Trailer Park Boys sign with marijuana producer to create their own brand
According to Vice, Mike Smith (Bubbles), John Paul Tremblay (Julian), and Robb Wells (Ricky) announced on Wednesday that they’ve partnered with OrganiGram, a licensed producer of medical marijuana based in Moncton, N.B. The two companies inked a contract to brand their recreational marijuana product when it is legalized.
A release on the agreement says OrganiGram and TPB Productions Limited will “develop branding, packaging, and a competitive product portfolio targeted towards recreational marijuana consumers and distributed exclusively by OrganiGram.”
“We have been monitoring closely to best understand how we might be able to enter the cannabis space in Canada,” says Louis Thomas, President of Sonic Entertainment Group, representing TPB Production Ltd. “After our initial meeting with the Maritime-based executive team at OrganiGram, we all felt strongly that they were the perfect partner and the timing was right to move forward.”
“This relationship solidifies one of our strategic building blocks as we plan for the legalization of recreational use in Canada. The team at Trailer Park Boys have an aligned vision to develop a National brand with our assistance and we’re incredibly excited at how the partnership will come to life,” said Ray Gracewood, Chief Commercial Officer at OrganiGram.
Gracewood said the exclusive five-year arrangement has been in the works for about a year.
“It began with both sides, in a forward-looking way, understanding the importance of brands within the recreational market space,” he said. “We both have a strong Maritime connection and we’re unique within our industries of being from the Maritimes.”
Even though recreational marijuana is not even legal, Gracewood said they’re just preparing for the eventuality.
“Right now we don’t want to be reactive and we don’t want to be late to the party… preparations for that take a significant amount of time,” he said. “Having a strong celebrity-endorsed brand as part of our portfolio is very much part of our strategy.”
The Liberal government has said they could introduce legislation in 2017 after examining the report from a task force.
Trailer Park Boys is a Canadian mockumentary that began airing on Showcase in 2001, and the show debuted internationally on Netflix in March of 2014. Throughout the series, the growing and selling of marijuana has been a recurrent theme.
Now that the contract is signed, the next step is full creative development of what the brand and packaging will look like and it “doesn’t take rocket appliances” (as Ricky might say) to imagine the possibilities.
A frustrated Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants police to “enforce the law” and criminally charge illegal marijuana dispensaries — even though weed legalization is looming.
“People are right now breaking the law,” Trudeau told the Star’s editorial board on Friday.
“We haven’t changed the laws. We haven’t legalized it yet. Yes, we got a clear mandate to do that. We’ve said we will. We’ve said we’re going to do it to protect our kids and to keep the money out of the pockets of criminals.”
But the spread of storefront “dispensaries” — scores of which have popped up on Toronto streets this year — is clearly a concern to the prime minister.
“It’s a situation that is frustrating and I can understand people’s frustration on this,” Trudeau said.
“The promise we made around legalizing marijuana was done for two reasons … that I was very, very clear about: one, to better protect our kids from the easy access they have right now to marijuana; and, two, to remove the criminal elements that were profiting from marijuana,” he said.
“We believe that a properly regulated, controlled system will achieve both of those measures. But we haven’t brought in that properly regulated, controlled system because it’s important that we do it right in order to achieve those two specific goals.”
That new regime will be unveiled next spring. The blueprint for the legislation is a report by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan’s task force of medical and legal experts, which be released within days.
Until the new law is enacted some time in 2017, Trudeau stressed “the current prohibition
“So, I don’t know how much clearer we can be that we’re not legalizing marijuana to please recreational users,” he said.
“I mean, that will be a byproduct. We recognize that that is something that’s going to happen when it happens, but it’s not happened yet.”
While Trudeau said he had not yet pored over the McLellan panel’s report, he has clearly been thinking about the age limits for recreational marijuana use.
“It’s been highlighted many times that the effect of cannabis on the developing brain is particularly problematic,” the prime minister said.
