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Canopy Growth closing legal pot shops amid virus outbreak

Canopy Growth Corp. is temporarily shutting down its corporate-owned cannabis stores across the country Tuesday due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the company said in a statement. 

Canopy, which owns 23 legal cannabis stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, will close its stores for an undetermined period of time at 5 p.m. local.  It is also closing its visitors centre located at its headquarters in Smiths Falls, Ont. 

“We have a responsibility to our employees, their families, and our communities to do our part to ‘flatten the curve’ by limiting social interactions. For us, that means shifting our focus from retail to e-commerce," said David Klein, chief executive officer of Canopy Growth, in a statement. 


Home growers take on corporate cannabis in Canada

In October 2018, Canada legalized cannabis for adult use nationwide. Under Canada’s Cannabis Act, adults are allowed to cultivate up to four cannabis plants per household, either indoors or outdoors. Now, almost a year into legalization, more Canadians are taking advantage of this freedom — and are pushing to expand it. 

Take, for example, a nursery in the small town of Petitcodiac, New Brunswick that decided to hold a workshop on home cannabis cultivation last week. They were overwhelmed by the turnout and had to find a bigger venue at the last minute.


Saskatchewan and Manitoba emerge as testing grounds for same-day cannabis delivery

Saskatchewan and Manitoba are emerging as testing grounds for cannabis delivery services, thanks to the provinces’ relatively liberal retail regimes, which allow private actors to operate online stores.

The result of those policies — which differ from the regimes in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, where online cannabis stores are controlled by the province — has been a flurry of cannabis startups, including Super Anytime Inc., Pineapple Express Delivery Inc., and Prairie Records that offer same-day delivery to recreational cannabis consumers.


Manitoba has potential vendors wanting to sell cannabis in rural areas

The Manitoba government says nearly 100 organizations have pre-qualified for the expansion of retail cannabis sales.

While it’s not known how many will be approved, the government is opening the door to new stores that it hopes will eat into the black market.

“Our goal remains for 90 per cent of the population to have access to retail (cannabis) within a 30-minute drive, within two years of legalization,” Blaine Pedersen, minister of growth, enterprise and trade, said in a written statement Wednesday.

“The ultimate goal is to move to an open market through a streamlined application process in order to ensure Manitobans can access safe, regulated cannabis supplies.”


Manitoba to be home for what’s expected to be world’s largest indoor organic hemp CBD producer

Global CBD industry expected to grow exponentially around the world in the next few years.

Botanist Organic Growers Corp. has purchased of Pineland Forest Nursery from the Province of Manitoba with a view to will converting the space to become what is being called the largest indoor organic hemp CBD producer in the world.

The property covers more than approximately 121 hectares and includes 300,000-plus sq. ft of greenhouse and research facilities, notes a press release from Botanist Organic Growers, a privately held company that has plans to produce high-quality organic hemp indoors for CBD extraction and co-founded by former Winnipegger.


Delta 9 to expand cannabis production, open more stores to meet growing demand

Winnipeg cannabis producer and resaler Delta 9 plans to expand its production capacity and open more stores to keep up with a growing demand.

"All of our expectations have been blown away, the demand is far in excess of our projections," said CEO John Arbuthnot.

The company announced Friday it aims to grow 60,000 kilograms annually by 2022, compared to its current annual projected growth of 4,224.

Delta 9 also plans to open an additional three stores in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson, bringing its total store number from one to four. The company is also working with a First Nation to open another.

Arbuthnot said the market has been under pressure since Delta 9 opened its first store on legalization day last October.


Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Cannabis producer Tilray Inc. has signed a deal to acquire Hemp Hearts-maker Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million in cash and stock as the two companies look to launch CBD-infused products where permissible in the U.S.

The acquisition accelerates the Nanaimo, B.C.-based pot grower’s entry into the U.S. market as the hemp food manufacturer’s products are already on the shelves of retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Whole Foods on both sides of the border, said Tilray chief executive Brendan Kennedy.

Tilray will look to leverage the food maker’s manufacturing facilities in Manitoba and its supply chain to roughly 16,000 stores where their products are already sold in North America, he added.​


Health Canada suspends licence of Winnipeg cannabis producer Bonify

Health Canada has suspended the sales licence of Winnipeg-based cannabis producer Bonify.

The federal agency barred Bonify Medical Cannabis from selling cannabis on Monday due to safety and public health concerns.

"The department found that Bonify Medical Cannabis was possessing, distributing and selling product that was purchased from an illegal source, and selling product that did not comply with the good production practices as required under the Cannabis Act and cannabis regulations," Health Canada spokesperson Eric Morrissette said in a statement.

The case has been forwarded on to the RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency, said Morrissette.


Poll says 1 in 4 Manitobans have bought pot since legalization or plan to do so

Since cannabis was legalized in October, more than a quarter of Manitobans have bought, or plan to buy marijuana, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by Probe Research and commissioned by the Winnipeg Free Press, found 11 per cent of respondents reported that they'd purchased from a licensed retailer. Five per cent said they'd bought from an unlicensed source and 15 per cent of respondents said they hadn't bought cannabis yet, but plan to.

The majority, 73 per cent of respondents, said they had no plans to purchase marijuana.

The poll took place between Nov. 27 and Dec. 6, and surveyed a random sampling of 1,105 adults living in Manitoba.


Canada: Winnipeg mayor questions premier's marijuana math, says province will make 'a lot of money' from cannabis

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is questioning Premier Brian Pallister's claim Manitoba won't make any money off cannabis.

On Monday, Pallister told the the Association of Manitoba Municipalities convention the province won't share cannabis excise revenue with municipalities, including the City of Winnipeg.

He then claimed cannabis sales won't have any positive impact on the provincial bottom line.

"There's no profit in cannabis and there's no proof there's going to be profit for some time, so don't ask for a share of profits when there aren't profits," Pallister said in a hallway scrum Monday at RBC Convention Centre.

Bowman tweeted his annoyance with this claim on Tuesday and followed up that sentiment Wednesday with a more detailed explanation


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