The Green Room, national marijuana dispensary chain, opens first Calgary location

On a busy main street in Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood, green medical crosses are emblazoned on the windows of a shop in an upscale strip mall.

Among the cafes, restaurants, and big-name retailers, a national chain of marijuana dispensaries has opened its first location in the city.

“We didn’t want to be pushed to the shadows,” said Frederick Pels, president and CEO of The Green Room, when asked about the storefront’s location.

“We didn’t want to be in the pawn-store-liquor-shop districts of cities. We picked it deliberately because we’re fighting a stigma.”


Alberta's Second Licensed Cannabis Facility Could Be the Start of a Big Future for Tiny Hamlet

Alberta’s newest medical marijuana operation is planting the seeds that could turn the quiet hamlet of Peers into one of the crown jewels in Canada’s cannabis kingdom.

In March, Acreage Pharma Ltd. became the second licensed pot producer in the province, opening a 630-square-metre facility near the tiny community south of the McLeod River.

But that building is just the start. Company co-founder Trevor Dixon hopes to break ground soon on a larger plant beside it, and is looking at a 23,000-square-metre third phase that would place the overall development among the country’s largest cannabis producers.


Alberta's Princes of Pot Riding Green Wave, but Focused on 'Winning'

When Terry Booth’s business partner approached him in the summer of 2013 with a relative’s plea for money to launch a medical marijuana business, he knew nothing about the industry.

Booth, an electrician who built a construction permitting business in Edmonton with partner Steve Dobler, declined to give the loan, concluding the relative lacked sufficient business acumen to ensure the venture’s success.

Instead, Booth and Dobler took the idea for a legal pot grow-op and ran with it, rewarding the “visionaries” who had the initial spark with positions in the startup.

Nearly four years later, Aurora Cannabis is Canada’s second-largest publicly traded marijuana company, worth $832.7 million on the stock market.


Alberta’s medical cannabis giant will be ‘ready on day one’ of recreational market

Alberta is poised to lead the way when it comes to establishing protocol for a recreational marijuana market, according to the medical marijuana giant Aurora Cannabis – which just happens to be based right here in Cremona.

A recent study from Deloitte Private found in Canada, the potential economic impact of legalized recreational pot is more than $22 billion – if you include things like transportation, licensing fees and security. 


Not so fast: Health care needs reform before marijuana is legalized, says U of A professor

Alberta needs to better prepare its health care system for marijuana legalization, an academic told a Calgary seminar on the watershed drug reforms said Friday.

While Cam Wild praised Ottawa’s approach to legalizing the recreational use of the drug, he said the province has considerable work to do in the medical field to ensure the move’s success.

A priority should be dedicating tax revenues raised from pot sales to mental health and addictions programs, rather than putting them into general revenues, said Wild, of the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health.

That’s the policy followed by states that have legalized recreational pot, such as California, Washington and Oregon, he said.

“That concept is foreign to us,” he said.


The Global Marijuana March: Events Happening this Weekend


New York City
Parade Assembly: 11:00 a.m. | West 31st & Broadway, Koreatown, NYC
Parade Start Time: 12:30 p.m. | Parade will march to Union Square (Route South on Broadway)
Rally: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Union Square South Plaza
“The NYC Cannabis Parade is the longest running public expression of drug policy reform in New York City, with roots as far back as the early 70’s. This event have gone by many different monikers, but our purpose remains the same, to spread awareness throughout the world! In 1999, the Million Marijuana March brand exploded and has since turned into a annual event held in hundreds of cities across dozens of countries.”


Canada: High Employees Mean Higher Costs When Pot Legalized, Oilpatch CEOs Warn

Many oil and gas companies have strict bans on alcohol and drugs at work and some say more employees have failed drug tests in Colorado, since the state legalized marijuana in 2014.

Oilpatch CEOs fear their costs will rise when the federal government passes recently introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana.

The issue of drug use is closely watched in the industry, where workers tend to be young and hazards include long commutes to and from remote drilling sites, wells that produce poisonous or explosive gas and exposure to heavy machinery. Many oil and gas companies have strict bans on alcohol and drugs at work.


Cannabis expos bloom in Calgary as marijuana's stigma dissipates

Taboos over marijuana are going up in smoke, supercharging cannabis expos in Alberta including one taking seed in Calgary next month, say organizers.

Fuelled by a buzz over impending national legalization and eight U.S. states that have dropped pot prohibition, an Edmonton trade show held in early April exceeded attendance expectations, said Kevin Blackburn of organizer Canwest Productions.

“We were hoping for 3,000 to 5,000 people and we doubled that,” he said. 

“We expect the same, if not better, in Calgary.”

There’s no question the momentum in marijuana’s mainstreaming is drawing both exhibitors and the curious out of the weeds for events such as the Calgary Cannabis and Hemp Expo at Stampede Park’s Big Four Building May 6-7, said Blackburn.


Alberta municipalities want more time for marijuana reform

As marijuana legalization looms, municipal governments are scrambling to develop policy to support the federal regulation of the drug.

The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), which says it represent 85 per cent of Albertans in various cities, towns and villages, is one of the organizations that needs more time than the current July 2018 deadline.

Lisa Holmes, the president of the AUMA and the mayor of Morinville, said Thursday she's concerned municipalities won't have enough time to prepare themselves for cannabis legalization.

"Their [the federal government's] timelines are just too fast," Holmes said. "It will take longer than a year. There's no question."


It may not be legal, but marijuana-infused ice cream is now available in Calgary

Remedy Ice Cream is made in Calgary and infused with shatter — a concentrated form of marijuana.

The operation may not be legal but it's not exactly underground, either.

Co-founder Chris Vasconcellos says the ice cream is meant for licensed medical marijuana patients only. As a licensed user himself, he said he was looking for a different way to consume his medicine, which led him to the idea.

He doesn't have a licence to sell the drug, however, so he's wary of law enforcement — but still willing to talk publicly about what he does.

He's created a widespread online presence and has been making the rounds on pot-themed podcasts, promoting the product as a first of its kind in Canada.


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