Category Archives: News

Shoppers Drug Mart granted licence to sell medical marijuana online

Health Canada’s list of authorized cannabis sellers and producers has been updated to reflect that the pharmacy can sell dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants, seeds and oil.

Health Canada’s list of authorized cannabis sellers and producers has been updated to reflect that the pharmacy can sell dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants, seeds and oil.

A website has been set up by the company, which says that patients “with a valid medical document will soon be able to purchase a wide selection of medical cannabis products” from Shoppers.

A spokesperson for Shoppers’ parent company Loblaw Companies Ltd. says it’s too soon to say when people will be able to start making orders.

She says the company is still working through a “technical issue” with Health Canada.

The company was granted a medical marijuana producer licence in September, after initially applying in October 2016.

Shoppers has said that it has no interest in producing medical cannabis, but the licence is required in order to sell the product to patients.

Under the current Health Canada regulations for medical pot, the only legal distribution method is by mail order from licensed producers direct to patients.

To read more visit:

Marlboro Company Fuses $1.8 Billion Into Cannabis Company Cronos

Big Tobacco Makes First Official Foray Into Cannabis as Tobacco Sales Continue To Fall

Phillip Morris USA’s parent company, Altria, the guys responsible for producing world-famous cigarettes from the Marlboro brand, have officially become the first tobacco company to invest in cannabis.

The investment injected a whopping $1.8 billion for the Canadian cannabis company, Cronos Group, reports CNN. This makes Altria owner of a 45% stake in the cannabinoid company, but and although that isn’t so surprising, what’s even more shocking is the revelation that they will be discontinuing their cigarette vape brands Green Smoke and MarkTen. Altria will also be dropping their oral nicotine, Verve, and are still on the fence about investments in a leading e-cigarette company Juul.

Cigarette sales have steadily been declining, and former cigarette consumers are now turning to other forms of safer recreational products including e-cigarettes as well as cannabis. This change of heart with cannabis consumers is showing that slowly but surely, cannabis is going to topple cigarettes eventually. From one vice to another (safer) vice, although it only makes sense because cannabis has been proven to be healthy while cigarettes have not – and we’ve known this for a long time now.

“The proceeds from Altria’s investment will enable us to more quickly expand our global infrastructure and distribution footprint, while also increasing investments in R&D and brands that resonate with our consumer,” Mike Gorenstein, Cronos CEO, disclosed in a statement. The move also helps “make sure we’re getting in front of regulators,” Gorenstein told CNBC.

“Altria is the ideal partner for Cronos Group, providing the resources and expertise we need to meaningfully accelerate our strategic growth,” he added.

Risky Moves For Altria?

Although this isn’t the first time an American vice company is engaging in long-term romances with Canadian cannabis firms, it’s pretty easy to see why this could be a risky move.

The first was Constellation Brands, parent company of Corona beers, who pumped up their investments in Canopy Growth for a 9.9% stake in the firm. Then within the same month, Hexo, Canadian cannabis producer announced that they were engaging in a joint venture with Molson Coors to create a line of “non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market.” This business, known as Truss, revealed to be a successful JV and they are soon going to be releasing their products in the Canadian market by 2019 once the country legalizes cannabis-infused beverages.

This deal is definitely good news for shareholders of Cronos, because it catapults them to rock star Canadian cannabis company status thanks to the massive investment, with the support of one of the most powerful cigarette producers in the entire world. But what does this mean for Altria, who paid a very steep price for what is now still a mid-size Canadian cannabis producers. Moving forward, Cronos could benefit from Altria’s proficiency in navigating extremely regulated markets. Additionally, it could take Altria another several years to benefit from this deal, so while it initially does seem like a risky move for Altria, it could take a while for this to play out to both sides’ benefits but it isn’t impossible.

Altria’s stock fell by 25% this year so far, but after they announced they would be tying the knot with Cronos, their stocks jumped 2% on Friday after early trading, while it sent Cronos shares soaring around 30%.

“Importantly, Altria shares our vision of driving long-term value through innovation, and we look forward to continuing to differentiate in this area,” Gorenstein says. “As one of the largest holding companies in the adult consumer products sector, Altria has decades of experience in regulatory, government affairs, compliance, product development and brand management that we expect to leverage, particularly as new markets for cannabis open around the world.”

At the end of the day, cannabis remains to be perhaps the most volatile and unpredictable industry. Just look at the supply shortages that are threatening Canada’s industry, while other countries around the world continue to entertain the possibility of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes. It will be interesting to see how this deal will pan out in the next 6 months or so, and which “sin company” ties the knot with cannabis next.

To read more visit:

The Next Gold Rush Is the $22 Billion CBD Business–and This Florida Company Is Ready to Win

Green Roads is cashing in on the demand for products with cannabidiol while preparing for changes in the law that could soon transform the industry.

