News

Smoking Cannabis Not Associated With Impaired Lung Functioning
Smoking cannabis was not associated with impaired lung functioning for young adults in a new longitudinal study published in Respiratory Medicine. In contrast to another recent study suggesting that smoking cannabis is more likely to cause emphysema than smoking tobacco, researchers in this study found that smoking cannabis alone was not tied to reduced airflow or impaired lung functioning. Still limitations in both studies suggest that we still don’t have a clear picture of smoked cannabis’ effect on our lungs.
 
This new study, from researchers at University of Queensland in Australia, examined whether chronic cannabis smoking was associated with damaging effects on the lungs of young adults, specifically. “Cannabis use is increasingly legalized and use is becoming normalized.” Lead author Professor Jake Najman explains. “In this context, understanding more about the harms associated with long-term cannabis use is important.”
 
To investigate this, researchers followed a cohort of 1173 young adults from age 21 to age 30, testing their lung function using a spirometry assessment at the beginning and end of the 9 year period. Spirometry tests are commonly used to help diagnose lung conditions, like asthma and COPD, by measuring the amount of air someone can breathe out in one forced breath. This is done with a device called a spirometer, which has a mouthpiece the patient can breathe into.
 
Researchers also tracked whether the members of the cohort smoked cannabis, tobacco, both or nothing over the 9 years. This was done using questionnaires at age 21 and 30, when the lung function tests were performed. Afterwards researchers analyzed the data to see whether cannabis smoking over 9 years had reduced lung function.
 

The results showed the expected association between tobacco smokers and reduced airflow. Those who smoked cigarettes alone, or cigarettes with cannabis, had reductions in their airflow over the 9 year period. Cannabis did not add to these reductions, over and above what was already found for tobacco only smokers. But perhaps surprisingly, in light of the recent findings on cannabis and emphysema, smoking cannabis alone did not reduce airflow or seem to impact lung functioning. Even after 9 years of use, cannabis smoke exposure did not seem to impact the lungs.

The authors concluded that “cannabis does not appear to be related to lung function, even after years of use.” They also concluded that using cannabis with tobacco doesn’t seem to add any additional risk to the lungs, beyond the harms already associated with smoking tobacco.

This is in stark contrast to the recent study in the journal Radiology suggesting smoking cannabis is more likely to cause emphysema than tobacco. In that study, chest CT scans revealed higher levels of emphysema in smokers who used cannabis and tobacco together, than those who used tobacco only. It’s important to note, however, that the Radiology study was limited by the fact that it did not look at any smokers who used cannabis alone. Thus the results suggesting higher rates of emphysema should be understood as relevant to the use of cannabis and tobacco together – not necessarily cannabis alone. There may be combinatory effects from mixing these two substances that aren’t present with either one alone. This doesn’t mean we can rule out cannabis as a potential cause of emphysema, but it does mean we need more research to confirm that these results hold for those using cannabis only.

In contrast, the Respiratory Medicine study did study cannabis-only smokers, and found no differences in lung functioning from the non-smoking control group.

The study in Radiology also used a relatively small sample size of only 146 patients, which can be compared to the 1173 respondents in the study that found no effects on lung function from smoking cannabis. That said, it’s important to note some other differences between these two studies that could partly explain their seemingly conflicting results.

First, the study in Radiology was on mostly older individuals, who have had more time to damage their lungs. It’s very possible that cannabis users would show more noticeable damage after more years of smoking than the 9 year period studied here. This study does not rule that out, it just shows no evidence of harm in the first 9 years.

It’s also important to note that the study in Radiology used CT scans to diagnose lung problems, while the recent study in Respiratory Medicine used spirometry. Different tests can produce different results. And in fact, some researchers suggest that spirometry tests, in particular, can miss conditions like emphysema in their early stages. So it may simply be that the damage being done isn’t being picked up by this test – the way it might be with the CT scan.

Given these research limitations, the question is still open on whether smoking cannabis can cause lung impairment and damage the way that tobacco more clearly does. We need more studies looking at the impacts of heavy cannabis smoking alone, throughout someone’s lifespan, before we can really come to a strong scientific conclusion.

