Canada’s Proposed Edible, Topical, and Extract Regulations Are Thorough

On October 17th of 2018, Canada legalized recreational cannabis for adult use, blazing a trail that’s sure to be followed by other countries.  But between all the headlines of ‘historic firsts’ and behind all the pot-related puns involved in news coverage for the new law, few articles gave more than a cursory mention that the new law did not regulate cannabis-infused topicals, concentrates, or edibles; effectively making joints legal, but keeping pot brownies illegal.

But now, less than three months into the new law (and amidst product shortages and production gaps), the government has released a report proposing new marijuana edible regulations in Canada.

None of the recommendations in the report are law (yet), but it does give us civilians some answers as to why Canada didn’t legalize edibles right away and a taste of the marijuana edible regulations they are cooking up in Ottawa.

Why the Delay in Regulating Edibles, Concentrates, and Topicals?


Apparently, the marijuana edible regulations in Canada were delayed in order to address the public health and safety risks posed by edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals.

But the government also created a Task Force to establish of a comprehensive framework for the legalization and regulation of cannabis across five main themes:

  • minimizing harms of use
  • establishing a safe and responsible supply chain
  • enforcing public safety and protection
  • medical access
  • implementation

In order to make thoughtful recommendations about marijuana edible regulations in Canada, the Task Force consulted with provincial and territorial leaders, Indigenous governments, as well as experts in public health, substance use, criminal justice, law enforcement and industry.

Focus of Cannabis Edible Regulations


The government isn’t taking any chances with questionable ingredients, mislabeling, or marketing towards children when writing marijuana edible regulations in Canada. In particular, some of the current proposals aim to protect public health and public safety by reducing the:

  • Appeal and risk of accidental consumption of edible cannabis especially by youth
  • Risk of overconsumption associated with edible cannabis (because of the delay in experiencing the effects of cannabis from ingestion) and/or use of cannabis products with a higher concentration of THC
  • Risk of foodborne illness associated with the production and consumption of edible cannabis
  • Potential health and, in some cases, safety risks associated with the use of certain solvents, carriers, and diluents.

Recommended Edible Regulations

As part of a comprehensive guideline for edible, topical, and concentrate regulation, the government is proposing a series of changes to the current cannabis laws.

First and foremost, the new marijuana edible regulations in Canada recommend adding three new classifications to cannabis; cannabis edibles, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals. After those broad strokes, the recommendations start to get more specific, proposing:

  • A THC limit on edibles and extracts – 10 mg of THC per package
  • Limiting food additives in edibles – including a ban on added vitamins and caffeine
  • Strict regulations on labeling edibles – mandatory list of ingredients, allergy warnings, ‘best-before’ date, and cannabis specific NFT (Nutrient Facts Table)
  • A guideline for standardized potency testing of THC and CBD products

And in an effort to curb incidental cannabis use by youth, it has been proposed that the amended regulations would prohibit the following representations on all product packages and labels:

  • Representations regarding health benefits, including those that are currently permitted on food, such as “a healthy diet low in saturated and trans-fat may reduce the risk of heart disease”, or “oat fiber helps lower cholesterol” (all classes of cannabis)
  • Nutrient content representations which go beyond those permitted in the list of ingredients and cannabis-specific NFT, including those that are currently permitted on food, such as “high source of fiber” or “low fat”, or additional information pertaining to the vitamin or mineral content of the product (edible cannabis only)
  • Representations regarding cosmetic benefits, such as “reduces the appearance of wrinkles” or “softens skin” (all classes of cannabis)

While such strict advertising rules may seem a tad ‘anti-business’ to your average American, most Canadians prefer their government to have a bias toward public health.

“These proposed regulations under the Cannabis Act support our overarching goal of keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and protecting public health and safety,” says Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canadian Minister of Health.

Benefit and Cost Analysis

The federal government ran the numbers and concludes that changing the marijuana edible regulations in Canada will result in a net benefit to the country; economically and socially.

