Welcome to Weekly Trimmings, a roundup of all things happening in the cannabis world this week. We’ll get the ball rolling with a piece of self-evident news—our blog has officially launched! We’re glad you’re reading and hope these posts provide you with a bit of insight into this rapidly evolving industry. Have you checked out our latest articles? Recently, we delved into dizzying world of Micro Licensing for Canadian Producers, exploring what small businesses can expect as they attempt to enter the legal cannabis industry. We also published a post about Cannabis in the Workplace that looks at security, mandatory testing and what companies can do to get educated. Check them out and share your thoughts in the comments!

US Customs and Border Protection Remains Tough on Cannabis

Last week, Canadian cannabis players received some sobering insight into what US Customs and Border Protection thinks of their industry. A spokesperson for the agency announced that anyone working with the plant shouldn’t expect entry.

This treatment can extend not only to those directly related to the industry but also investors and yes, even recreational users. Moreover, lying about your situation can result in a lifetime ban. The statement came from Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations. You can read everything he has to say at Politico.

Attempting to unpack the statement, Maclean’s doesn’t seem particularly optimistic about the whole ordeal while The Star points out how the feds need to step up and apply some pressure on our neighbours.

Beverage Companies Exploring CBD-infused Drinks

Big news in the beverage industry this week as The Coca-Cola Company is reported to be in “serious talks” with Aurora Cannabis Inc. Although, don’t expect a bigger buzz from your favourite soft drink. While the cola giant is most certainly readying for its foray into cannabis-infused beverages, it’s unlikely that ingredients will stray from the non-psychoactive chemical CBD. Forbes gives us the full rundown.

Surprisingly though, Coca-Cola won’t be the first beverage company to go green. Koios Beverage Corp. has beaten all the big players to the punch. Currently trading at $0.60 a share (CSE:KBEV)—peanuts compared to the Coca-Cola Company’s $46 (NYSE:KO)—the Vancouver-based beverage and supplement company is being closely watched by analysts. Capital Equity Review has lots to say about their market potential here.

 

A New Cannabis Marketplace Emerges

And speaking of Vancouver-based companies ahead of the curb, Namaste Technologies recently announced the prelaunch of a medical marijuana marketplace that will procure and sell medical cannabis to cultivators at home and internationally. The new platform, Cannmart.com, is an ambitious project that leverages A.I. for cutting-edge patient consultations and impeccably streamlined logistics. For more insight into the project, Forbes examines the company’s evolution and highlights several of the bold moves it’s taking to cement itself as “the Amazon of Cannabis.”

Of course, Namaste’s journey to the top may be a rocky one. Following its recent promotional event in Montreal, the Quebec Ministry of Health is planning to launch an investigation against the company. The Snoop Dogg-attended affair featured “sexy nurses” soliciting clients to sign up for the service, something that didn’t quite jibe with provincial laws. Since the controversy, which was first reported by La Presse, the company has suspended operations in Quebec and has been dropped by Tilray, one of Canada’s largest licensed producers. Daily Hive breaks down the blunder for us in English.

 

Quebec’s HEXO and Metro Land Huge Distribution Deal

A company that’s receiving a warmer reception from the Quebec government is HEXO Corp., which recently announced that it is partnering with Metro Supply Chain Group Inc. to manage a warehouse and distribution centre for the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC). For the duration of its three-year contract with the province, HEXO and Metro’s 58,000 sq. ft. facility will serve as the sole distribution centre for all online, direct-to-consumer sales.

If we want to get conspiratorial, we can ask whether this announcement and Namaste’s cold shoulder from the government are related. At the very least, it’s worth pointing out that in the months (and quite possibly years) to come, relationships between public and private interests in the cannabis industry will be a little messy.

Chris Zanti

Chris Zanti

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