Ready, set …

That pretty much describes the status of an entire industry–the makers of products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. The compound, added to everything from skin cream to ice cream, can be derived from hemp or marijuana and has been touted as a treatment for ailments ranging from anxiety to cancer. The catch: “It’s still in a legal gray area,” says Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group, which studies the cannabis and CBD industries.

Marijuana is subject to a patchwork of state regulations. But the 2018 farm bill would remove hemp from the list of controlled substances, opening the floodgates for hemp-derived products. “Everyone and their mother is starting a CBD line right now,” says Gomez. “It’s absolutely a gold rush.”

With about 6 percent of the market, Davie, Florida-based Green Roads is the largest private company specializing in hemp-derived CBD, according to Brightfield. The company sells CBD-infused products such as tinctures and balms, online and in 6,000 stores and 2,000 doctors’ offices. Green Roads now has about 100 employees, and co-founder Arby Barroso estimates 2018 revenue at $45 million.

Barroso, 48, became interested in CBD after being introduced to it by a friend in Colorado. He had long taken painkillers for a crushing football injury he sustained when he was 23. When his real estate business collapsed during the financial crisis, he invested in a pain-management clinic. Barroso describes that decision as “the worst thing ever,” as he soon became addicted to opiates. Then his friend suggested he try CBD gummies, which helped him stay clean.

The CBD in Barroso’s gummies was derived from marijuana plants, so it contained another compound, THC, which is illegal in many states. Barosso needed something without THC–he’d been jailed for drug use, and testing positive for THC would violate his parole. In 2012, he approached a compounding pharmacist, Laura Fuentes, about making a hemp-derived CBD product that could alleviate his pain and help keep him off opiates. She came up with an oil.”I could have gotten cleaner quicker if I’d had CBD every day,” he says.

Fuentes and Barosso soon became business partners and the co-founders of Green Roads. Barroso went door-to-door to smoke shops, leaving bottles of CBD oil on consignment. “In the beginning, no one would give us the time of day,” Fuentes says. Then she started hearing that grandmothers were going into vape shops to find CBD. “I was like, we have to do something about this,” she says. “Grandmas are not comfortable in vape stores!”

Green Roads’ CBD Fruit Bites.CREDIT: Courtesy Green Roads

The cost of doing CBD business

Unlike some producers of CBD, Fuentes and Barroso never intended to grow their own hemp, which was outlawed in Florida when they began anyway. At the time, Barroso says, it was almost impossible to buy an oil containing only minimal amounts of THC. It’s easier now, but supply can still be tricky: “We can’t always get 10 55-gallon drums of oil,” he says. Green Roads products use a blend of four to five different cannabinoids, using both oils and isolates (concentrated CBD extract in the form of a powder), designed by Fuentes.

There are other, unexpected, costs. Green Roads lost four banks when their risk-management teams decided that Green Roads wasn’t a business they wanted to be supporting. The company’s Instagram account has likewise been shut down four times, because of legal restrictions on marketing CBD products. Instead of paying standard credit card processing fees of less than 3 percent, Green Roads pays closer to 6 percent.

Fuentes says she has to deal with “tons” of shady people in the industry. She says vendors have offered to sell her extract that contains specified levels of CBD or other compounds. They send her samples, which she sends to her lab. The samples check out fine, so she orders a kilogram–but when she sends a bit of that order to the lab, “it’s not the same thing they sent me as a sample. And there is no recourse.” Green Roads spends $30,000 to $40,000 a month testing their raw materials for pesticides, solvents, and metals, and it requires certificates of origin from their suppliers as well.

Betting on the farm bill

Because CBD currently operates on the boundaries of legality, it’s tricky to figure out how big the industry is and how much bigger it could get. Brightfield pegs the market for hemp-derived CBD products at about $591 million in 2018, growing to $22 billion by 2022. Other analysts, while nowhere near as bullish, are still very positive on the sector. Hemp Business Journal says the market for hemp-derived CBD was about $190 million in 2017, and will grow to $646 million by 2022.

Experts expect the market for CBD to balloon if and when the farm bill passes, which could happen this month. That means the biggest challenge for Green Roads is yet to come. “I’m not worried about the companies that are in the market today, I’m worried about big companies,” Barroso says. “We can’t compete with those guys. I think about it every day.”

So for now, Green Roads, like other private businesses in this market, is girding for the day when it will have to compete–or collaborate–with the larger players they are sure will enter the fray. (Even Coca-Cola is rumored to be developing a CBD product.) Green Roads, for example, is involved in a pilot program with the University of Florida to bring hemp farming back to the state to bolster its profile, connections, and potentially, supply. Another CBD company, Dr. Kerklaan Therapeutics, joined together with three manufacturing facilities to create a larger entity that would interest investors; they raised $15 million.