It’s estimated that the proposed amendments to the regulations would result in a net cost to Canadians of approximately $40.5 million (Canadian) net present value, in 2017 dollars.

The government goes on to note, that even with the initial costs; the qualitative benefits attributed to displacing the illegal market and providing adult consumers and registered clients of licensed sellers of cannabis for medical purposes with access to quality-controlled edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals can be expected to outweigh the net cost to Canadians of the current regulatory proposal.

Food for Final Thoughts

Some of the confusion surrounding the (still) illegality of cannabis edibles in Canada has been the presence of medical marijuana products that are edibles or concentrates. So far, none of that has changed; medical patients still have access to any THC-infused edible, topical, or extract they did before.

And if you’re not a medical cannabis patient, you’ll need to be patient as the marijuana edible regulations in Canada are still being written. But don’t fret, after a nibble of proposed regulations, it looks like the Canadian government is headed in the right direction.

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The Marijuana Billionaire Who Doesn’t Smoke Weed

With the help of Big Beer and Big Pharma, Brendan Kennedy’s Canadian cannabis company Tilray has unexpectedly become America’s gateway to the legal marijuana industry.

It’s just after 6, on a pitch-dark morning in December, and Brendan Kennedy is standing over the stove, wearing shorts and a vest, meditatively melting butter in a pancake pan. It will be nearly two hours before the sun cracks the Seattle sky, and Kennedy, toddler son in tow, already has the pensive look of a man trying hard to keep the creep of the workday ahead from encroaching on a family ritual.

See, morning is a sacred time for the 46-year-old CEO, who has two rules for starting the day: Always eat breakfast. Don’t eat with anybody but your kids. Though abiding by rule No. 2 means eating alone, if he’s on the road—which is a lot these days, particularly since Kennedy’s company, Tilray, went public in July. In a couple of hours he’ll board his 135th flight of the year—a stat he can tell you because his assistant, knowing how he relishes data, sends him monthly analytics on his own travel (in 2018, he flew 23% more miles than he did the year before). At the moment, though, his 4-year-old daughter, in a pink tutu, is stirring the batter skeptically from her perch atop the kitchen island. “Papa, I think you forgot the flour,” she chides. Kennedy’s family moved into the new house a few weeks after Tilray went public, and he still struggles to find things in his own kitchen. He shrugs as he begins scrambling eggs and frying bacon in another pan: “My kids say pancakes are the only thing I’m good at.”

Of course, his children are too young to know that what their dad is really good at is—at least for the moment—illegal in much of the U.S. and the world. Tilray sells cannabis, a.k.a. pot, weed, and more than 1,000 other colorful nicknames, for the medical-marijuana market and, more recently, the recreational one. It wears the crown as the hottest IPO of 2018, returning 315% for the year and valuing the Canada-based but American-run company at $9 billion today. The kids don’t know that the IPO—his daughter got to help ring the bell at the Nasdaq—made Kennedy not only a billionaire but the richest man in the legal marijuana business, and maybe the face of its future. Or that after pancakes today, he’ll shake hands with officials at Anheuser-Busch InBev, the behemoth behind Budweiser, to form a $100 million partnershipaimed at creating a cannabis-infused substitute for beer.

Tilray’s 50% contribution to that venture exceeds the estimated $45 million in revenue it made in 2018, a year in which its estimated losses hit $47 million. But AB InBev’s desire for a deal is just the latest sign of Big Business’s belief that widespread cannabis legalization is an inevitability, and that Tilray—a global operation founded by finance veterans and data geeks with minimal interest in, um, testing the product themselves—will be uniquely poised to capitalize when Big Cannabis goes mainstream.