“I’m not going to venture too much further into the science but I think there is a consensus that, yes, perhaps up until 21 or 25 it’s not as good as past that age. But I have a sense that the worst damage is in the 12-, 13-, 14-year-old range,” he said.
Trudeau emphasized Ottawa would “work hand in glove with the provinces,” which suggests there could be different age limits across the country.
“The federal drinking limit is set at 18 but if provinces want to make it 19 — as a few have — it can be 19.”
Currently, marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes with a prescription from a medical doctor.
It can only be supplied by the 36 Health Canada-licensed producers and delivered by registered mail or homegrown in small amounts.
Storefront dispensaries that claim to be supplying medicinal marijuana are not federally licensed and are breaking the existing law.
Asked what municipalities could do to deal with the scourge of such pot shops, Trudeau did not mince words: “You can enforce the law.”
Police, however, have been trying to do that in places like Toronto and Ottawa, with raids of dispensaries, but with middling effect.
Because the federal law will eventually be amended, some entrepreneurs appear willing to risk fines as a cost of doing business before outright legalization.
New study looks at cannabis consumption rates around the world.
A new report claims the UK government should legalize marijuana because it’s “the only solution to crime and addiction problems”, this study looks at the cannabis consumption rates in countries around the world.
The strongly-worded study – titled The Tide Effect: How the World is Changing its Mind on Cannabis – was produced by the nonpartisan Adam Smith Institute and has the backing of several cross-party MPs including former deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.
According to the institute, the UK’s current drug strategy “has failed in its core aims to prevent people from using drugs, manufacturing drugs, and to put a stop to the crime, corruption and death that is taking place on an industrial scale around the world”.
The report claims legalization would reduce organized crime, improve the quality (and therefore safety) of cannabis and line the coffers of the Treasury; a legal UK cannabis industry, it calculates, would turn over £6.8 billion annually, with £1 billion going straight to the Treasury.
A number of countries have had a rethink on cannabis in recent years.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001 and within a decade substance abuse was reported to have halved – though that’s not to say the drop-off in drug taking was directly down to the policy.
Uruguay has adopted a similar approach – it legalized marijuana in 2013 – while California, Massachusetts and Nevada recently became the latest US states to vote for the legalisation of the drug.
Though cannabis is not actually legal in the Netherlands, it can be widely consumed in the country’s infamous coffeeshops. However, despite the ubiquity of the drug, Dutch citizens are not the world’s biggest tokers: according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), that dubious distinction goes to Iceland.
Top 30 cannabis consuming countries
- Iceland – 16.2% (prevalence of use as percentage of population)
- US – 16.2%
- Nigeria – 14.3%
- Canada – 12.7%
- Chile – 11.83%
- France – 11.1%
- New Zealand – 11%
- Bermuda – 10.9%
- Australia – 10.2%
- Zambia – 9.5%
- Uruguay – 9.3%
- Spain – 9.2%
- Italy – 9.2%
- Madagascar – 9.1%
- Czech Republic – 8.9%
- Israel – 8.88%
- St Lucia – 8.87%
- Belize – 8.45%
- Barbados – 8.3%
- Netherlands – 8%
- Greenland – 7.6%
- Jamaica – 7.21%
- Denmark – 6.9%
- Switzerland – 6.7%
- Egypt – 6.24%
- UK – 6.2%
- Ireland – 6%
- Estonia – 6%
- Bahamas – 5.54%
- Sierra Leone – 5.42%
The UNODC’s data suggests that cannabis is used by 18.3 per cent of Iceland’s population (aged 15-64). The US (16.2 per cent) and Nigeria (14.3 per cent) had the second and third highest rates of consumption; the UK came 26th on the list, followed by Ireland. And the Netherlands? It came 20th.
Data is not available for all of the world’s countries – and some figures have been updated more recently than others – meaning caution should be exercised when drawing comparisons.
By Catherine Cullen | November 30th, 2016
Cannabis Legalization Report – Who can buy and sell pot, where will marijuana be sold, and who gets the profits?
