How can competition improve in Canada’s cannabis industry?
According to Competition Bureau Canada, an independent agency, there are three core recommendations, which they shared with Health Canada last week.
“Review the cannabis licensing process and related regulatory compliance costs to ensure policies are minimally intrusive to competition, where possible.
Review and consider adjusting THC limits on edible cannabis products, as appropriate, to allow legal cannabis producers to meet consumer demand and better compete with the illicit market.
Review and consider easing restrictions on cannabis promotion, packaging and labelling, as appropriate, to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions and to provide cannabis producers with more flexibility to compete and innovate.”
Late last year, Health Canada launched its review of the country’s adult use cannabis legalization rollout so far, and the Bureau’s paper was submitted as part of the review.
Another cannabis and veterans bill in Congress.
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks has introduced H.R.3584, the Veterans Cannabis Analysis, Research, and Effectiveness Act (Veterans CARE Act), which would “direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to conduct and support research on the efficacy and safety of medicinal cannabis, and for other purposes.”
Miller-Meeks introduced the bill last session, and it gained little traction.
The bill joins a handful of other veteran-focused bills introduced this session, as Cannabis Wire recently reported.
U.S. Rep. Huffman reintroduces bill to rehabilitate land harmed by illegal cultivation.
Rep. Jared Huffman’s bill, the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act, is part of a three-bill package in the House and Senate that is largely focused on the environment.
However, Huffman’s piece of the pie is the one that directly addresses cannabis.
It would establish a California Public Land Remediation Partnership to “support coordination of activities among Federal, State, Tribal, and local authorities and the private sector in the remediation of priority land in the State affected by illegal marijuana cultivation or another illegal activity.”
The Partnership would also be required to “support research and education on the impacts of, and solutions to, illegal marijuana cultivation and other illegal activities on priority land in the State.”
Illinois budget deal includes $40 million for cannabis loans.
Gov. JB Pritzker and lawmakers’ deal on the 2024 budget includes the expansion of a cannabis loan program, which Pritzker called for in his proposed budget.
Last year, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity created a Social Equity Cannabis Loan Program and made available $8.75 million in forgivable loans.
The 2024 budget would expand the program, with a $40 million allocation.
As Cannabis Wire recently reported in our newsletter, these loan programs are slowly becoming more common. Colorado recently announced a similar, albeit much smaller, program, and Connecticut has made a loan fund available, too.