Forbes

Emily Earlenbaugh – Contributor
 
Emily covers cannabis’ intersection with science, culture, and wellness.
 

 

 
Magic Mushroom shops

The shop is one of three locations the company has in Ontario, and there are plans to expand further.

“We are operating a medical protest,” James, who would only give his first name as what he and the others who work at Shroomyz are doing is illegal, told CTV National News.

“We are here to give the public easier access than having to go to street dealers,” James said. “It’s a safer alternative.”

Magic mushroom dispensaries are popping up in cities across Canada, with customers ranging from those looking for treatment for depression or PTSD to people wanting to “micro-dose” a small amount of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms.

A Shroomyz locations was raided by Toronto police on Nov. 13, 2022, a couple of months after it opened. Two men were arrested and charged with drug and trafficking related offences. The store re-opened two days later.

“We all know the risk that’s here,” James said. “It’s all fighting for the cause, to legalize it.”

While the situation is in some ways reminiscent of when cannabis retailers set up shop before marijuana was legalized in 2018, Health Canada says there are no plans to legalize or decriminalize psilocybin products.

“Health Canada is aware of increasing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of psilocybin,” the federal agency wrote in a statement, adding “there are no approved therapeutic products containing magic mushrooms or psilocybin in Canada or elsewhere.”

While legislative and regulatory changes are not planned, there also appears to be little effort to stop people from opening dispensaries and selling products containing psilocybin.

It’s a frustrating situation for Thomas Hartle, who has Stage 4 cancer that’s terminal. In 2020, the Saskatoon man became the first person in Canada to legally gain access to psilocybin-assisted therapy to help deal with his end-of-life anxiety.

“I don’t really know when the end is going to come for me,” Hartle told CTV National News. “And there isn’t really anything I can do about that. The looming nature of that gives me really bad anxiety, as you might imagine.”

Hartle says traditional medication helped take “the peaks” off the anxiety, but they also numbed him to other emotions like joy and love, things he wants to experience with his family as much as possible. For him, psilocybin-assisted therapy helped ease his anxiety without compromising other emotions.

But his legal exemption for psilocybin expired more than a year ago, and Health Canada has not responded to his renewal application. As he waits for a legal way to obtain psilocybin he’s watching an illegal market grow.

“It seems a push in the wrong direction, to be encouraging Canadians to do something illegal,” he said.

Hartle and six others are taking the federal government to court, challenging the constitutionality of the current controlled substance status of psilocybin, calling it a roadblock to health care. Hartle says he could access doctor-assisted death in a matter of weeks, yet is being prevented from accessing a drug that could improve the life he wants to keep living.

“It has taken 400 or 500 days to try to get access to a therapy that will improve my quality of life,” he said.

Health Canada says the best way to access psilocybin is through a clinical trial, of which a number are being conducted. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto just began a three year clinical trial looking at whether psilocybin can be an effective treatment for mental health issues like depression without the psychedelic effect.

While other studies have shown some promising results, CAMH clinician scientist and psychiatrist Dr. Ishrat Husain says much more “robust science” is needed to determine the safety of psilocybin.

“I’m concerned about the increase in access to psilocybin and other psychedelics,” Dr. Husain told CTV National News. “We don’t know who it’s helpful for, who it’s safe to use in. And you often don’t know what you’re getting when you’re getting it from these dispensaries.”

Some argue legalizing psilocybin would lead to more regulation and a safer drug supply, pointing to the legalization of cannabis as a roadmap. But Dr. Husain says there are key differences, especially given the psychedelic nature of psilocybin.

“I don’t see it becoming a product that would be suitable for personal consumption,” he said. “My view is that it will be hopefully a treatment option because we definitely need more, but it will probably be delivered at places like CAMH with the proper support.”

But with thousands of Canadians experimenting with “micro-dosing,” the shops and websites supplying them magic mushrooms have no plans to stop.

“We are trying to give accessibility to the people who need it,” said James.


German Health Minister Confirms report.

