Another week over. Time to recap on what we learned and what entertained us over the past few days!
WEEDS was back in the news this week but for very, very good reasons. Sechelt council has endorsed four applications for non-medical cannabis retail licences, including one for Weeds Glass and Gifts at 5536 Wharf Ave. Sechelt Council received many – generally positive – responses from the public regarding the applications for all of the stores. Most of the responses in support specifically mentioned WEEDS – first to start selling cannabis through a storefront shop in Sechelt more than four years ago. It obviously brings a smile to our hearts to hear that and we cannot wait to reopen our doors to our friends on the Sunshine Coast and switch the neon lights on again!
For the first time since February, monthly legal cannabis sales have decreased rather than increase. After reaching an all-time high in August, sales fell again in September. However, the data may be reflecting a cut in prices and not a drop in overall sales. Legal cannabis prices have been dropping in recent months and some retailers have slashed prices on products that weren’t moving, including the Ontario Cannabis Store, which has cut prices on oil from $80+ to $20+. These sales numbers arrive the same week that saw some of the country’s largest producers post massive losses amid a flood of product returns and tonnes of excess inventory. Canopy Growth reported an eye-watering $30 million in product returns in its latest quarter. This was largely due to certain products — oils and soft-gel capsules — that weren’t selling well on the recreational market. Some would say (the black market would say) that this is the price for not listening to existing consumers early on in the legalisation process, instead giving more heed to speculators, investors and others unfamiliar with what Canadian cannabis consumers want.
At a news conference this week, Premier Doug Ford confirmed that Ontario’s cannabis retail system will be expanded in the new year as more stores will be opened to increase competition and combat the black market. The existing lottery system in Ontario has been heavily criticised, with many blaming the lottery for the slow roll-out of stores in the province. Provincial officials have proposed moving to an “open allocation” system for issuing licences next year. This would allow potential dispensary owners to simply apply online and pass a series of background checks to start selling legal cannabis. A decision is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
New evidence from Michigan State University suggests that those who smoke cannabis weigh less than adults who don’t. The findings are contrary to the common belief that marijuana will ultimately gain more weight due to the munchies. The study looked at 33,000 adults (18+) over the course of three years to obtain the data. Researchers didn’t offer an explanation why, instead saying : “It could be something that’s more behavioral like someone becoming more conscious of their food intake as they worry about the munchies after cannabis use and gaining weight. Or it could be the cannabis use itself, which can modify how certain cells, or receptors, respond in the body and can ultimately affect weight gain. More research needs to be done.” Unfortunately, legal barriers still remain an obstacle for many researchers – even in areas where cannabis has been legalised or decriminalised. This fact was noted by researchers this week who posit that “in both Canada and the US, funding is insufficient to support research beyond the historical focus on misuse and drug pathology. Such barriers are often found in laws or regulations, but they are rooted in persistent political and professional biases about the value of cannabis research. Just as the stigma surrounding cannabis use remains among the public, so, too, does the stigma associated with cannabis research persist within universities and governments”.