This week in Cannabis: Some Ontario cannabis stores cut their retail hours, Alberta lifts its ban on retail licensing, Health Canada lets provinces decide about nursery seed sales, a Vancouver park remains a site of contentious debate, and cannabis research and programming sees millions more in funding nationwide.
We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada
At least two legal cannabis store in Ontario have cut their operating hours due to the national cannabis supply shortage, limiting product availability across the country.
Steven Fry, owner at Hamilton’s Canna Cabana, told CBC that he has been selling out of product consistently. Currently, lawful stores are receiving a maximum of 25 kilograms of packaged product per week, which has forced at least two Ontario retailers to cut back on their store hours.
Amid that aforementioned national cannabis shortage, The Province of Alberta has lifted its moratorium on new cannabis store applications—something that has been in place for more than six months.
In November 2018, the province announced it would ban new applications for retail stores and pause all processing on existing applications in its queue.
“Due to a steady increase in AGLC’s cannabis supply, the moratorium on accepting new retail licence applications and issuing new retail licences has been lifted,” said the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission in a release.
Health Canada is putting the onus on the provinces, letting each provincial body decide about the sale of seeds and plants direct from nursery to consumer.
Nursery owners are eager to get the go ahead as the country experiences its first legal outdoor growing season, and similarly, above-board nurseries are eager to compete with illicit growers and sellers for a share of the country’s cannabis market.
420 supporters in Vancouver continue their heated debate with the Parks Board over Sunset Beach Park, the location of this year’s April 20 protest/celebration.
Park Board chair John Coupar is citing maintenance and cleanup for the months-long closure, where the grounds remain fenced off to the public.
Some believe, however, that the Board is keeping the park closed on purpose, “to irritate park-goers and shift the blame to 420 organizers.”
The federal government, through the Canadian Institute of Health Research, has earmarked nearly $25 million in funding for 26 new cannabis research projects and public awareness campaigns across the country.
“The work that is done here … is going to make the world a better, healthier and safer place,” said Bill Blair, former Toronto police-chief and current Organized Crime Reduction Minister.
“It makes us a leader in the world because the world is looking to Canada, [which] is now a place where research can take place.”
With files from Jesse B. Staniforth and Harrison Jordan
To Do List
HAMILTON, ON: See what one of Canada’s premiere cannabis exhibitions have to offer this weekend at HempFest’s Hamilton stop. Expect showcases from industry leaders spanning both the hemp and cannabis industries. The expo runs June 1 and 2 and tickets cost between $15 and $40. 19+.
VANCOUVER, BC: Who doesn’t want to wake and bake and hit up a Super Smash Bros. tournament with like-minded individuals? See if you can beat ‘em all with a Jigglypuff at High Score Lounge, a 420-friendly cafe in Vancouver. Doors open at noon for the June 1 N64 tournament, which will start an hour later. $5 cover, 19+, free coffee!
TORONTO,ON: Head down to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and hear what successful cannabis entrepreneurs and experts have to say about cannabis marketing, strategy, and branding in relation to the overarching regulatory framework that currently moderates the industry. Tickets run between $35 (early bird) and $55 for this event on June 5.