“The day the farm bill passes, the day we’re allowed to spend $50,000 a day on marketing on Facebook, on Google Adwords, on Instagram–I don’t know if there’s enough product in the country” to fulfill demand, Barroso says. “We’re not at our full potential today, not even close.”

To read more visit:

In Canada, you can study marijuana production for college credit

The country is facing a pot labor shortage, now that the sale and cultivation of cannabis is legal.

Beleave Kannabis Corp. wants to grow more than just pot.

The Ontario marijuana company aims to build an empire of plant scientists, regulatory experts and security personnel in a nascent industry with exploding demand. But there’s a shortage of experienced staff members in Canada, which became the first industrialized country to fully decriminalize pot in October, said Beleave’s chief science officer, Roger Ferreira.

So Beleave, like dozens of other licensed producers, is pressing local universities for help.

“I’m going to pillage the top of your class,” Ferreira said. “All your 4.0 GPAs, send them this way.”

Nearly a dozen colleges nationwide are adding or expanding courses designed to train the next generation of marijuana producers, often at the nudging of area employers. Some of the classes count toward two- and four-year degrees. Other schools offer certificates.

Although the use of medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, the rise of recreational toking has fueled a hiring boom as growers rush to scale up production of smokable buds and oils. Openings have tripled over the past year and now represent 34 of every 10,000 job postings, according to Indeed Canada, an employment site.

“The green rush,” Alison McMahon, founder of web recruiter Cannabis At Work, called it.

Educators have seized on the moment, pledging to equip students for greenhouses and laboratories and storefronts.

In January 2020, McGill University in Montreal will offer a graduate degree in cannabis production, open only to students with botany backgrounds or bachelor’s degrees in related fields.

The school’s new focus on marijuana may seem edgy, but studying pot cultivation requires a grasp of hardcore science, said Anja Geitmann, dean of McGill’s faculty of agricultural and environmental sciences.

“Genetics, breeding — there are multiple strains that have a different chemical composition,” she said.

Durham College in Ontario, meanwhile, unrolled its Cannabis Industry Specialization program this fall, promising to launch careers in the “rapidly expanding cannabis sector,” according to its website. GrowWise Health Limited, a private firm nearby, helped design the curriculum.

And Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver now offers a Retail Cannabis Consultant certificate, the school announced this year, which educates future pot sellers on “compliance, customer service, and competence in a complex and evolving industry.”

The need for skilled cannabis labor is expected to further intensify next year once lawmakers authorize the sale of edible products. Marijuana-laced brownies and other mood-altering treats are projected to account for half of the legal industry’s sales, according to Canadian forecasts.

Beleave, which runs three Ontario grow operations and recently acquired the retail chain Medi-Green, plans to open two more greenhouses in 2019. The expansion will practically double its workforce to 120 or so workers, Ferreira said.

He needs people who can nurture different strains of marijuana, masters of soil and light and pest control. He needs scholars of Canada’s health and safety regulations — the government requires producers to keep a record of every individual who comes in contact with the plants. He needs someone to maintain that access log and monitor the cameras.

“These are skill sets that have only recently been well-characterized and defined,” Ferreira said, adding that applicants who have merely grown marijuana in their basement don’t make the cut.

Hearing from employers who struggle to fill vacancies inspired Ontario science professor Bill MacDonald to create Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production program. More than 300 people, he said, applied for this year’s inaugural 24 spots. (People with business, science or agricultural degrees are welcome to take the year-long class.)

“I had licensed producers come to the college and say, ‘We need highly trained personnel,’ ” MacDonald said. “The demand is just huge.”

His students include flower farmers, a former chief information officer and a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. They take field trips to pot laboratories and intern at grow sites. Salaries in Ontario start around the equivalent of $60,000, he said, “but can move up very quickly.”

Producers are scrambling to meet consumer interest, but a lack of ready talent is slowing growth (and sparking concern among some businesses that buyers will turn to illicit sources).

“I’ve heard several times over just the last month: ‘Don’t you have any students? We are looking for qualified people,’ ” said Geitmann, the McGill dean. “They’re happy to have someone with a plant background at all and often train people on-site.”

Students view the new crop of courses as an adventurous career twist or a way to earn more money.

Laurie Zuber, 39, enrolled in Niagara’s cannabis production program two months ago after her mother saw a commercial on television. “She called me like, ‘You should apply for this! Do it!’ ” Zuber said.

Zuber, who has spent the past 16 years as a grower at a plant nursery, figured: Why not? The program was a $10,000 investment — but it could potentially double her earnings.

Zuber doesn’t smoke marijuana. Tending to greenery, she said, is her favorite part of the work.