The day before the predawn pancakes, Kennedy and I had boarded a 10-seat Cessna prop plane at Seattle’s Boeing Field for an hour-long flight to Tilray’s official headquarters, in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, the lush, rugged province renowned among cannabis connoisseurs for its “BC bud.” It was cold enough to see your breath inside the plane. Preparing for takeoff, the pilot laid out a short list of stipulations: “Stay buckled, no talking on the phone, and no cannabis products on board.” Marijuana became fully legal in Canada on Oct. 17. But flights crossing the border have nonetheless been warning passengers that the U.S. government still prohibits taking the drug with you—even when traveling from Washington State, where recreational cannabis has been legal since 2012. Then again, why push your luck? As a Canadian customs officer once put it nonchalantly to Tilray employees, “It’s just like bringing sand to the beach.”

Flying north from Seattle, the 360-­degree view features Mount Rainier behind you, Mount Baker to your right, and Mount Olympus on the left. In the summer, when it’s easier to go via low-flying seaplane, you can often glimpse a pod of orcas swimming just beneath the surface of Puget Sound. On the ground in Nanaimo, Kennedy is something of a local celebrity, having quickly become one of the largest employers in a community of 92,000 people. We clear customs without a word and proceed to Tilray’s 65,000-square-foot cannabis lab and grow facility, where the whiff of freshly cut marijuana floods your nostrils as soon as you open the heavy steel door. The combination of the pharmaceutical-grade warehouse setup and the presence of thousands upon thousands of pot plants gives it the sterile but earthy smell of a Home Depot garden department—you know, if Home Depot sold weed. From here, the product will be shipped to tens of thousands of patients, as well as pharmacies and dispensaries, in 12 countries where medical or recreational pot use is legal.

But we haven’t even made it past the vestibule when a facilities employee named Rudy stops the CEO in his tracks. “I never got to say thank-you for the whole stock thing,” he tells Kennedy, shaking his head reverently. “What a gift. Such a life changer, a game changer. The thought of being a Tilionaire one day.”

Kennedy swears this wasn’t a scheduled part of the tour. He claims he’s never even heard the expression “Tilionaire,” although his stock—which he’s doled out to all 750 of the firm’s employees, at all levels—has made many people much richer. He has yet to sell any of his own shares (and promises he won’t do so when post-IPO restrictions lift in January), meaning his 10-figure wealth is still only on paper. Kennedy, who previously started and sold two dotcom-era software companies before getting an MBA from Yale, claims he didn’t anticipate the investor frenzy that Tilray ignited as the first cannabis producer to go public on a major U.S. exchange. “We were caught off guard,” he says.

Indeed, virtually the entire business world is grappling with the sudden arrival of cannabis as a force of disruption, even as marijuana teeters on the grayish line of legitimacy. Pot is now legal for either medical or recreational use in some 36 countries and 33 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. And while its use and sale remain illegal in the U.S. at the federal level, many on Wall Street and beyond see that changing too. The recently passed Farm Bill exempted the hemp plant and its derivative cannabidiol, or CBD, from the federal ban, clearing the way for an anticipated surge in a product category that in some states has already swept across store shelves and café and cocktail menus. A new report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics forecasts that legal pot sales will more than double from $10.5 billion in 2018 to $22.2 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and to $31.6 billion worldwide. By then, Kennedy and others expect the U.S. will have legalized the drug, an issue that could even dictate who wins the 2020 presidential election.

Chasing this buzz, U.S. industries, including Big Beer, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma, have made bets on cannabis companies, observing that consumers are increasingly turning to the drug as an alternative to booze, cigarettes, and painkillers. That has fueled tie-ups like Tilray’s with AB InBev, as well as a global distribution deal Tilray struck with Sandoz, a division of Swiss drugmaker Novartis, for co-branded cannabis oils and pills to treat ailments such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress—the only partnership to date between a cannabis company and a big drug company. Elsewhere, Constellation Brands, which makes Corona, and Marlboro cigarette purveyor Altria have made multibillion-dollar investments in Canadian cannabis companies.