The federal task force on marijuana regulation and legalization hands over its final report to the government today, moving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise to legalize marijuana one step closer to completion.
The nine members of the task force held roundtables with experts across the country, visited two U.S. states where pot is already legal and got advice from about 28,000 Canadians through online consultations.
It’s expected to take days if not weeks for the government to publicly release the panel’s report. When it does, here are some big outstanding questions to watch for.
What age limit will the report recommend?
Two big reasons why Trudeau says he wants to legalize marijuana are to keep it out of the hands of “children” and to cut off profits to organized crime.
Setting the legal age too high could encourage young people to keep buying from criminal sources. However, the task force’s own discussion paper notes that “science indicates that risks from marijuana usage are elevated until the brain fully matures (i.e., when someone reaches about age 25).”
The U.S. states that have legalized marijuana sales have opted to match the legal drinking age of 21. In Canada, that age is lower — either 18 or 19 years old depending on the province.
The Canadian Medical Association recommends the age limit be 21, with strict limits on quantity and potency until 25.
Where should pot be sold?
Trudeau and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne have talked about selling marijuana at liquor stores, because the retail locations already have systems in place to control inventory and train staff.
But one member of the pot task force has said there’s a serious problem with selling marijuana just a few steps away from bottles of vodka. Back in February, months before the task force was formed, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall told CBC News that the way alcohol is sold encourages consumption — not something the government wants to do with pot.
There’s also a “multiplier effect” when you drink and smoke pot, he said. Essentially, you wind up much more intoxicated. Again, that’s certainly not part of Trudeau’s stated objectives.
The government could insist on one model for the whole country or let the provinces and territories decide individually.
When will it go on sale?
It’s not clear whether the task force will tackle this topic. We know the government has committed to tabling legislation in spring 2017, but it will take time for that bill to become law and for a new system to be set up.
The parliamentary budget officer talked with “industry stakeholders” and estimates recreational sales could start as early as January 2018.
Companies that already sell medical marijuana are certainly hoping to cash in. Their stocks have shot up.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about who would be allowed to sell and distribute recreational marijuana, but potential corporate profits could be severely limited depending on what’s decided about pricing and taxes.
It’s not clear whether this will be a cash cow for governments, either. Both the parliamentary budget officer and the head of the task force have warned profits might be relatively small right out of the gate.
The federal government has also said tax revenue would be spent on drug treatment and rehabilitation services, along with research and public education. It’s not clear whether the provinces and territories will face the same restrictions on their share of revenues.
What about medical marijuana?
The task force also looked at whether a parallel system would still be needed for medical marijuana users.
If the government set the legal age for recreational pot at 21, but a patient who was 19 had a medical prescription to use pot, how would that situation be regulated? Similarly, if a patient had a prescription for high-potency marijuana that was not for sale in a retail outlet, how would that patient get the medicine?
Can you grow your own?
It’s not clear whether the new system would allow Canadians to grow their own marijuana and if there would be restrictions for home growers.
The prime minister’s marijuana point person, Bill Blair, has said pot won’t become just another backyard plant.
“Unlike tomatoes, it is a substance that poses certain significant, both social and health harms, and risks to Canadians,” he said in June.
What criminal penalties?
Possessing marijuana will be legal, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be pot-related crimes. The Liberal campaign platform promises “new, stronger laws” for selling to minors, drugged driving and selling outside the legal system.
Will the government listen?
The task force will make recommendations on cannabis legalization, but the government doesn’t have to follow them.
Just look at the assisted-dying debate: a joint committee of senators and MPs recommended medical aid in dying should be available to anyone who was suffering, even if they didn’t have a terminal illness. The government decided that went too far and said a doctor-assisted death would only be granted to people whose death was “reasonably foreseeable.”
By Ron Woodruff for World Cannabis | November 30th, 2016
Justin Trudeau goes into Damage Control Mode
In Canadian political circles, this scandal has eclipsed even the fallout from the recent election of Donald Trump. Trudeau has been accused of selling access for cash and of breaking his own ambitious integrity guidelines. That’s the bare bones of what happened. But since Tuesday, when news of this event was first reported by the Globe and Mail, the cash for access event has dominated the Commons.
The recent Cannabis Cash-for-access Scandal Explodes in the Liberal’s Faces
Opposition MPs seized on a Globe and Mail report that two members of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association went to an April 28 cash-for-access fundraiser to lobby Bill Blair. Justin Trudeau was forced by opposition MP’s to defend his party in a short speech about the cash-for-access scandal. If this cash-for-access story reported by the Globe and Mail is true then the Liberals seem to have violated their own fundraising guidelines.
The Liberal Party on Monday told The Globe it will return the money to individuals from the Cannabis Business Friendly Association, an organization that represents dispensary owners and which send members Abi Roach and John Liedtke to the $150 per ticket event. The question on many Canadian lips is – If they haven’t done anything wrong, then why give the donations back?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted on Tuesday that the Liberal Party fundraiser, breached no ethical rules even though the governing party claimed to have refunded the ticket price that a marijuana lobby group paid to attend the cash-for-access event. Here at World Cannabis we are forced to wonder will robbery suspects here in Canada now be allowed to return the money they steal when they are busted, and then walk free too?
Bill Blair attends the Liberal Party’s cash for access event
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s point person on cannabis legalization, Bill Blair was the prize guest at a Liberal Party fundraiser attended by a marijuana lobbying group known as the Canadian Business Friendly Association at a Toronto law office that advises clients in the cannabis business. Bill Blair was in attendance at this cash for access event set up by the Liberal party.
The fundraising event last spring, which featured Bill Blair, the parliamentary secretary to the Justice Minister, appears to violate Liberal Party rules on political fundraisers and Mr. Trudeau’s ethics guidelines that direct cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries to avoid an “appearance of preferential access.”
The Liberal Party told members of the press on Monday night that it will refund donations from the representatives of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association (CFBA) that attended the Liberal party’s fundraiser, although the Liberal party denied any ethical breaches.
Treatment has replaced patient’s painkillers but remains unlicensed in Ireland
Having been on “every painkiller in the book” since 10, she is now off all painkillers. Instead she takes instead three drops of CBD oil three times a day.
“A friend who is suffering with cancer told me about it, saying it was good for pain. I had never taken an illegal substance in my life but I was at the stage where I would have eaten cement if I thought it would help.
“I was diagnosed around 1981 with an AVM [arterivenous malformation – an abnormal connection between arteries and veins causing intense pain] and an aneurysm in my brain. It manifest itself as very severe pain, like a needle being stabbed into my skull over and over again.”
For years, she had been getting about six three-day-long headaches a month, but since the summer she was getting them every day. Her life has been blighted by pain. Among the painkillers she has tried are Vicodin, DF118, Solpadeine, Morphine, Naproxen, Tramadol, Oxycontin, Zolmitriptan and Ibruprofen.
–Read the entire article here
There has been no rigorous study that’s looked at compounds found in pot to reduce seizures
Researchers at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children are poised to begin a clinical trial using cannabis extracts to treat children with severe epilepsy whose seizures can’t be controlled with existing medications.
The trial is believed to be the first in Canada to test an oral preparation that contains both CBD and THC, compounds in marijuana that have been shown in the lab and through anecdotal reports to have anticonvulsant properties in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of hundreds of active chemicals in the marijuana plant, many of them touted to have medicinal properties. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive ingredient that produces the “high” associated with pot.
While research has found CBD to be effective in reducing seizures, there has been no rigorous study that’s looked at the combination of CBD and THC, said pediatric neurologist Dr. Blathnaid McCoy, who will lead the clinical trial that begins early next year.
–Read the entire article here
| November 29th, 2016
City targets landlords in fight against Toronto’s pot retailers
143 dispensaries charged with zoning offences in effort to force landlords to close down cannabis businesses.
The city still working to prevent cannabis patients from having reasonable access from local dispensaries.
Six months after the Project Claudia raids by police shut down dozens of the city’s marijuana dispensaries, many of the pot shop owners who managed to stay afloat are now facing new pressure.
Bylaw enforcement officers are warning landlords that the city will shutter their buildings if they rent their premises to marijuana retailers, city spokesperson Tammy Robbinson said Friday.
“The people who were raided and re-opened now have to fight their landlords to keep their legal leases,” said marijuana legalization advocate Abi Roach, who owns the HotBox pot lounge in Kensington Market.
“Finding a landlord who’ll rent out a space is near impossible.”
After the mass raids in May, shop owners were charged with a variety of criminal offences by police. But the city added charges of its own — accusations that storefront medicinal pot dispensaries were violating a zoning bylaw that only allows pot to be sold from three licensed locations in Toronto.
“The city is going after the landlords and pressuring them with heavy fines up to $50,000 for having a tenant that retails cannabis,” said Roach.
Robbinson said the city has investigated 143 dispensaries, and laid 347 charges. Of those, 100 closed their doors, while the remaining 43 have remained open while their cases make their way through the courts.
So far, there have been only nine court decisions. Employees and owners have faced fines ranging from $550 to $3,000 and have been prohibited from working in or owning a marijuana dispensary. Violating the prohibition order can mean fines up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.
But the landlords who rent to pot retailers are also facing stiff penalties, said lawyer Kendra Stanyon, who’s representing several of the owners and employees nabbed in the May raids.
“Landlords are receiving letters from city bylaw officers … that indicate their property could be at risk of forfeiture” if they continue to rent to pot retailers, Stanyon said.
“Even if they’ve been good tenants, nobody wants to lose their building,” she said.
Stanyon said smaller police raids have been going on since May, with the most recent one happening last week.
By Kelly Cryderman – November 27th, 2016
Report on Canada’s marijuana legalization due this week
Ottawa’s march toward a controlled market for legal marijuana in Canada takes a major step forward this week with the delivery of a task force report that includes advice on a minimum age, product warnings and measures to prevent drug-impaired driving.
The report on pot legalization will be delivered to cabinet by Wednesday, said task force chair Anne McLellan, a lawyer and former federal cabinet minister in the Chrétien and Martin governments.
Ms. McLellan said her nine-person group – which has received 30,000 online submissions and visited U.S. states with experience in the legalization process – has authored a responsible, fair and balanced report that will “engender a lot of interest.”
Speaking on the sidelines of a Bennett Jones LLP business forum last week, Ms. McLellan said it’s hard to understate how significant a psychological shift will be required as law enforcement, governments and Canadians as a whole adapt to marijuana legalization – a key policy plank of the federal Liberal government.
Right now, production and possession of marijuana is illegal unless it has been authorized for medical purposes, but the government estimates the illegal marijuana industry’s size at $7-billion, annually.
Ottawa has committed to introducing legislation in the spring that will move marijuana “from a criminal regime, where this was an illegal substance with criminal sanctions – some of them very serious – to a legalized product in a regulated marketplace,” Ms. McLellan said. It’s important to move slowly, and deliberately, in implementation, she added.
“Most Canadians think it’s time to move away from the system we have. But they are less clear about words like ‘decriminalization’ and ‘legalization.’”
The report will be made public “in due course,” Ms. McLellan said. She said the task force – which was asked to provide advice for keeping the drug out of the hands of children and youth – will recommend a minimum age for marijuana purchases.
In the interest of healthy brain development, the Canadian Medical Association has said that pot sales should be limited to those 21 and older, and that restrictions on the potency of marijuana should be in place for all Canadians younger than 25.
However, others have argued that is unrealistic because pot use among Canadians 15 to 24 years old is already double that of the general population.