“They’re my little babies,” she said. “I love watching them from the seeds.”

To read more visit:

CBD Companies Prepare For Hemp Legalization In Farm Bill

Despite the delay in this year’s farm bill, one thing is clear: hemp and hemp-derived CBD is likely to become federally legal in the U.S.

Hemp, CBD and the FDA

Sen. Mitch McConnell has advocated for removing hemp from the list of Schedule I controlled substances in the upcoming farm bill.

He championed for the provision in the 2014 bill that distinguished industrial hemp from marijuana, based on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. This made it legal to grow and study hemp through agricultural programs and universities.

Industrial hemp is considered any part of the cannabis plant with no more than 0.3 percent of THC on a dry weight basis, according to the National Law Review.

The 2014 provision will be repealed, allowing even wider growth of industrial hemp. Nineteen states grew more than 25,000 acres of hemp in 2017, a 163 percent increase since 2016, according to the Non-GMO Report.

Though both derived from hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) does not produce a psychoactive effect like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It does not produce “a high.”

Still, the FDA currently considers all CBD a drug — and an illegal food ingredient. Hemp seed oil has been deemed “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS), but the FDA needs more scientific evidence for CBD.

In June, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD treatment for epilepsy, and the US Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cleared it for prescriptions in September, classifying it as a Schedule V substance. It’s currently available by prescription in all 50 states.

Growing CBD Sales

The CBD market will likely grow 40 times its current size by 2022, according to a report by Brightfield Group.

For CBD companies, federal legalization is great news. But how will they prepare, and what do they hope to see?

Leila Mafoud is founder and owner of Green Witch, a CBD company based in New York, with a current popup at Canal Street Market. She studied global public health before discovering CBD’s benefits.

CBD binds to different receptors than THC, delivering pain and anxiety relief without psychoactive effects, according to a recent McGill University study. It’s lauded for fighting pain and anxiety and administered through tinctures, which can be added to food and drink, lotions and creams and other beauty products.

“We are making the same compound as the plant, which is why we’re so receptive. That’s one of the most important facts about how this all works,” Mafoud said. “It’s the reason why the pharmaceutical companies are open to it.”

Though Green Witch been well-received in New York City, Mafoud has seen some hurdles. Facebook and Instagram have removed ads. Getting print ads has been difficult. Payment processors for credit cards have been removed, and bank accounts have been closed.

“The time, the effort and the exhaustion that that’s taken obviously has been a huge barrier to business, more than just the geographic location,” she said.

But she’s inspired by NYC’s enthusiasm for natural wellness and engaging with customers, especially since CBD is a form of medicine or prevention, she said. She asks customers to share feedback once they’ve tried their products, and all feedback is recorded. Her CBD-only products are available online.

“I love meeting people and actually connecting with them in person, but nobody in 2018 can turn their back on online sales and how much that can actually cause your brand to grow,” she said. “I would be very excited to sell more online. The moment I know everything I’m selling is federally legal, I’m really going to be pushing online and focus my efforts there.”

Brittany Carbone, founder of Tonic, a CBD company, also owns a hemp farm, Tricolla Farms in upstate New York. She worked with Cornell as part of New York’s Industrial Hemp Research Initiative and saw the value in controlling her supply chain, she said.

Like Mafoud, Carbone also experienced issues with credit card processors and bank accounts due to the current CBD laws. With legalization comes better access to these crucial sources, which could be a great opportunity for farmers, she said.

“The industry is becoming restrictive to people with deeper pockets,” Carbone said. “It’s an industry that they see to be very lucrative, whereas this could be something that really revitalizes the cultural economy of upstate New York, [giving] opportunities to farmers who are struggling and can’t make ends meet.”

Cindy Bencosme, founder of Terrestrial Roots, started creating tinctures and salves for herself, her husband and friends before launching the company one year ago. With legalization, she looks forward to discoveries of new ways to grow and use hemp.

“It opens a whole new bottle of opportunity,” Bencosme said.

But despite a sunny horizon ahead, she wants a more inclusive industry.

“It’s something we have to come back to every time we’re talking about the industry: the people in prison that were arrested for things relating to cannabis,” she said. “People are really interested in this green rush we’re having with hemp and with cannabis, and I think that it’s great, but it has to be more inclusive.”

To read more visit:

Marijuana Legalization On Ballot Would Drive 2020 Voter Turnout, Says Michael Moore

According to the documentarian, the strategy worked in Michigan

Influential documentarian Michael Moore has an idea for Democrats to win the 2020 election—put marijuana legalization on the ballot. Moore’s reasoning springs from his home state in Michigan, which legalized recreational cannabis this month amidst the largest voter turnout in the state in 56 years.