Over the weekend a potentially significant report surfaced regarding cannabis legalization in Germany. To quickly recap how we got to where we are now, Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach presented an adult-use legalization plan to the federal cabinet back in October. Since that time, Lauterbach has lobbied the European Union for its permission to proceed with formally introducing the plan for consideration by German lawmakers. According to the report, Lauterbach is ‘certain’ that the European Union will grant its approval and that a formal introduction of the legalization measure will occur ‘in the first quarter of this year.’ Minister Lauterbach added, according to the report, that he ‘has no reason to doubt this schedule.’

Given that the better part of January 2023 is already in the history books, that means that if Minster Lauterbach’s schedule indeed proves to be accurate then Germany’s lawmakers could be considering a national adult-use legalization measure by the end of March (or sooner). Looking at it from a perspective beyond Germany’s borders, if Lauterbach is going to proceed with a formal introduction of a legalization measure with the EU’s blessing, then that logically means that other nations will presumably be able to do the same. If so, we could see the opening of the European legalization floodgates with other nations copying Germany’s model.

What Will Be Legalized In Germany?

The plan that Minister Lauterbach presented to the federal cabinet in Germany back in October was not the first version of the plan. In the days leading up to the formal presentation a reported previous version was leaked, and due to various provisions contained in the leaked plan, public outcry was swift. The outcry was largely directed at the initial possession limit (20 grams), an age-tiered THC percentage cap (10-15% depending on age), and the initial cultivation limit (2 plants).

What was ultimately presented to the federal cabinet involved somewhat vague language, in that the possession limit was raised to ’20-30 grams’ and that there would be ‘further examination’ as to whether there would at least be THC percentage caps for consumers 18-20 years old. The home cultivation limit was raised in the federal cabinet presentation compared to the leaked version of the plan, from 2 plants up to 3 plants per adult household.

One of the most significant components of the plan presented to the federal cabinet was the intention to launch a legal national adult-use cannabis industry in Germany. Right now, the only country that permits sales of non-THC capped cannabis products nationwide to anyone of legal age, including nonresidents, is Canada. Uruguay allows sales to residents, and Malta is in the process of setting up regulated non-profit clubs. No other country permits legal sales of non-THC capped cannabis products nationwide, and given how much larger Germany’s population, economy, and level of tourism is compared to Canada’s, the launch of a regulated national adult-use market in Germany will be a very big deal.

Limitations Of Germany’s Model

Germany’s legalization model is not perfect for various reasons, not the least of which is that it is yet to be approved, codified, and implemented. After all, politics can be full of twists and turns, and until a legalization measure becomes the law of the land in Germany there’s always the possibility that provisions could be changed and/or that the process itself could stall. We have already witnessed Lauterbach’s legalization plan evolve, and technically he has yet to reveal what, if any, changes were made as part of gaining approval from the European Union.

Part of the report that surfaced over the weekend described Minister Lauterbach as planning to present a ‘very good solution’ for German lawmakers to consider. Obviously, that is not the same as saying outright that the European Union didn’t demand any changes to Germany’s previously presented approach. If the changes are seen as regressive to some lawmakers in Germany, it’s virtually guaranteed that there will be pushback.

One huge limitation that seems to already be agreed upon by Minister Lauterbach and the EU is that all cannabis for Germany’s eventual adult-use market has to be produced domestically in order for Germany to be in compliance with treaties. While we will all have to wait and see how it plays out, I am of the opinion that supply shortages are going to be common due to this limitation. I have no doubt that German cultivators will do their best to produce as much cannabis as legally possible, however, they won’t just be supplying Germany. People from all over the world are going to flock to Germany to partake in the new freedoms. How great the demand for legal cannabis will be in Germany once sales are permitted is tough to say, but I think it’s a safe bet that it’s going to be enormous, and that may create issues.

Germany

indigenous cannabis producers

“Legalized Cannabis Market” research report focus on overall information that can help to take decisions on current market situation.

Legalized Cannabis Market Report Contains 2023: –

Women, minority execs show few gains in U.S. cannabis industry, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

An Indigenous-owned and -operated cannabis producer in British Columbia has its sights set on domestic and international expansion.

In an interview with MJBizDaily, All Nations executives said one of their big advantages is the company’s story.

“We’re giving people (consumers) all of the things they look for when they want to buy into something; it’s good product, has a good story, and consumers are ethically paying into something they know is going to help the economy and development,” said Stacey Duffy, the company’s director of retail.

CEO Darwin Douglas added that “we’ve focused on the production of quality cannabis. That’s our foundation. That’s our bedrock – to grow premium and ultra-premium cannabis.

“That’s the sweet spot – to be successful in business and also support positive social change in the communities where we work.”

All Nations, which is majority-owned by the Shxwhá:y Village Indigenous community near the city of Chilliwack, is one of a handful of licensed producers located on a reserve in Canada.

“Connecting people with Indigenous culture through our cannabis and products is a competitive advantage,” Douglas said.

“We’re also about connections, telling our story and the stories of Indigenous people,” Douglas said.

Shxwhá:y Village and the province recently entered a government-to-government agreement to support cannabis-related economic development under Section 119 of B.C.’s Cannabis Control and Licensing Act.

Douglas said the agreement allows the company to own eight stores and supply up to half the products on the shelves.

Soon, he wants to bring his Indigenous brand to the rest of the world.

“There’s not a lot of Indigenous businesses that are involved in international trade, so it’s new ground for us and we’re happy to be part of that work,” he said.

MJBizDaily spoke with Douglas, Duffy and All Nations Director of Cultivation Todd Scarlett about the company’s strategy, hurdles and opportunities.

What trends are you seeing in the Canadian industry?

Stacey Duffy

Stacey Duffy, director of retail: We’re finding a lot of people are wanting to learn more about the brands and products they’re consuming.

We’re starting to find that the consumer is coming in with a little bit more of a sophisticated concept of what they want.

Years ago, it was “give me the cheapest ounce.”

Now we’re seeing more people who are wanting better quality and want to know where products are coming from.

One of the trends we’re seeing is people wanting to understand more of who’s producing their product; who’s behind it; is it hang-dried, hand-trimmed.

One of the things we’re seeing is local “BC bud” is the best-moving product on our shelves.

  

How do international cannabis markets, so far very small, play into your strategy?

Darwin Douglas, CEO: We want to produce (medical) cannabis here on Indigenous lands and export it to countries around the world.

Right now, we’re in discussions with countries with (federally regulated) medical markets.

As new countries come online with legalization and regulation, we’ll be looking to those markets and where we can supply, and hopefully where we can have our Indigenous brand represented.

Why is Indigenous participation relatively low in Canada’s adult-use cannabis industry?

Douglas: Adequate and meaningful consultation (with Indigenous communities) did not take place when the legislation was rolled out.

We talk about “reconciliation,” but it hasn’t happened yet. There was an opportunity with the cannabis legislation, but it didn’t happen.

I think it goes back to the fundamental issues that still exist in our country related to the recognition of Indigenous inherent rights and title and treaty rights.

These have been continuously overlooked in many areas.

Do you have any advice for other businesses looking to follow in your footsteps? 

Douglas: For other Indigenous groups, come and talk to us. We’re happy to help, even if it’s advice and not in a consulting fashion.

Seeking advice from other producers who have gone through the process successfully is very important, because we’ve made some mistakes, been through the ups and downs, and we’re happy to share those experiences with other Indigenous groups.

Can you share any of those hurdles and how you overcame them? 

Douglas: There were big challenges in getting Shxwhá:y its Section 119 deal for retail with the province (of British Columbia). That was a long process. It took years.

My advice is, don’t give up. Keep working toward your vision. A lot of willpower, work and resources will make it happen.

Can you share any innovative ways you save money?

Todd Scarlett, director of cultivation: From a cultivation standpoint, what may be relevant to us compared to most other shops is we maintain our own mother (plants) and take all of our own cuttings.

We don’t do any out-of-house propagation.

You can’t not be efficient in this business. You won’t make it.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Matt Lamers can be reached at [email protected].

– “Legalized Cannabis Market” research report focus on overall information that can help to take decisions on current market situation.

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— “Legalized Cannabis Market” research report focus on overall information that can help to take decisions on current market situation.

Legalized Cannabis Market: –

  • Complete overview of the global Legalized Cannabis Market

  • The global Legalized Cannabis market size was valued at USD 23297.34 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11.97% during the forecast period, reaching USD 45922.43 million by 2028.