Yet for all that interest, most money invested in marijuana is leaving America. Public and private cannabis companies raised $13.9 billion in capital in 2018, quadruple the previous year’s total, according to Viridian Capital Advisors, an investment bank that tracks cannabis deals. Of that sum, however, 69% was invested outside the U.S. As long as cannabis remains federally outlawed, American businesspeople have to reckon with the liability of, technically, aiding and abetting illicit activity, a risk many have decided is not worth taking. “It’s kind of a damn shame that so much capital has escaped the U.S. to go up to Canada,” says Scott Greiper, Viridian’s president and founder. For now, Cowen, the lead U.S. underwriter of Tilray’s IPO, won’t take any U.S.-based cannabis companies public, says CEO Jeffrey Solomon: “Until there’s clarity on federal law broadly, we’re going to continue to focus on the rest of the world.”

That makes Tilray even more of an outlier. It was not only the highest-flying IPO of 2018, according to Renaissance Capital, but also one of the top 10 performers in the U.S. stock market. That ironic result was possible under stock exchange rules because Tilray operated exclusively outside America. The company will only do business in jurisdictions where cannabis is federally legal, and it has had zero U.S. sales to date. As a result, the only Americans who have so far enjoyed the fruits of its economic contributions are stock investors and its U.S.-based employees (including its entire C-suite).

Kennedy, whose predictions about legalization have been profitable so far, believes an end to the U.S. ban is close at hand. But for now, the precarious legal dynamic gnaws at him every time he crosses back from Nanaimo into his native country. “I would not mention what we just did,” the CEO quietly advises as we sit on the tarmac in Seattle again, awaiting a customs officer to clear us to come home. While Kennedy has never been questioned, he has reason to be nervous: A few Canadian cannabis executives and investors have been detained at the border and even barred entry to the U.S. for life; a senior official at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency confirms that even American executives operating legally in Canada can face additional inspections upon their return. Adds Kennedy: “We generally don’t talk about what we do when we go back in the U.S.”

In 2014, Founders Fund, Peter Thiel’s venture capital outfit, became the first institutional investor to announce a stake in the cannabis industry. Geoff Lewis, the partner who led the investment (and has since started his own fund, Bedrock), had the same experience with a dozen cannabis startups while looking for one to back. The owners would offer him a “product sample” or ask “if I wanted to smoke a joint”—something that was illegal at the time because Lewis didn’t have a medical marijuana prescription. The first entrepreneur who didn’t offer him a taste? Brendan Kennedy. “And that’s what I wanted to invest in—I wanted a team that didn’t use cannabis,” says Lewis. “It was about founders who were living by the line of the law.”

Kennedy can count on his fingers the number of times he tried pot before going into the business. He grew up in San Francisco as the sixth of seven children; his siblings would smoke, but Kennedy shied away. “I’m probably the quietest one of the bunch,” he says. He was born with a cleft lip that required repair surgery when he was 8 days old; his parents, fearful for his welfare, summoned a priest to baptize him before he even left the hospital. During his time at the then all-boys Jesuit prep school St. Ignatius—where his dad was a science teacher—and at UC Berkeley studying architecture, Kennedy worked construction. “If it was summer, I was wearing a tool belt,” he says. He later funneled his thirst for physical exertion into six Ironman triathlons. “We never got into illegal substances. It just wasn’t in our DNA,” says Christian Groh, Kennedy’s high school friend, fellow triathlete, and current partner in the cannabis business.

What Kennedy did have in his DNA was a knack for scanning data for auguries of the future and an uncanny memory for dates and figures. “Brendan thinks in terms of a timeline,” says Michael Blue, one of Kennedy’s Yale MBA classmates and the third cofounder of Tilray. After business school, he landed in 2006 at Silicon Valley Bank, working for an internal analytics startup focused on helping venture capitalists and their portfolio companies value their private stock. During the spring of 2010, the data began telling Kennedy a story about cannabis.