Moore also believes adding other litmus issues like free college tuition and banning gerrymandering will raise the Democratic chance of victory, in addition to cannabis legalization. This is particularly true in key swing states, driving voters who “don’t vote that much” or “don’t like politicians” to the polls.

“This is what we did in Michigan two weeks ago—we had a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana,” Moore said on MSNBC last week. “Largest turnout of young people in we don’t know when came out to the polls.”

Moore used Michigan as an example. While the state legalized recreational cannabis, it also elected Democrats to high-profile roles in the state’s gubernatorial, attorney general and U.S. Senate races. Putting key issues on the ballot that voters care about, like cannabis legalization, is Moore’s explanation why.

Research has backed up Moore’s proposal, at least when it comes to cannabis. Myers Research polled Wisconsin voters in October, and found that 56 percent were more likely to cast their ballots if it included a cannabis question. The biggest boost in voters more likely to turn out, though, was for self-identified Democrats.

To read more visit:

Mastering the art and science of cannabis through Canada’s first cannabis sommelier course

CannaReps has brought the course to Calgary, Vancouver and, most recently, Toronto

If one looks to industries like beer, wine or even coffee—each has its own exams and series of certifications to test one’s own sensory realms. Those who clear these high hurdles are called things like sommelierscicerone or Q-graders.

It seems only natural, then, that the cannabis industry would make and develop its own testing to evaluate a person’s practical experience with the plant—assessment skills, tasting prowess and the ability to differentiate varieties and terpene profiles, just to name a few.

This is where Vancouver-based CannaReps, a private education program founded by cannabis expert and headmaster Adolfo Gonzalez, comes into play.

Recently, CannaReps started delivering its very own Cannabis Sommelier Course, which provides attendees with the chance to practice academic and sensory skills with interactive activities, labs, tastings and discussions while also learning responsible product guidance by discussing plant botany and breaking down buds. The idea behind the course is to attract professionals from all walks of life who are interested in the cannabis industry and need mentorship and professional development support.

While Gonzalez explains the program previously offered a similar course, which specifically trained dispensary workers, the most recent iteration has been on offer for just six months.“It just had to morph a bit because of the laws, and also because we realize that we designed the course originally to train dispensary workers, but then when we actually started running the company, it was an incredibly broad section of the public that was attending, not only retail workers,” he says.

Since then, CannaReps has brought the course to Calgary, Vancouver and, most recently, Toronto.

Julie Domingo, CEO of CannaReps, says many of the cities selected to host the course largely depend on whether or not the municipalities will have government-run stores only. “We like to ensure that we can maximize the potential of us being there, and so when Ontario announced that they would allow some private retail, too, that was the perfect opportunity.”

Held at the Lifford Cannabis Solutions office in downtown Toronto, the Toronto course was sold out with a diverse group of 35 registrants and others on a waiting list. “We know that there’s hunger for this knowledge in Toronto, and we want to bring the same program back,” shares Domingo.

Over its history, the course has attracted a range of people, she says, including people who are patients, entrepreneurs, dispensary managers and owners, growers, medical professionals, researchers, career-seekers and students.

Gonzalez, with more than 15 years of hands-on experience in everything from cultivating cannabis to frontline patient advocacy, lead the two-day event. Jars of various cannabis strains lined each of the tables. Equipped with a pocket-sized microscope and medical gloves, each registrant was instructed to pluck a single bud from the jar. Many in the classroom would marvel at its size and beauty.
But as part of the “cannabis sommeliers” education, Gonzalez wanted participants (both as individuals and as a group) to challenge themselves to cut through the sensory noise and observe things such as extraneous aromas, flavours, shapes, colour and crystal residues to identify the essence of whatever bud was being presented. “It’s just the tools you need to practise because it’s like any sensory skill or understanding any culture,” Gonzalez notes, citing the value of truly immersing oneself in that culture.

Over the course of two days, people appeared to feel safe asking questions revolving around varieties and terpene profiles they have seen, the stigma they have faced and how best to handle specific customer service interactions. These discussions not only provided a deeper education beyond the course objectives, but also helped showcase the rich ancestry of cannabis’ roots.

Gonzalez admits the course is not just about education; it is about trying to destigmatize cannabis on a global level. “I really just want to take the opportunity to affect people’s way of thinking on a fundamental level,” he says, adding he wants to highlight that, beyond the medical dimension, there is a significant cultural dimension.

Sommeliers, cicerone or Q-graders employ a standard and universal language for evaluating wine, beer and coffee at the export level and at the consumer level. Domingo and Gonzalez say they believe the CannaReps program is the first of its kind that provides a fulsome related experience.

For the recent two-day course in Toronto, attendees were instructed by Gonzalez that they would receive a multiple-choice, test post-course, which would then qualify them for certification.