  • Top Country data and analysis for United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, China, Japan, Korea, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, etc. It also throws light on the progress of key regional Legalized Cannabis Markets such as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa

  • Description and analysis of Legalized Cannabis market potential by type, Deep Dive, disruption, application capacity, end use industry

  • impact evaluation of most important drivers and restraints, and dynamics of the global Legalized Cannabis Market and current trends in the enterprise

  • Detailed profiles of the Top major players in the industry, including. Canopy Growth Corporation,HEXO Corp,VIVO Cannabis Inc,Cannabis Science, Inc,Tikun Olam Ltd.,The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd,Medical Marijuana, Inc,OrganiGram Holding Inc,Aphria, Inc.,CV Sciences,Aurora Cannabis Inc,Cronos Group Inc.,Maricann Group, Inc,Stenocare A/S,Tilray, Inc.,Terra Tech Corp

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Canadian Cannabis Survey

The illegal market’s share continues to decline

Published Jan 14, 2023
 

The Government of Canada’s annual marijuana study has found that the adoption of legal products continues to grow.

The results of the 2022 Canadian Cannabis Survey were released last month. It found that a greater proportion of respondents reported a legal source as their usual source of cannabis compared to 2021, with legal storefronts being the most common source since 2019. A smaller proportion reported illegal storefronts and illegal online sources in 2022 compared to 2019.

The proportion of those who purchased cannabis in the past 12 months from a legal storefront did so 61% of the time, according to the survey, up from 53% in 2021. Only 2% said they purchased products from an illegal website, 1% from an illegal dispensary and 1% from a cannabis dealer.

An October survey conducted by Research Co. and Glacier Media found similar results. That survey found that 48% of respondents said they had purchased cannabis at a legal retailer, up from 38% in 2021. That survey also found that only 15% of respondents said they had not bought any cannabis from a legal retailer in the past year, down from 20% in 2021.
Canada legalized non-medical cannabis in October 2018. One of the primary objectives of the Cannabis Act is to remove the illegal market and provide a regulated cannabis market for consumers.

The Canadian Cannabis Survey has been conducted by Health Canada every year since 2017. Data for this 2022 edition was collected between April and June. Over 10,000 people responded anonymously.

The Government of Canada says it collects data to better understand how Canadians view and use cannabis.

They say results of the survey will be used to inform policy and program development, and help target public education and awareness activities. The data from the survey will also help inform the legislative review of the Cannabis Act, which is being led by an independent expert panel.
 

Some other interesting findings from the annual survey included:

– 12-month cannabis use among youth aged 16-19 has returned to pre-legalization levels after increasing between 2018 and 2020;

– The proportion of respondents smoking cannabis have continued to decline since 2018 while vapourizing cannabis using a vape pen has increased since 2021;

– Of those who used cannabis, driving after recent use decreased between 2018 and 2021 and remained unchanged in 2022;

– Cannabis users said they spent about $65 a month at legal dispensaries monthly;

– Smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis, followed by eating and vapourizing with a vape pen or e-cigarette.

The proportions of those reporting daily or near-daily cannabis use has been stable since 2018 as has the percentage of those classified at “high-risk” of developing problems from their cannabis use.

 

The move could open up Florida’s medical marijuana industry to new applicants for the first time since 2015.

Tampa Bay Times – News By

After the better part of a decade, the Florida Department of Health’s rules on how businesses can enter the state’s medical marijuana industry are finally here.

Sort of:

The Department of Health, which regulates the state’s multibillion-dollar medical marijuana industry, released two emergency rules on Monday that indicate, in broad strokes, the application process for companies seeking a medical marijuana treatment center license, which permits them to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana.

New Health Canada Regulations for Cannabis Industry

Health Canada has announced new changes to the cannabis regulations today, which include increased beverage possession limits.

December 9, 2022 –   Cannabis News

The changes announced today will also facilitate non-therapeutic research with human participants; allow analytical testing licence holders and government labs to produce, distribute, and sell cannabis reference standards and manufacture and assemble test kits; and will expand acceptable qualifications for the head of laboratory position.

The Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Concerning Cannabis Research and Testing and Cannabis Beverages and the Order Amending Schedule 3 to the Cannabis Act came into force on December 2, 2022, and will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II on December 21, 2022.

The changes were first announced as part of the Forward Regulatory Plan 2022-2024, and a Notice of Intent on the proposed changes was first published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 12, 2020. The final changes were to be announced by the end of 2022. 

The changes to the public possession limit for cannabis beverages would mean adult Canadians could possess up to as many as 48 cans rather than the five allowed previously.

Cannabis beverage makers in the industry have been lobbying for these changes since the rules were first announced several years ago, noting that only allowing consumers to buy five cans at a time was not practical.  

The changes to cannabis product rules will mean product testing will be easier and will change how labs can engage in cannabis testing practices. The changes to cannabis product testing (so-called “human trials”) should also assist the industry in more easily allowing the sampling of products still in the R&D phase. 

Previously, the regulations required additional product testing authorizations that some licence holders found too challenging to obtain. This is true not only for sampling dried flower, but also for products like edibles, beverages, and vape pens that producers otherwise have a limited ability to test for taste or effect until after they are released into the consumer market.

Other regulatory changes are also still in the works. In 2021, Health Canada proposed restrictions around flavouring in cannabis extracts and vape pens, which they say they expected to come into force “no earlier than 2022.” A representative for Health Canada told StratCann via email that the regulator does not have an update on the timing at this time.

Although on the surface these changes around flavouring appear quite strict, they are written in a way that still allows smells and flavours associated with cannabis to be used, either from cannabis-derived or non-cannabis-derived sources, says one industry expert.

Health Canada also notes that while there is no federal limit on the amount of cannabis that can be purchased or sold at a retail location, some provinces and territories have set purchase limits in their jurisdictions.

For those provinces and territories that reference the federal public possession limits to set purchase limits, these purchase limits will automatically change for cannabis beverages. However, for those provinces and territories that do not reference the federal public possession limits, they would need to amend their framework in order to align purchase limits to the new federal public possession limit.

Health Canada is also currently conducting a review of the Cannabis Act itself, with a report to be tabled no later than spring 2024.

  • As of December 2, 2022, the amount of cannabis beverages that an adult can possess in public for non-medical purposes has increased to forty-eight 355 mL standard-sized beverage cans (approximately 17.1 L) compared to the previous limit of approximately five 355 mL cans of cannabis beverages. 
  • Existing controls within the Cannabis Regulations remain in order to address the risks of overconsumption and accidental consumption.
  • Holders of a processing licence have a 12-month transition period to update the labels of affected cannabis beverages.  
  • Other authorized persons (e.g., provincially and territorially authorized distributors and retailers) can continue to sell or distribute their existing inventory of previously labelled and packaged cannabis beverages.    

Facilitation of non-therapeutic research on cannabis:

  • Non-therapeutic research on cannabis involving human participants no longer needs to meet the requirements for clinical trials under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). 
  • It is now possible to conduct this research solely under the Cannabis Regulations. These amendments allow researchers to investigate cannabis and its effects from a non-therapeutic perspective and allow more research for cannabis product development.
  • The Cannabis Act and its regulations include appropriate health and safety controls to protect research participants.
  • Clinical trials with cannabis that are currently underway are not impacted by these changes. The FDR and relevant sections of the Cannabis Regulations continue to regulate such research (e.g. requirements for a research licence, cannabis production and record retention).
  • Existing research licence holders conducting research with human participants have a 24-month transition period to submit new applications, or in some cases, amend their existing licenses.

Improving access to cannabis testing materials:

  • Analytical testing licence holders and government laboratories can now produce, distribute, and sell reference standards and manufacture and assemble test kits.
  • Individuals working in government laboratories are automatically allowed to do these activities.
  • Current analytical testing licence holders will need to amend their licence to be authorized for these activities.

Updated qualifications for Head of Laboratory positions for analytical testing licenses:

  • The educational qualifications for the Head of Laboratory position for an analytical testing licence holder have been expanded to allow for a larger pool of qualified candidates to occupy this role.
Avant purchases The Flowr Group

Business   posted Dec 8, 2022 @ 07:50pm by   Bowen Assman

On Thursday, it was announced that Kelowna based Avant Brands has purchased The Flowr Group (Okanagan) for approximately $4.015 million and $1.1 million in shares of Avant.