California was planning a ballot question on legalization that fall, and anecdotes about the issue repeatedly crossed Kennedy’s radar. Pulling Gallup poll charts on American attitudes toward controversial issues, he noticed a compelling trend: Support for gay marriage and marijuana legalization seemed to increase in lockstep, and state laws were following suit. The number of doctors willing to prescribe medical pot was steadily increasing. “It was inevitable the U.S. would legalize,” Kennedy says. “The frustrating part was, how did everyone else not see it?”

The doubts that dogged Kennedy the longest stemmed from his own ambivalence about the product. He began personally experimenting with pot after decades of abstinence, but he doesn’t remember any catharsis and didn’t like the unpredictability of the experience. His wife, Maria Chapman, says she’s never seen him high. Kennedy struggled to reconcile the enthusiasm he was hearing for therapeutic use from military vets and cancer patients with his own antidrug upbringing. “That was the hardest part from a D.A.R.E., cracking the egg on the frying pan, ‘This is your brain on drugs’ perspective,” Kennedy says. “How could this thing that Nancy Reagan said was so bad be a medicine that people use?”

At the same time, Kennedy was troubled by the law’s failure to distinguish marijuana from other narcotics like heroin, even as cannabis seemed to truly help people without putting them at risk of an overdose. “You probably will never see it, but he’s a real softie for those types of things, and it really affects his heart,” says Chapman. “It’s not all business.” Kennedy and several of his backers felt they were doing more than starting a company or going public. In some ways, they were building a field of dreams within cannabis—give people a bona fide market, and investors and politicians will come. “Our IPO—I’ve always said this is really an important form of political activism, against prohibition,” says Kennedy. His own non-pothead image makes him an ideal spokesperson to win over minds, says Solomon, the Cowen CEO, who has “a ‘no joke’ rule around cannabis” at his own firm. “If we can distance ourselves from the perception of Cheech and Chong, or two guys and a bong hanging out in the back of a van, then we have made huge strides in establishing this as a legitimate industry,” Solomon says.

Kennedy officially quit his job in the spring of 2011. One morning a few months later, he showed up with a PowerPoint presentation at the home of his old boss, Jim Anderson, the former president of SVB Analytics. The presentation was the genesis of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm with a mission to acquire and create cannabis companies and brands. Kennedy made a data-driven case for how he expected legalization would unfurl. “He laid out this picture of the next 10 years,” recalls Anderson, now an administrator at the University of San Francisco. “He said, ‘I think there’s a sea change coming in opinion on cannabis.’ ” Anderson invested in Privateer’s first, modest fundraising round—a bet that has yielded a return of more than 100x since Tilray, of which Privateer owns 73%, went public. After the IPO, Anderson wrote to Kennedy: “Almost everything you predicted back in 2011 has come to pass.”

Privately, though, Kennedy and his cofounders often wondered if they were too early. Late in 2011, they spent their pooled savings (they won’t say exactly how much) on their first acquisition: Leafly, a marijuana and dispensary review site. The startup had next to no sales, but it did publish ratings on cannabis strains—sold legally or on the street—from users all over the world, providing a road map to the best pot on the planet. The lack of data in the largely illicit industry “terrified me,” says Kennedy; the Leafly purchase was “a gut decision in order to get data.”

Once they had it, they needed to monetize it. The plan was to sell advertising to dispensaries, turning Leafly into a kind of Yelp for cannabis. But Privateer struggled to attract investors, and revenue was slow to come. Soon Kennedy had drained his 401(k), maxed out his credit cards, and borrowed money from family members to pour into Leafly. He remembers emptying the jug of change next to his washing machine into the Coinstar at Safeway for a grand total of $196. There was a night when he didn’t even have enough money to order a pizza. “That was darkness unlike anything I’d ever faced,” he remembers. More than being broke, Kennedy and his partners feared what flaming out on a Hail Mary bet on pot would do to their career prospects. “We were worried we would always be known as failed pot guys,” Kennedy says.