Between the course and test, attendees would gain access to an education portal, including resources for review and mentorship (in some form) from cannabis industry experts. Upon successfully completing the test and tasting (evaluated on-site in Toronto), certification would be provided.

While many other exams and boot camps in wine, beer and coffee can range from two days to one week, Domingo believes the course is the real deal: offering the experience to look, touch, smell and then, of course, taste. “If you’re going to be someone that wants to work in the industry, you want to be ahead of the curve.”

At the beginning of the two-day course, Domingo acknowledges the issues covered in that timeframe will not make a participant a full-fledged expert. Rather, it is a skill learned over time with plenty of practice.

That said, whatever people’s education level or wherever they are at in their cannabis journeys, the course will set them on the pathway to learning, much like a WSET Level 1, the beginner level introduction to wine.

The Cannabis Sommelier Course is offered for $680 + tax, with the next course taking place in Calgary on Nov. 24-25, 2018.

To read more visit:

South Korea first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis

South Korea became the first country in East Asia to legalize medical cannabis, marking a significant milestone in the global industry and a potential turning point in how the drug is perceived in traditionally conservative societies.

The country’s National Assembly voted to approve amending the Act on the Management of Narcotic Drugs to pave the way for non-hallucinogenic dosages of medical cannabis prescriptions.

Medical marijuana will still be tightly restricted, but the law’s approval by the central government is seen as a breakthrough in a country many believed would be last – not among the first – to approve any use of cannabis, even if it is just low-THC to start.

To receive medical cannabis, patients would be required to apply to the Korea Orphan Drug Center, a government body established to facilitate patient access to rare medicines in the country.

Approval would be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Patients would also need to receive a prescription from a medical practitioner.

South Korea’s cannabis law overcame a major obstacle in July when it won the support of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, which said at the time it would permit Epidiolex, Marinol, Cesamet and Sativex for conditions including epilepsy, symptoms of HIV/AIDS and cancer-related treatments.

The ministry said a series of amended laws passed in a National Assembly session will expand the treatment opportunities for patients with rare diseases.

A number of other countries had been vying to join Israel as the first countries in Asia to allow medical cannabis, including Thailand and Malaysia.

“South Korea legalizing medical cannabis, even if it will be tightly controlled with limited product selection, represents a significant breakthrough for the global cannabis industry,” said Vijay Sappani, CEO of Toronto-based Ela Capital, a venture capital firm exploring emerging markets in the cannabis space.

“The importance of Korea being the first country in East Asia to allow medical cannabis at a federal level should not be understated. Now it’s a matter of when other Asian countries follow South Korea, not if.”

To read more visit:

Buying Weed Online: A Guide to Online Marijuana Stores in Canada

On October 17th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fulfilled a 2015 election pledge when Canada became the first major industrialized country to fully decriminalize cannabis for recreational use. The process has proved to be complex amidst higher than expected demand.

They saw shortages of legal cannabis in the early days of legalization and an insufficient amount of cannabis retail outlets in rural areas. For those cannabis consumers who don’t live near a dispensary, finding an online marijuana store in Canada is their best option.

So, for those who live in the middle of nowhere in The Great White North, we here at Leafbuyer have listed the marijuana sites for each Canadian province and territory.

Provincial Authority

Although the federal government is responsible for licensing commercial cannabis growers and authorizing their products, Canada’s 13 provinces and territories are tasked with regulating the distribution and sale of cannabis, and they have adopted differing approaches.

For example, in Ontario and the Western provinces, the sale of cannabis is administered by privately licensed and operated retail outlets, whereas in Quebec and most eastern Canadian provinces, marijuana is exclusively sold in state-run stores, similar to how alcohol is treated.

In most of the country, the legal age is 18 or 19, the same as for alcohol, but Quebec has promised to boost the cannabis consumption age to 21.

Not for Sale, Yet

As of now, no online marijuana stores in Canada can sell cannabis seeds for recreational use, even though the Canadian federal government has legalized cannabis cultivation for personal use.  Currently, cannabis seeds can be purchasedat medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the country.

And foods containing cannabis, such as cookies and candies, will remain illegal for the remainder of the year until the Canadian government completes its regulatory regime for edibles.

British Columbia 

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is the sole, wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis for the province. It operates public retail stores, as a standalone, and is also the only online marijuana store in British Columbia.

The British Columbia LDB is committed to keeping their residents informed about the transitions to the legalization of non-medical cannabis and continues to provide updates as well as online sales on their website,


The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) keeps a watchful eye over the gaming, liquor and cannabis industries in Alberta.  The AGLC also regulates distribution and private retail licensing of cannabis, and operates Alberta’s only online marijuana store – Alberta Cannabis.

