Cannabis In The News: What Happened This Week?

Another week over. Time to recap on what we learned and what entertained us over the past few days!

Canada:

Ontario To Expand Retail Cannabis Market In 2020

The Province of Ontario announced this week that they are to scrap the much criticised cannabis retail lottery, which will likely lead to the rapid expansion of a much bigger network of cannabis stores in the province next year. The province is expected to be ready to start receiving applications as early as January 6th 2020 with store approvals announced starting April. The new proposals will also allow for an increase in the maximum number of stores a single retailer can operate, starting in September of 2020. The news comes as it was announced that Ontario sold the most cannabis in first year of legalization, despite having such a low store count. Ontario accounted for $217 million in recreational cannabis sales — or 24 per cent of the overall Canadian market — from October 2018 to September 2019, followed by Alberta and Quebec, which sold $196 million and $195 million worth, respectively. British Columbia - famed for its glorious BC Bud - had the lowest per capita sales of any province or territory, further proof that the black market still thrives in B.C!

Doubt Cast On Zero-Tolerance Limits For THC

People using a driving simulator showed no signs of impairment a day after they smoked cannabis although they still tested positive for THC, according to research by the Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The study shows that like alcohol, cannabis impairment disappears within a day of consumption at most, if not much earlier. The research may have implications for laws and rules that require no trace of THC. For example, drivers in Saskatchewan who test positive for THC face a 60-day licence suspension, a three-day vehicle seizure and four demerit points. Hopefully we will see some of these laws changed over the coming months, especially with police in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s largest city, confirming they’ve “experienced fewer issues than were expected” during the first year of legalisation, noting that just eight of 292 driving while impaired violations from October 17, 2018 to Oct. 17, 2019 were related to cannabis use. Absolutely no harm in being cautious but it is nice to see law enforcement catching up with the facts behind cannabis!

University of Alberta To Study Cannabis

Canadian cannabis producer Atlas Biotechnologies has awarded a $300,000 grant to University of Alberta researchers to study cannabis as a potential therapy for MS, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease. Medicinal cannabis is regularly prescribed as treatment for these conditions but no one really knows why cannabis is such an effective treatment for these conditions. The announcement comes a few weeks after a group of researchers wrote an open letter criticizing the lack of funding for cannabis research in both Canada and the US and how professional biases about the value of cannabis research prevent large scale studies from taking place.

Abroad:

Star Wars has dominated popular culture for the past four decades but lately the world is on fire for The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Since the original movie came out 40 years ago, there have been many strains named in honour of the movie but some names have been modified down through the years due to scrutiny from Star Wars owners Lucasfilm and Disney, both known for taking action against trademark infringement. There will surely be a weed strain named after the super-cute B.Y. someday soon but for now, an American writer has compiled a list of the most prominent and best known “Star Wars” strains available today. That’s our round up for this week. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for daily cannabis news and information!

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