Finally, the rest of the country started to prove Kennedy’s hypotheses. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and investors—and Leafly advertisers—wanted in. But perhaps the biggest opportunity came about almost by accident. In 2013, Privateer got a cold call from the health department of ­Canada, which was phasing in a new medical marijuana licensing process designed to professionalize that country’s industry. Health Canada had dozens of eager applicants who lacked funding to support a commercial marijuana grow operation and wondered if Privateer might invest. Unimpressed with the offerings, Kennedy and his partners had a different idea: Why not become growers themselves?

All they needed was marijuana. That’s where Leafly came in. The Privateer team crunched data from the site to identify the 20 most coveted, high-potency strains across Canada—creating a shopping list for themselves. Actually locating the bud was another story. “We would go and meet people at a Tim Hortons, and we would follow them down a road. Then we’d have to ditch a car,” recalls Groh. “We’d be in rooms with a lot of cash and weapons.” Patrick Moen, who left his job at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to join Privateer in early 2014 and now serves as general counsel, accompanied Groh, typing up contracts on a laptop and handing out checks to backwoods cannabis growers. “It reminds me of my undercover days early on at DEA, you know, except I had backup,” says Moen. “I look back on it, and I’m like, What the hell was I thinking?”

Those plants—from Master Kush to Island Sweet Skunk—were transported live to Nanaimo, in refrigerated trucks that rode the ferry to Vancouver Island, where they became the foundation of Tilray and its brand portfolio. Today, the genetic clones of more than 60 different “mother” plants grow in specimen jars in an R&D lab at Tilray’s headquarters. They, in turn, have propagated Tilray’s newer production facilities in Ontario and Portugal from scratch, a strategy the company will continue to employ as it scales up. “When you go to Starbucks—doesn’t matter if you go in Seattle or Iowa—and you order a caramel macchiato, you expect it to be the same everywhere. You can do the same thing for cannabis,” says Cowen’s Solomon. “Brendan and his team understood early on that their success is in their ability to deliver that kind of consistency.” The team has taken other cues from Starbucks too: To come up with the Tilray name (“til” as in tilling land, crossed with a sun ray) and logo, Kennedy hired the design firm of Terry Heckler, who created the iconic Starbucks mermaid emblem.

Tilray’s logo now appears on its dried (smokable) marijuana flowers, ingestible oils, and capsules. Each is packaged like prescription pills in bottles marked with the concentration of THC (the psycho­active ingredient that makes people high) and CBD—and, in Canada, warning labels about adolescent addiction. The company first recorded sales in April 2014 and had $5.4 million in revenue in 2015. This year, Wall Street expects sales to more than quadruple, to around $186 million, from $45 million last year. Tilray should also pass a major milestone in 2019: In January, it unveiled plans to release newly legalized CBD-infused products, from whey protein to sunscreen, in the U.S.—a move intended to give the company U.S. revenue for the first time.

To stay ahead, Kennedy spends a lot of time trying to predict which country will be the next to legalize marijuana, so that Tilray will be there when it does. This summer, he commissioned a model with 99 different inputs, from gay marriage’s legal status to a country’s dominant religion, to predict medical and adult use legalization. So far, it has given him an early heads-up on South Korea, which in late November stunned the world by legalizing medical cannabis.

As we exit Tilray’s Nanaimo warehouse, Kennedy excitedly notices the grass outside the building: “The lawn looks really good!” The last time he was here, he explains, the yard was overgrown with weeds—making a poor first impression on visitors. He let his displeasure be known inside the company. “It kind of drove me nuts,” he says. “We’re supposed to be growing things!”

The Tilray brand didn’t really gain recognition in America until July 19, when it became the first cannabis company to have its IPO on a U.S. stock exchange. The offering raised $153 million, with shares priced at $17 apiece. At the stock’s peak in September, it had risen 1,159% in just two months.