As Alberta’s only legal, non-medical online cannabis store, Alberta Cannabis offers a wide variety of cannabis products, safely and legally, and you can have them delivered right to your doorstep.  In Alberta, just as the rest of Canada, you can purchase up to 30 grams of marijuana at a time with proof of legal age (18+ in Alberta).

For online orders or more information visit


Only around one-third of the 51 licensed locations were ready for business on opening day, according to the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authorities.

However, the following stores are open for business as of Oct. 17:

  • Rural Municipality of Edenwold – Eden, outside Pilot Butte off of Highway 47
  • Fire and Flower shops in North Battleford and Yorkton
  • Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop in Martensville

In Saskatchewan, private retailers already approved by the Liquor and Gaming Authorities are allowed to sell cannabis products through their websites.


Only a handful of retailers have been licensed and approved to sell cannabis in Manitoba so far, and they are all located in bigger cities in the south of the province. The good news for Manitobans out ‘in the boonies,’ is that you can purchase marijuana online from any of the retailers already approved.


  • Delta 9 Cannabis Store, Unit 1 ? 827 Dakota St.
  • Hiku/Tokyo Smoke, 55B Goulet St.
  • Meta Cannabis Supply Co./National Access Cannabis, Unit 23 ? 584 Pembina Hwy.
  • Tweed/Canopy, 120 Osborne St.
  • Tweed/Canopy, 1592 Regent Avenue


  • Tweed/Canopy, 1450 Main St. South
  • Online – Private retailers are allowed to sell product through their websites in Manitoba


The only way to buy legal pot in Ontario will be by mail order after recently elected premier Doug Ford reversed plans to sell cannabis through government-owned stores.

The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the province’s only legal site to buy marijuana online. The OCS website is full of information about cannabis, the legalization movement, and the laws surrounding it.

The OCS website also has a nice selection of dried cannabis flower (no pictures of buds though), and an impressive selection of cannabis accessories, like bongs, pipes, trays, and cleaning supplies.  You can browse the content or place a cannabis order at the OCS website.


The agency in charge of cannabis distribution in Quebec is the Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC).  At the time of writing this article, the website for this Canadian online marijuana store ( was down for maintenance after a huge few days of sales.

The SQDC recorded more than 42,000 cannabis transactions in 48 hours (12,500 in-store transactions and 30,000 online orders). The SQDC expects significant short-term supply challenges. Specifically, for online purchase, expect more products to be unavailable; especially cannabis oil, capsules, atomizers and pre-rolled joints.  There is supplemental information about the SQDC at

New Brunswick

Cannabis NB approaches the customer experience by focusing on the lifestyles of cannabis consumers; the occasions for using cannabis, and the activities they partake in after consuming for recreational purposes. By doing it this way, Cannabis NB gives great service, pointing out potential side effects and creates ambassadors for responsible cannabis use.

As the only online marijuana store for this Canadian province, Cannabis NB operates a clean, straightforward, and easy to navigate website. Check out for more information or to place a cannabis order.

Prince Edward Island

Online sales of marijuana are Prince Edward Island are administered by the PEI Cannabis Corp.  Their website offers cannabis as dried flower, pre-rolled joints, or oil/capsules, to adults 19 and older, in a no-nonsense format.

All orders from PEI Cannabis Corp. are delivered by a third-party (Purolator) and must be addressed to a physical address (no P.O. boxes). Also, no packages will be left unattended at the customer’s door. In the event you are not home to receive your package, you have the option of arranging re-delivery or obtaining the package at a designated pick-up location. Visit to place an order.

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) is in charge of cannabis distribution.  The NSLC operates a website called MyNSLC, where they handle online marijuana sales for the entire Canadian province.

In order to access any online cannabis content you must first visit an NSLC store with valid identification to confirm you are 19 years of age or more to receive an online access code.

Once you have your access code, visit to complete registration. After you’ve gained access, you may make marijuana purchases over the internet.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador authorized the Newfoundland Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) to regulate the possession, sale and delivery of non-medical cannabis. This new mandate spawned the need to create a unique brand Cannabis NL.

Cannabis NL is the sole cannabis provider online in the Newfoundland and Labrador. Due to the already large demand for legal weed, Cannabis NL has posted warnings about potential outages and delays in filling online orders.  To place an order online or for more information visit For online ordering assistance, call 1-844-757-5986 (7 days a week, 10am to 10pm)


In this province, the Yukon Liquor Corporation (YLC) is in charge of regulating recreational cannabis sales and in turn, the YLC created Cannabis Yukon.

The Cannabis Yukon website gives visitors access to all the relevant news relating to cannabis in the province, including laws and regulations, travel information, safety tips, and frequently asked questions about cannabis sales.  This Canadian online marijuana store also has a handy ‘equivalency weight’ converter for guests familiar with buying in American ounces.

