Will second-hand smoke lead to failure of workplace drug testing?

It looks like Canadian Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Ross Rebagliati may have been right all along.

Rebagliati, the first Olympic gold medalist for Men's Snowboarding at the 1998 Winter Olympics, was initially disqualified after THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, was found in his system in a drug test.

The decision was eventually overturned since cannabis wasn't a banned substance but Rebagliati maintained the positive drug test was the result of second-hand smoke.

Now a study from the Cummings School of Medicine at the University of Calgary seems to support his claim.


Canada: Alberta courts could face increased workload with marijuana legislation

Legalizing marijuana in Canada is coming down the pipeline, which poses some serious challenges for lawmakers.

First among those challenges is ensuring there’s a proper method to prove someone was actually impaired from marijuana use. In an effort to understand those challenges, Ponoka News reached out to Rod Clark, a counsellor with SIRRS LLP Law Group in Ponoka.

Clark was the chief Crown prosecutor in Wetaskiwin before joining SIRRS early last year.

He says there’s two areas of law that are affected by the legalization of marijuana, the first is on the criminalization of marijuana and the second is on the civil side.


Alberta betting on booming marijuana market

Unlike Ontario and Quebec, Alberta has taken free market approach. Recreational marijuana will be sold in privately owned retail stores and there could be a lot of them because at this point there is no limit on the number.

So far it looks like Alberta will be the go-to province for marijuana entrepreneurs lining up to get in on the action when selling pot becomes legal next summer.

Unlike Ontario and Quebec, Alberta has taken a free market approach. Recreational marijuana will be sold in privately owned retail stores and there could be a lot of them because at this point there is no limit on the number.


Cannabis sales must avoid mistakes made by alcohol deregulation, doctor says

As the province begins developing a framework for legalizing cannabis, a University of Alberta doctor said she hopes Alberta learns from past mistakes with alcohol deregulation.

Dr. Elaine Hyshka said the government has some decisions to make before legalization takes place on July 1.

"I'll be watching to see how government maintains control over things like price, advertising and marketing, the density of outlets and other factors that really are critical for really trying to encourage moderate use," Hyshka told CBC's Radio Active Wednesday.Hyshka is speaking at the University of Alberta Thursday about what the Cannabis Act means for Canadians. The presentation at 5 p.m. will be livestreamed on their website.


Canada: 'Demand will be huge': Alberta government releases cannabis retail rules

Private retailers who want to sell legal marijuana in Alberta next July 1 won’t be able to do so alongside alcohol, or even a bag of chips.

Under proposed rules introduced by the province Thursday, retailers will be restricted to sales of cannabis and cannabis-related goods such as lighters and rolling papers.

There’s no word on how much legal marijuana will cost, but 420 Clinic founder Jeff Mooij says that won’t matter to consumers. 

As a medical marijuana clinic owner and cannabis user, Mooij said Thursday there is an appetite for clean, safe, regulated weed in Alberta — it’s not about paying less than black market drugs, but knowing where the product is coming from.

“Demand will be huge,” he said.


Canopy Growth welcomes Sweetgrass Inc. as newest Craftgrow partner

Canopy Growth Corporation (TSX: WEED) is pleased to welcome Sweetgrass Inc., a Strathcona County, Alberta-based ACMPR applicant, to Tweed's curated CraftGrow line.

Pending license approvals, Sweetgrass will supply its cannabis products via Tweed Main Street, the most diverse cannabis marketplace in Canada. The agreement will serve to increase the amount of variety and consistency of supply available to Tweed's registered medical cannabis customers.


Financial advisor answers questions on marijuana investment

Forget the gold rush, first-time investors are looking to cash in on the green rush, but financial advisors are warning those looking to cash-in on soon-to-be legalized cannabis to think before they invest.

The rapid growth of these businesses is attracting veteran investors with deep pockets, but financial advisors are also seeing many first-time investors looking to get rich quick.

"Be careful, this is obviously a new industry,” explained Kevin Mullane, senior investment advisor with National Bank Financial. “A lot of these companies don’t have a lot behind them at this point in time, in terms of revenues and earnings, more importantly earnings,”


Legal marijuana: health ministers should be better prepared

Drugs – legal and illegal – have so come to dominate the conversation among federal, provincial and territorial ministers of health that perhaps we should start calling them ministers of drugs?

At their most recent meeting, held last week in Edmonton, they discussed the following issues: legalization of cannabis, opioids and the overdose crisis, pharmacare, mental health and addiction, tobacco control, and antimicrobial resistance as a result of overuse of antibiotics.

Each of those issues is pressing for different reasons, but let's focus on the one with a hard deadline for action: cannabis.

On July 1, 2018, it will be legal for Canadians to purchase and possess some cannabis products.


AUPE members to argue public vs. private marijuana distribution Saturday

Members at the 41st annual Alberta Union of Provincial Employees convention plan to vote Saturday on whether to support selling marijuana in publicly operated dispensaries, or if they would rather leave the issue to the private sector.

AUPE members filled the hall at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on Friday for the three-day conference, hearing year-end reports from 14 standing committees, reviewing financial records and voting on various issues including the annual budget.

Members voted late Friday to debate the issue of who should sell legal marijuana Saturday, as AUPE president Guy Smith predicted a lengthy discussion on the topic.


Canadian health ministry offers timeline for rules on edible cannabis

Canada’s health minister says pilot projects have begun on roadside police testing for marijuana, and the plan is to have rules in place for edible cannabis around July 2019.

“Our priority right now is to ensure that we can legalize cannabis by July 2018,” Ginette Petitpas Taylor said Friday.

“There’s no specific date (for edibles to be available), but I would say if you look a year after the legalization, that is the window that we’re giving ourselves.”

Petitpas Taylor made the comments to reporters after briefing her provincial and territorial counterparts on Ottawa’s progress toward legalizing marijuana.

Ottawa will not allow edible cannabis in the marketplace until it has put in place the rules surrounding packaging, potency and health warnings.


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