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California: cannabis smoke and THC “cause reproductive toxicity.”
The state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has a Science Advisory Board, and within that is a Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee that determines “whether a chemical has been clearly shown to cause reproductive toxicity.” This committee met last week to decide about both cannabis smoke and THC.
After weeks spent reviewing the evidence (you can check out their doc here), the OEHHA tweeted that the committee “has voted to add cannabis smoke and THC to the list of substances known to cause developmental toxicity.”
It remains to be seen how exactly this factors into product packaging and other regulations for the industry.
A snapshot of Canada’s first year of adult use cannabis sales.
Statistics Canada, a government entity that monitors cannabis and other industries by the numbers, has summed up the year: Canadians bought C$908 million worth of cannabis, both online and in 400 storefronts. Online sales made up 13%.
Top provinces for sales have been: Ontario, C$217 million; Alberta, C$196 million; and Quebec C$195 million.
Sales per capita was lowest in British Columbia ($10) and highest in Yukon (C$103).
Private vs public models vary, with Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, and Quebec allowing only public (government) sales, while Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta allow only private. B.C., Yukon, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador have mixed models.
And, finally, 45% of Canadians live no more than 10 km from a cannabis storefront.
If you’re a data wonk, there is so much more to dig into here.
Two wins for Tilray.
The company announced last week that Tilray Portugal received the GMP certification necessary to export medical cannabis products like oils, which the company says it plans to do to Germany and other European countries. Tilray Portugal already had one GMP certification but it only applied to “starting materials” and not “pharmaceutical-grade dried flower and oils as finished medical cannabis products.”
Also, the first beverage product by Fluent Beverages, which is a joint venture of Tilray and AB InBev (the parent company of Anheuser-Busch), was released. And it’s a 98% CBD tea called Everie.
Canada’s most populous province lifts its license cap.
Until now, the only way to get a retail license in Ontario was to enter a lottery. And there was a cap on the number of licenses allocated. This limit, Canada’s cannabis companies have said, has diminished their revenue from the first year of legal adult use sales in the country. But that’s about to change. The province announced last week that, starting in January, they will be accepting good old fashioned applications, and expect to authorize about 20 retailers per month starting in April.
Attorney General Doug Downey said in a statement, “In response to the federal government’s decision to legalize cannabis, our government is determined to open the cannabis market as responsibly as possible,” adding, “We have said all along that opening more legal stores is the most effective way to combat the illicit market, protect our kids and keep our communities safe. That is our number one priority.”
California’s enforcement whack-a-mole continues.
On Friday, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit announced that it had served search warrants regarding 24 unlicensed shops in Los Angeles. Throughout the week, “$8.8 million in cannabis and cannabis products” were seized, in addition to nearly 10,000 vape pens and more than $120,000 in cash.
The state is still struggling with its thriving, decades-old illegal cannabis market, even though regulated sales began last year. But enforcement efforts are ramping up, especially as licensed and legal operators become more vocal about their struggle to compete. Part of the difficulty in enforcement is due to a patchwork of local laws, with most jurisdictions banning legal sales, and multiple entities tasked with different aspects of regulation.
Lori Ajax, the head of the BCC, praised the enforcement collaboration as “a huge success,” adding that the Bureau staff “look forward to working with local jurisdictions and law enforcement as we continue to shut down unlicensed operators in the illicit cannabis market.”
Canada’s medical cannabis flower sales have fallen since adult use legalization.
New government data is out that breaks down medical cannabis sales across the country and its provinces, and one number in particular sticks out: September sales of dried cannabis were 1,215 kilograms, compared to 1,779 at the start of the year and a peak of 2,129 in April.
Oil sales are holding mostly steady: the year started at 5,012 litres and was 4,882 in September.
Plants are also way down, starting the year at 819 plants and falling to 104 in September.
Adult use cannabis sales went live last October. You can dig deeper into the data here.
How state ag departments are handling hemp.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has released a short report on hemp. Some highlights from a survey of the Association’s members (they note that the “data is not representative of all 54 states and territories, and information continues to be collected as of December 2019″):
•70%: states that will submit a hemp plan to the USDA after reviewing its hemp rule on domestic cultivation, published in October (check out Cannabis Wire’s coverage of the rule here).
•85%: states that will have to change their hemp laws to comply with the USDA’s rule.
•40%: states keeping electronic records.
Also, the Association’s Board of Directors has named hemp as a top priority for 2020, along with international trade, food safety, and labor.