issue Improvements in Alberta

Alberta will issue 10 new cannabis store licenses after reporting a “modest improvement in supply over the last few weeks.” Unlike the highly criticized lottery system in Ontario, the additional Alberta licenses will be issued to the first 10 applicants that have met all licensing conditions after the decision was made to stop issuing licenses. AGLC has maintained a queue of approved retailers on a first-in, first-out basis to ensure an equitable process is adhered to.

Excessive Packaging Could Make Legal Cannabis Edibles Harder to Swallow

Amidst a 60-day consultation process in response to Health Canada’s draft regulations on edibles and derivatives, many industry professionals are speaking up about the proposed guidelines for edibles packaging. The Edmonton Journal reports that some producers who want the federal government to relax that guideline say that the recent proposal to limit a legally maximum 10 mg dose of THC to a single package is wasteful and reflects negatively on a product rooted in environmental awareness.

“Most cannabis consumers care very much about the environment and we’ve already gotten a lot of flak from the public.” said Allan Rewak, executive director of the Cannabis Council of Canada which represents licensed producers. “You’re going to see plastic containers piled up outside stores with people putting edibles all in one container,” he adds. Although he appreciates that some of the packaging is meant to render legal cannabis child-proof, he does believe that more of the 10-mg dose should be allowed in each package.

Even the smallest quantity of legal cannabis packaging is often multi-layered, involving paper, cardboard and different forms of plastic. Awareness of wasteful packaging has even been exploited by black market dealers, including one in Calgary who sells his product in glass mason jars that can be refilled or recycled.

A spokeswoman for Health Canada said since that consultation is still ongoing, it’s too early to say how the government might respond to the industry’s concerns. The consultation process ends on February 20th.

Promising Numbers in the Bay State

Reports are in that recreational cannabis shops in Massachusetts have racked up nearly US$124 million in sales since the initial stores opened two months ago. To date, only eight recreational retailers have begun full sales. The state has already issued 100 licenses to retailers, growers, edibles makers, and testing labs in the state.

Football great, Joe Montana gets in the Cannabis Game

Last week, it was announced that the former San Francisco 49ers star Joe Montana was part of a US$75 million investment in San Jose, California-based Caliva. Montana said his venture capital firm was investing in an industry he believes “can provide relief to many people and can make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction.”

Caliva said it will use the investment to grow a company that includes a farm, a retail store, distribution center, and delivery service. It distributes its branded products in dozens of other retail outlets in the state.

Europe is Expected to be the World’s Largest Medical Cannabis Market

Europe’s three largest medical cannabis markets could double in size in 2019, making this a “transformative” year for the European market, according to a new report out of the UK. Marijuana Business Daily reports that Europe is seeing a fast-paced wave of regulatory and legislative changes, making European countries to become the world’s largest federally regulated medical cannabis market over the next five years.

Israel Approves Cannabis Exports

The Israeli cabinet has approved medical cannabis exports, opening up a new market for producers. The move is expected to lead to increased investment in agriculture, research, and production, and to create new jobs. Early estimates suggest that the exports could bring in as much as US$273 million a year in tax revenue for Israel.