Off the cuff

In less than a week, cannabis will have been legal for one year in Canada.

Of course the sky hasn’t fallen; emergency rooms haven’t been overwhelmed with pot overdoses, there’s been no marked increase of people driving high, and the streets aren't filled with smoke.

A short history of the past year in cannabis:
Cannabis consumers
The biggest benefit is, of course, no more prohibition. Those who have been convicted in the past of possession can be pardoned fast and free. Consumers have more choice, better information, and (some) reassurances that their product is consumer protected. Normalization is happening.
A lucky few legal stores have their licences, as many retailers continue to go through the financially (and emotionally) exhausting licensing process. Illegal stores have been facing an ongoing crackdown, but mail-order marijuana is still going strong. Stores on Indigenous land remain a grey area.
It’s clearly been a learning curve to grow cannabis on such a commercial scale. From a consumer perspective, quality and value have been hit and miss. Certain producers have developed a cult-like following and others have developed a group of dedicated haters and whistleblowers. With limited freedom to brand, current popularity is often determined by word of mouth.
Investors have been mauled by a bear market — everything from the CannTrust debacle; Canopy’s CEO being turfed; fears over vaping; shortages in major markets; mould and bug controversies; etc. On average, those investing in the top 10 largest cannabis producers have seen a negative return of 57% says the Financial Post. Few have been spared.
Home growers
Scrolling through Instagram, it seems home growers have had a lot of fun dipping their green thumbs into the experience of growing weed alongside their tomatoes and sunflowers. (That is, when their cannabis plants aren't being chopped down by police.) Also note, the right to grow your own is on the table in the upcoming federal election.

What are your thoughts on the first year of legalization? Get your letter published in Issue No. 1 of the oz. magazine.


Info on vaping

It seems like every day there’s a new story about serious illness or death in the U.S. related to vaping — and we’ve seen a small number of cases in Canada. Here is some useful info from health officials.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 800 American cases of people suffering from severe pulmonary illnesses.

The CDC has recommended that people refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products — particularly those containing THC.

They found things in common among patients:
  1. a history of e-cigarette use, vaping, or dabbing (vaping concentrated marijuana) within 90 days before symptom onset;
  2. lung injury;
  3. absence of evidence of infection, and,
  4. absence of alternative plausible diagnoses.

Meanwhile, in Canada 
Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms — including cough, shortness of breath and chest pain — and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

Be upfront with doctors and nurses about your vaping habits, including if you use oils from illegal or unregulated sources.

Quick Hits

5 to 1 for BCCS
An application for a government BC Cannabis Store in West Kelowna is going to a public hearing, but not before one prominent politician threw some shade: "It looks crappy. It really doesn't present a very good image to certain parts of the public."
Booze CFO now weed chair
After reporting a US$484-million loss on its investment in Canopy Growth Corporation, a Fortune 500 liquor company has installed its chief financial officer as the Canadian cannabis company's chairman.
Cannabis wafers
Aurora has helped created first-of-its-kind cannabis wafers that dissolve in your mouth. The paper-thin polymer film strips don’t need require a patient to swallow them. They take about 5-15 seconds to dissolve and are especially helpful for geriatric and paediatric patients.
‘Worse than tech”
A group of Kootenay women in the cannabis industry are raising concerns over underrepresentation in the industry’s bigger boardrooms. “I think it’s worse than the tech industry… The more executive, better-paid and power positions are typically opportunities given to men.”
Nuts instead of pot
Rather than cannabis, a Nova Scotia man nearly ended up with nuts and a washer. A clever cashier luckily shook the container before selling it — and it sounded like marbles were inside. A manager opened the one-gram pack of Tweed's Houndstooth and found the metal objects.

Dad jokes

Robin: “The Batmobile isn’t starting!”
Batman: “Did you charge the battery?”
Robin: “What the hell is a tery?”
My friend keeps saying "cheer up man it could be worse, you could be stuck underground in a hole full of water." I know he means well.
As a lumberjack, I’ve cut exactly 2,417 trees. I know because every time I cut one, I keep a log.

Earphones extras

Listen to the oz.'s David Wylie and radio host Dean Millard chat about these stories and more on The Cannabis 101 Podcast.

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