Quebec cannabis sales totalled $71 million in first year

Quebec's provincially operated cannabis shops made $71 million in sales in their first year and sold the most cannabis in the country in terms of dollars and volume, but they still posted a $4.9-million loss to be covered by the provincial government.

The provincial cannabis corporation -- known as the SQDC -- said in a statement that the provincial government revenues from consumption and excise taxes totalled about $21.7 million between June 12, 2018 and March 30.

The first stores in the Quebec network opened on Oct. 17, the day recreational marijuana became legal in the country.

However, the stores had to reduce opening hours, plagued by supply challenges faced by all provinces no matter what business model they were employing.


Should teens ditch the dutchie? A new study suggests yes

A new study by the Université of Montréal shows that cannabis can harm teenage cognitive development.

During a convention run by the Canadian Association of Neuroscience in Toronto from May 22 to 25, Dr. Patricia Conrod and her colleagues presented their findings from a four-year-long study on the alcohol and cannabis use of 4,000 teens in Montreal high schools.

Their results concluded that the more teens increased their cannabis use, the more their cognitive abilities were negatively affected. Cognitive abilities affected included problem-solving, logic, work memory, and inhibitory control.

According to Conrod, the latter two abilities “…are very important functions involved in decision making in adults, in self-control and in control of behaviour.”


Montreal hospital reports more children being admitted for cannabis intoxication

Healthcare workers in Montreal have expressed concerns over an increase in hospital visits by children with cannabis intoxication since marijuana was legalized in October. The Montreal Children’s Hospital reported that 26 children were brought to the hospital since legalization. Nine of those children were under the age of 7.

The trauma director for the Children’s Hospital Debbie Friedman said that the increase in visits is significant compared to visits that occurred before legalization took place.

“[The number of cases] has gone from one every three to four years to nine within a very short period of time. So this certainly is alarming to us,” Friedman told CTV.


Montreal cannabis grower hits trifecta with three Health Canada licences

Montreal-based Great White North Growers Inc. (GWNG) reports applications for cultivation, processing and medical sales licences have been approved by Health Canada, a development that positions the company well, and early, for the developing Quebec market.

“Great White North Growers becomes the first aeroponic facility and only the second company to be fully licensed on the island of Montreal,” notes a statement from the privately held, Quebec-owned national company that produces premium pharmaceutical-grade medical and recreational cannabis flowers and derivatives.


Quebec cannabis giant HEXO acquires Newstrike Brands in $260-million deal

Quebec cannabis giant HEXO Corp. is acquiring Newstrike Brands Ltd. — the Oakville-based mid-sized cannabis company backed by The Tragically Hip — in an all-stock deal worth $260 million, both companies announced early Wednesday morning.

The deal is the biggest yet to take place between two sizeable Canadian cannabis companies post-legalization in a crowded industry where the top two players — Aurora Cannabis Inc. and Canopy Growth Corp. — control just under 50 per cent of domestic recreational cannabis sales.


Quebec adds 2 LPs for recreational supply

On Tuesday (February 26), the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) signed supply agreements with licensed producers (LPs) Organigram Holdings (TSXV:OGI,OTCQX:OGRMF) and Zenabis Global (TSXV:ZENA,OTC Pink:ZBISF) to add product to its lineup of recreational marijuana.

Both producers will have to wait for the public process of the SQDC to determine the exact start date and final agreement in terms of quantity sold to the province.

Zenabis informed shareholders it expects to supply product starting the second quarter of 2019.


Jesse Kline: Quebec wants to raise the legal cannabis age to 21. That's a terrible idea

Canada already has some of the toughest cannabis regulations of any legal jurisdiction in the world. For many Canadians, so far, that has meant a lack of selection, few places to buy pot legally and no Amsterdam-style coffee shops. Now, the Quebec government is looking to crack down even harder by raising the minimum age from 18 to 21. At a time when we should be looking at how to give consumers more freedom to enjoy this newly legal product, this would force a whole host of Quebecers to turn to the black market and forgo the benefits of legalization.


Public assistance sought to urge Quebec government to exempt medical cannabis users

Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) would like to see medical cannabis users allowed to smoke or vape in public places where smoking is permitted, and are hoping public persistence will convince the Quebec government to reverse its proposed stance.

If passed, Quebec’s Bill 2, An Act to tighten the regulation of cannabis, would ban cannabis use in all public places province-wide, reports CFAMM, a federal non-profit, non-partisan, patient-run organization dedicated to protecting and improving the rights of medical cannabis patients.


Mayor of Montreal says proposed cannabis laws are unfair

The Quebec provincial government has plans to implement a ban on smoking cannabis in any and all public spaces for the City of Montreal is making it clear that this would be impossible to enforce.

Bill 2 would enforce a province-wide ban on smoking cannabis in public spaces as well as raise the legal consumption age from 18 to 21.

The Mayor of Montreal Valerie Plante believes the city should be exempt from these rules if they are implemented and has recently spoken at public hearings to voice the city’s concerns about the bill. Both she and police Chief Sylvain Caron have state that the way of life in Montreal is different from other parts of the province and that it would be much more difficult to enforce the law.


Quebec facing strong opposition to new bill restricting cannabis consumption

The Quebec government faced strong opposition as public consultations began Tuesday on its bill seeking to increase the legal age of cannabis consumption and ban it from all public areas.

Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant has said he tabled Bill 2 in order to protect young people and send a message that smoking marijuana is not a trivial matter. The proposed legislation restricts marijuana usage to people aged 21 and over and limits its smoking to private property.


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