Though the debut turned Tilray into a market darling, up until then it had been treated by much of Wall Street as a sort of redheaded stepchild. Kennedy was in a rental car garage in San Diego in mid-April on his wife’s birthday trip when he got the surprise phone call from the first bank that had agreed to underwrite Tilray’s IPO—letting him know they were backing out. (He won’t say which bank.) “I had to get out of my car because I was screaming so loudly, I didn’t want to scare my children,” he recalls. A second bank later had the same change of heart: Its board had nixed the deal for “reputational reasons.” When Cowen and Canada’s BMO eventually took it public, Tilray had to pay up for the privilege. To obtain the directors and officers liability insurance required of all public companies, Tilray had to pay five times as much as the typical rate for less than half the coverage, according to CFO Mark Castaneda.

In fact, while Tilray’s business may be perceived as involving a taboo or a vice, there’s no legal reason for banks or investors to be squeamish about working with it, according to John F. Walsh, the former U.S. attorney for Colorado who is now a partner at ­WilmerHale. “Under U.S. law, if there is essentially drug activity going on in another country that is entirely legal in that other country, it is not a U.S. federal narcotics crime,” Walsh says. Importantly for investors, he adds, that means Americans who finance such a “foreign legal marijuana business” would not be violating U.S. anti–money laundering laws: “It is pretty clear-cut.”

Yet no one imagined Tilray would soon be worth more than Snapchat. Kyle Lui, a partner at DCM Ventures, strikes a wistful tone when he admits that he passed on investing in Tilray when it raised money privately, balking at its nearly $1 billion valuation, in early 2018. “I don’t think we could have anticipated that the public markets in the U.S. would have received Tilray to the extent that they have,” says Lui.

Even after retreating more than halfway from its peak, Tilray’s stock is the poster child of the so-called marijuana bubble. Valuations like Tilray’s—trading at around 50 times estimated sales—have rarely been seen since the dotcom boom, says Chris Brown, founder of the $111 million hedge fund Aristides Capital. Brown didn’t even bother to model Tilray’s future sales before deciding to short it, a move that so far has earned him nearly $1.5 million: “When the price for something is so high, I think the onus is on Tilray to be the most perfect, magical, wonderful exception in the world.”

That world is a highly fractured one. Tilray has the largest international footprint among legal-weed companies and is cannabis’s second-biggest player (after Canada’s Canopy Growth), but its estimated market share is only 8% in Canada, and less than 1% everywhere else. Still, Moez Kassam, cofounder and principal of Toronto hedge fund Anson Funds, which financed most of Canada’s public cannabis companies, was convinced after visiting Nanaimo that Tilray would eventually take the lead. “You knew this was a best-in-class business,” Kassam says. “I think Tilray will be considered cheap in a few years.”

Even Kennedy, previously a valuation expert, has trouble putting a number on how big Tilray could be. For the foreseeable future, he notes, his priority is growth, not profit. (“Think Amazon, not Kroger.”) Because black market sales dwarf legal ones globally, it’s impossible to size up true demand for cannabis, or how large it might become. Legalization will enable clinical research that could discover veritable Russian nesting dolls of new uses for cannabis’s hundreds of compounds, but that research could also bring new complications: Initial studies show possible ugly side effects to regular pot use, from dependence to psychosis.

Legalization also means more competition—including from small American operators currently confined to states that have legalized—and the price pressures of what is ultimately a commodity-driven business. Kennedy has already become familiar with the singular joys of agriculture. Before Tilray could open its Ontario marijuana farm, it first had to harvest the red and green peppers that were growing there. Then there’s the matter of the bugs. In lieu of pesticides, Tilray spends about $100,000 a month on insects that eat other pests (they arrive in pouches that look like tea bags).

In five years, Kennedy hopes, 90% of the pot Tilray sells will be cultivated by other companies. “I never thought, ