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Canopy Growth’s board transformation is complete.
And then there were none. And by none we mean none of the pre-Constellation board members at Canopy Growth. Ever since the alcohol giant invested $4 billion into the Canadian cannabis company, one of the largest in the world, one-by-one the original Canopy executives and board members have been replaced. The one that made the headlines was the ouster last year of Canopy co-founder and CEO Bruce Linton. He was subsequently replaced by David Klein, who stepped in, unsurprisingly, from Constellation.
Yesterday, Canopy announced that John Bell and Peter Stringham, the last two remaining pre-Constellation board members, would “retire” from the board. They will be replaced by Terry Yanofsky, a former SVP at Sephora Canada, and David Lazzarato, a former executive at Bell Canada.
This means that today, only one executive or board member that was with Canopy in September 2018 is still there today: Phil Shaer, the chief legal officer.
And the number of executives or board members today that have that Constellation connection? Seven.
Los Angeles audit says the licensing process was fair.
As one of the most populous cities in the US with one of the oldest cannabis industries, it is no surprise that cannabis licensing in Los Angeles has become contentious.
Late last year, the Department of Cannabis Regulation (DCR) opened its Phase III Round 1 licensing process, which was focused on equity applicants. After some applicants were able to access the online portal early, those who did not make the cut cried foul. In November, the Mayor’s office called for an independent, third-party audit, “in response to concerns raised by applicants and other members of the public about the fairness” of the process.
In short, while the auditor “found that errors in the DCR process allowed certain applicants early access to the application system,” they also “determined that the DCR’s ‘normalization process’ was a reasonable way to address the errors.” Further, they found that DCR acted “in good faith, and that there was no evidence of bias or unfairness.”
The city administrative officer, Richard Llewellyn, Jr., wrote that his office recommends that DCR “should be directed to complete the processing of Phase III Round 1 license applications and commence the necessary work required to conduct the Phase III Round 2 licensing process later this fiscal year.”
This will be music to the ears of at least some of those who have showed up month after month to cannabis meetings with regulators and shared the hardships and conflicts they’ve endured while waiting, from landlords to business partners.
Read the full audit here.
Report examines barriers to medical cannabis in Australia.
Australia’s Senate Community Affairs References Committee published a report in March that examines “Current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis in Australia.”
The committee was tasked last November to look into issues including “the delays in accessing medicinal cannabis products,” “the financial barriers to accessing medicinal cannabis treatment,” “the unregulated supply of medicinal cannabis and its impacts,” and “the impacts of current barriers on the wellbeing of patients,” among others.
The committee held a public hearing at the end of January, and also received 146 public comments.
The report, which you can read in full here, makes twenty recommendations. Among them:
• “compassionate pricing models for patients facing significant financial hardship in accessing medicinal cannabis products to treat their health conditions”
• “that the Therapeutic Goods Administration, as a matter of priority, conduct broad public consultation on the future scheduling of cannabidiol and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids” and “that, as soon as practicable after a safety review and public consultation process is completed, the Department of Health make any appropriate application to the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling in relation to the down-scheduling or de-scheduling of cannabidiol and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids”
• “further harmonisation of Commonwealth, state and territory legislation to ensure that there are appropriate, clear and consistent regulatory pathways for accessing medicinal cannabis in [Australia] into the future”
Canada says medical cannabis is essential.
In recent days, provinces have one-by-one made their positions on cannabis known when it comes to deciding which services and businesses are essential. Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario, for example, declared cannabis essential while Prince Edward Island determined that its province-run adult use cannabis shops would close “until further notice.”
This week, Canada’s federal government declared that “cannabis for medical purposes” is essential.