All cannabis deliveries must show proof of age (19+) with a valid ID before you can receive your package. For more information or to place an online cannabis ordervisit

Northwest Territories

The Northwest Territories Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NTLCC) regulates the distribution of alcohol and cannabis ensuring Northwest Territories (NWT) residents have safe and legal access to alcohol and cannabis.  In the NWT, the only places to buy legal marijuana are from NTLCC-approved vendors or from the NTLCC online store.

The website for the NTLCC is one of the few online marijuana stores in Canada that shows photos of plants from the actual cannabis strain you are buying, unfortunately, at this time they only offer four strains:

And even though these are all well known and popular strains, experienced cannabis users might be used to a wider selection. For questions and online orders, visit


The Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission (NULC) is a public agency that sells and distributes alcoholic beverages and cannabis products in Canada’s most northern province.  At the end of each fiscal year, the NULC transfers its profits back to the Government of Nunavut, thereby using its excess revenues to support wider public priorities.

It’s illegal to purchase recreational cannabis in Nunavut from anyone other than the NULC or the NULC’s agents. Right now, Canopy Growth Corporation (Tweed) is the only approved agent in Nunavut and handles the all the online marijuana sales in the province.  More information about cannabis in the province can be found at

To read more visit:

Believe The Science – Over 29,000 Medical Studies Have Been Done on Cannabis Now

Medical Marijuana Studies are Booming

The proof is in the pudding, or so they say. But if you’d like the truth about cannabis, just look at the growing body of research.

From the years 2000-2017, there’s been over 29,000 studies focused on cannabis alone, according to a recent research review that’s been published in Population Health Management. The review, conducted by a research team in Israel, revealed that the spike in cannabis research surged dramatically within that time frame.

To conduct the review, they looked at online research databases including Web of Science and PubMed. There was an especially large spike starting in 2013, but what was interesting was that the jump in cannabis research outperformed all other areas of scientific research when you look at the big picture. Annually, all other scientific publications jumped up 2.5 times from 2000-2017 (from 531,664 to 1,282,220); meanwhile, cannabis-focused studies increased 4.5 times (from 620 to 2,388). The quantity of studies on medical cannabis increased a total of 9 times in the 17-year span; in 2000 there were just 82 but by 2017, there were 742.

“The results of the present study demonstrate an ongoing increase in the number of publications related to cannabis in general and to medical cannabis in particular,” the researchers write. “The spike in medical publications on medical cannabis that began in 2013 is impressive and encouraging.”

Types of Studies

The researchers found a little over 29,000 scientific studies on cannabis which were published within the 17-year time frame, and 3,300 of them were focused on the medical uses of cannabis.However, the most prominent increase in research went to psychiatry.

In the field of medical cannabis, a great deal of studies was dedicated to its ability to treat chronic painHIVepilepsynausea, and multiple sclerosis. There was also a notable increase in studies assessing the impact of cannabis in cancer and neurology from 2011-2013, and since then there’s been more studies analyzing the effects of cannabis on kids and the elderly. The researchers also note that more than 60% of these studies are “original research” with 66% of them coming from the United States.

The Role of Legalization in Cannabis Studies

The increase in cannabis research was found to be directly proportional to the spread of cannabis legalization in the United States. Since 2000, 25 states legalized cannabis for medical use and since 2012, 9 states legalized cannabis for recreational purposes.

“The absence of an increase in publications on cannabis until recent years would appear to be related to the United Nations Single Convention that prohibited the use of cannabis for recreational purposes and had broad support in most of the developed countries,” states the researchers. “It is noteworthy that the significant growth in the number of publications on medical cannabis since 2013 parallels legislation permitting the use of recreational cannabis in the states of Washington and Colorado in 2012 and in Alaska and Oregon in 2014, and subsequently in many other countries around the world,” the researchers explain.

What’s Next For Cannabis Research?

Experts predict that there will be a trend in funding more cannabis research in the next few years; more than ever before. Cannabis continues to be legalized in markets both in the United States and abroad, and the recent legalization of recreational cannabis by Canada could result in even more significant cannabis research.

Despite the evidence we have today that cannabis can be safely used to treat dozens of medical conditions, there is still much that we don’t know when it comes to efficacy and dosage. The impact of cannabis on the elderly, pregnant, and children are also areas that could do with much more research on cannabis.

The trend of more cannabis funding is already spreading in Canada and the United States, as well as Israel. Pharmaceutical companies are also continuing to pour funds into cannabis research, as well as other companies in the health and wellness sector. In fact, even colleges and universities have been on the receiving end of funding to do cannabis research. Some have even created entirely new courses so that students can have the option of studying the cannabis plant and its medical applications.

To read more visit: