Aurora to close some European offices, lay off staff in latest restructuring move

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing some of its European operations as the cannabis producer opts to consolidate its presence in the continent amid soft demand for medical pot, according to an internal memo obtained by BNN Bloomberg. 

Aurora told its employees last week that it will shut its offices in Portugal, Spain, and Italy while reducing its European workforces by one-quarter in select countries and its regional office, the memo said. The Edmonton-based company will shift its European headquarters from Germany to its Denmark office while acquiring the remaining 49 per cent of its Danish business that it doesn't already own, the company said. 


'Everything's been selling': Sales sky-high at city's few cannabis stores open Christmas Day

Two cannabis stores open in Edmonton on Christmas Day saw a huge flow of sales, indicating the city had a rather green Christmas despite the snow and cold.

Sam Annan, owner of the two Uncle Sam’s Cannabis locations open on Wednesday, said at least 100 customers had come into the two stores between opening at 10 a.m. and around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Everything’s been selling,” he said Wednesday, adding that many customers said they had driven all over looking for an open cannabis store. “It’s been very busy.”

This month, Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) broke tradition and permitted liquor and cannabis stores to remain open on Christmas Day.

Annan said he saw the opportunity to drum up some business while some other competitors stayed closed.


Welcome to my lightweight, fire-resistant, insect-repellent… hemp house

Humans have utilized many materials for their homes throughout the ages, from wood to metal to concrete. But what about hemp?

Just BioFiber Structural Solutions, an Airdrie, Alberta-based company, has been utilizing hempcrete blocks made primarily from hemp hurd, lime and water. Hemp hurd comes primarily from the woody inner parts of the stalk of industrial hemp. While there are a few other forms of hempcrete, BioFiber is currently the only company in the world using insulated blocks.

The company has built a handful of hempcrete houses in British Coumbia, and currently is in the process of finalizing engineering tests to be listed in the National Building Code of Canada.


Canada: Country's first craft cannabis co-operative ready to take root in Taber

Grasslands Taber Cooperative CEO Lindsay Blackett, a former Alberta PC government cabinet minister will start the country's first cannabis cooperative ready to take root in Taber on Thursday, November 14, 2019. Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

As grain elevators tumble to time, a terminal accepting cannabis shipments could soon be a replacement on the southern Alberta prairie.

That’s the goal of a group behind what they say is the country’s first craft cannabis collective, one that’ll host growers, processors, researchers and other links in the pot production and supply chain on 25 hectares of land in Taber.


Alberta squeaks out title as Canada's top cannabis market with $123.6M sold

Albertans pull out their wallets for legal weed more often than other Canadians, new data shows.

Statistics Canada has published new information on the amount sold at cannabis store across the country, from legalization in October 2018 to June 2019.

The sales data shows that Alberta comes out as the top legal cannabis market in Canada, with more than $123.6 million in sales.

Alberta narrowly squeaked into the top spot with Ontario close behind at $121.6 million, followed by Quebec at $119.2 million.


Portable cannabis testing: Device featured at international traffic safety conference in Edmonton

A device to allow police to test the saliva of drivers for recent cannabis is being featured at the international traffic safety conference in Edmonton this week.

Since cannabis became legal in Canada last year, police forces have been searching for a reliable way to test someone behind the wheel for drug impairment. This led the federal government in July to approve Chicago-based Abbott’s SoToxa for use in Canada.

This is the second device to be approved, so far.

Abbott says its SoToxa device, which is just larger than a person’s hand, takes less than nine minutes to produce a test result.


Cannabis consumption area to debut at Calgary folk festival

Calgary Folk Music Festival organizers are adding to their Prince’s Island Park site this year with a designated cannabis consumption area.

The fenced-off area will give cannabis users a place to consume, as long as they are at least 18 years old and are only bringing the legal amount into the event. But festival executive director Sara Leishman noted the new area is intended as a pilot project this weekend to see how it works.

“There’s no guarantee that we’ll have a cannabis consumption area in 2020,” she said. “But we do know that cannabis is legal now and we want to be proactive and figure out a way to deal with it in the early stages.”


Province rakes in $30 million from cannabis tax in first six months of legalization

The Alberta government scored $30 million in cannabis taxes in the first half-year of recreational pot legalization.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis also took in nearly $77 million from Oct. 17, 2018, until March 31 of this year from both its online sales, for which it has a monopoly in Alberta, and through its sales to private pot retailers.

From those purchases, it recorded a profit of $4.7 million.

That $30 million in tax cash culled from retail sales was $4 million over expectation, states the province’s fiscal year-end financial statement.


Cannabis industry expects bump in sales for Canada Day long weekend

The Canada Day long weekend is no longer mostly the preserve of the liquor industry, say some of the country’s cannabis retailers.

More of the pie for that flag-waving party is being carved out by legal pot sellers as the first post-legalization national birthday approaches, says an online cannabis information resource.

A survey commissioned by Leafly Canada suggests 25 per cent of Alberta adults plan to embark on a cannabis buzz this long weekend, among the highest in the country.

“That’s one in four compared to one in five (nationally),” said Jo Vos, managing director of Leafly Canada, which commissioned the poll of 1,513 people conducted last week by Maru/Blue.


What cannabis shortage? Analyst warns oversupply could become a problem in mere months

In Alberta, a moratorium on new cannabis retail store licences was just lifted. In Quebec, government-run pot stores have returned to normal hours. In Ontario, there are rumblings that a second tranche of retail licences may be on the way, perhaps as soon as the end of the month.

These incremental but significant signs are leading a growing number of analysts and industry observers to speculate that Canada’s cannabis shortage, a problem that has plagued the industry since legalization, may be coming to an end. Some are even starting to contemplate an entirely new problem that could emerge, as early as next year.


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