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.


Alberta is on a track to establish a well-rooted cannabis retail system

Find out how Alberta came out on top among all Canadian provinces for how well they established their cannabis retail system.

A while ago when Bill C-45, which legalized cannabis nationwide in Canada, was still being discussed in the Senate, many market experts speculated that either British Columbia or Ontario would have the best market.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. British Colombia is still having difficulties battling illegal stores and black market growers, all the while having less than 20 legal stores.


Alberta medical cannabis company partners with Harvard med school

Lac Ste. Anne County — Edmonton-based Atlas Biotechnologies has partnered with the new International Phytomedicines and Medical Cannabis Institute at Harvard Medical School to study how cannabis can help chronic pain and neurological conditions.

“Our partnership will allow us to prove the efficacy of what these products can do,” says president and CEO Sheldon Croome.

Like many other licensed cannabis producers in Canada, the staff at subsidiary Atlas Growers’ production facility, about 90 km northwest of Edmonton in Lac Ste. Anne County, goes to work in hair nets, medical-style scrubs and latex gloves in a 38,000-square-foot highly secured cultivation facility to plant, harvest, dry, trim, mill, extract and package a fresh crop every two to three weeks.


Alberta's cannabis industry gears up for edibles legalization

When cannabis industry leaders descended on Edmonton for a one-day conference, a topic that lit up multiple panels was the second wave of legalization and the implementation of edibles into the market.

The WeCann Conference, co-hosted by The Cannalysts and Grant Thornton LLP earlier this month, had a variety of speakers and panels on cannabis-related topics ranging from agriculture to retail.

Trisha LeBlanc, national cannabis industry leader at Grant Thornton LLP, said there was considerable discussion on the issue of shelf space for edibles in Alberta.


Recreational cannabis growers face challenges as they enter the first summer of legalization

Albertans looking for a homegrown high this summer are set to face a shortage of supplies and a set of regulations restricting how many plants can be grown and where they can grow them.

Growing cannabis was legalized alongside recreational cannabis use last October. Alberta Gaming, Liqour and Cannabis’ (AGLC) online store started selling and supplying seeds in January, however the agency has felt the hardships of a nationwide supply shortage, leaving the online store seedless as of last Friday.


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