The deal now has Avant with over 185,000 square feet of facility space. Avant’s production is expected to increase to close to 60% resulting in the company being one of the largest indoor, ultra-premium producers in Canada.

“Over the course of the last year, the Avant team has been seeking investment or acquisition opportunities which would enable us to utilize our strong balance sheet in a manner which maximizes shareholder value,” said Norton Singhavon, Founder and CEO of Avant Brands.

“As a result, we are extremely pleased with the outcome of Flowr’s restructuring process, as we have always viewed their Kelowna facility as a top-tier and world class asset that would be an ideal fit for the Avant portfolio. We look forward to entering into our fiscal 2023 year with the addition of the Flowr facility and its dedicated team.”

Brands of Avant include BLK MKT, Tenzo, Cognoscente and Tree Hugger, with products sold in BC, the Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Listed as AVNT on the Toronto Stock Exchange, shares currently sit (at days end) at $0.19 CAD.

More information on the company can be found here.

 

Cannabis Tourism

Written by Hazel Norman on . Posted in Business, Entertainment, Policy.

A common misconception about cannabis reform is that once a jurisdiction’s lawmakers or voters initially approve an adult-use legalization measure, that there’s nothing left to do. In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact of the matter is that the push for reform continues well after a successful legalization vote. The effort behind pushing for sensible cannabis policies doesn’t change. Only the direction of where that effort is focused changes.

Immediately after an adult-use cannabis legalization measure is initially passed, the focus then shifts to more nuanced and granular aspects of cannabis policy. In the instances in which a jurisdiction’s legalization model permits legal sales, making sure that sensible regulations are adopted is extremely vital. One area of cannabis commerce that seems to often be overlooked, or at least is not properly embraced by governments, is cannabis tourism.

More Than Just Clubs And Lounges

Typically, when people think of cannabis-based tourism they think of coffeeshops, clubs, and lounges. While those are certainly valid examples of cannabis tourism, the sector of the emerging cannabis industry is much more complex these days, and evolving constantly. People still travel to Amsterdam to frequent the city’s historic coffeeshops, however, people now have far more options, and those options create additional opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Canada is home to the only nationwide, legal adult-use cannabis industry that is open to anyone of legal age. Uruguay also permits legal adult-use sales, however, they are limited to residents only. Malta passed an adult-use legalization measure late last year, and eventually the country will have cannabis clubs. However, no legal clubs are currently in operation.

Being that it’s a legal oasis to the world in many ways, Canada is a top international cannabis tourism destination. Consumption in public is still prohibited, so social use establishments like lounges play a vital role. Canada is home to a growing number of cannabis-friendly lodging choices, industry tours, and other ancillary cannabis tourism businesses, many of which do not ‘touch the plant’ directly.

A Growing Opportunity Cost

Some parts of the world are already established as top cannabis tourism destinations. It doesn’t take a cannabis historian to name some of them – The Netherlands, Spain, Jamaica, etc. For reasons that don’t quite make sense, very few of the current high-profile destinations seem to embrace cannabis tourism. That seeming lack of enthusiasm for cannabis tourism creates opportunities for other countries that want to fill the void.

For example, leaders in the Czech Republic have indicated that they want to follow Germany’s lead in passing an adult-use legalization measure, with a specific interest in becoming a cannabis tourism destination given the fact that current legalization plans in Germany do not appear to include cannabis clubs at this time.

“They do not have cannabis clubs that we are supposed to. I’m pretty sure I want to hold on to cannabis clubs until my last breath.” stated national anti-drug coordinator for the Czech Republic, Jindřich Vobořil in a post on his Facebook page.

People are going to travel to far off places for, among other things, cannabis experiences. This will be true even where cannabis remains illegal. Given that every country on earth needs increased public revenue, job creation, and boosts to local economies, cannabis tourism should be embraced by governments and not shunned. Any concerns about the sky falling if/when social use is permitted in a given jurisdiction are overblown, and the only people that claim otherwise are likely profiting directly off of prohibition.

tourism