“The legal age should reflect the ability of an individual to make an informed decision rather than evaluating the relative safety of use,” argued the group Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
“Setting a lower age limit may help prevent the continuation of an underground cannabis market and reduce the associated harms on youth.”
Ms. McLellan, who served in the justice and health portfolios among others, also said the task force report will address marijuana labelling and warnings, and said it’s an area in which “the federal government has a lot of experience based on their tobacco regime.”
Special attention will be paid to the issue of drug-impaired driving, she said.
Liberal government prepares to lay down the foundation for regulation, and controlled access
The task force was also asked to address issues such as where marijuana will be sold, how to keep profits out of the hands of organized crime and how to continue access to quality-controlled marijuana for medical use.
Patient groups, in presentations to the task force, have made the case that the drug needs to be affordable, through means such as dropping the sales taxes or by encouraging medical insurers to cover the drug.
Ms. McLellan notes the task force had calls with officials from Uruguay, which in 2013 became the first country in the world to legalize marijuana sales. Some task force members travelled to Colorado, while others went to Washington – U.S. states that have also had legal pot markets for three years. Earlier this month, voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada passed measures to legalize recreational marijuana – joining Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
“Canadians who have been following this area would see that in the United States – where cannabis is still illegal federally – that there will probably be a tipping point where the government of the United States will have to take a look at their ongoing regime of illegality,” Ms. McLellan said.
“That’s not for me to say,” she added. “But you do see a certain trend.”
In its assessment of “affiliations and interests” of task force members, Health Canada noted Ms. McLellan has been a senior adviser with Bennett Jones for a decade, and the law firm represents some clients with interests in the legal marijuana business.
By James McClure | November 27th, 2016
Childrens author C.S. Lewis was an imaginitive writer, but was he pushing symbols of an underground drug culture?
C.S. Lewis put the chronic in the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ by slipping cannabis edibles into the first published instalment: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950). Or so a Christian conspiracy theory would have you believe.
According to the theory, Lewis – who was born 118 years ago today – laced drug, tobacco and alcohol references into his work to sow vices in children. And his character the White Witch, who used dark magic to plunge Narnia into perpetual winter, was also a drug dealer.
The interpretation centers on the White Witch’s corruption of Edmund – one of the children who stumbles upon the fantasy world of Narnia after walking through the wardrobe. The White Witch tricks Edmund into her service by conjuring a box of Turkish Delight and promising to give him more once he does her bidding.
That’s no ordinary Turkish Delight, according to Peter and Mary Stephens of The Homemaker’s Corner. They say that it contained hash. So how did a conservative English professor like Lewis learn about cannabis edibles? Same way most of us do – by experimenting in college.
The Stephens support their theory with a quote from E.L. Abel’s Marihuana: The First Twleve Thousand Years (1980).
“As in India, local officials in Egypt were alarmed at the large numbers of inhabitants who used hashish directly or in confections, many of which were exported to Europe,” Abel wrote. “Among the variety of confectionery treats containing hashish that were sent abroad were ‘Turkish Delight,’ square pieces of hashish containing sugar and gelatin which were a particular favorite of the students at Cambridge University in England.”
So Lewis may have known about this particular type of hash edibles. But did he deliberately incorporate them into his story? Yes, according to the Stephens, who point to Edmund’s behavior as proof of drug use.
“Lewis portrays Edmund as eating this greedily, and the more he eats the more he wants it – implying addiction,” they write. “This is explained in that the witch (or Queen) knows that the Turkish Delight is ‘enchanted’ and that once a person has tasted it, they will want more and more of it and, if allowed to, would eat themselves to death.”
Or maybe there’s a simpler explanation. Children like sugar. And if you don’t stop them from eating candy, they’ll gobble it up until it makes them sick. For evidence, see every November 1st since the tradition of trick-or-treating began.
But while we’re on the subject of conspiracy theories, here’s another one to consider: The Homemaker’s Corner opposes cannabis use, but their initials spell THC. Subliminal messaging, perhaps?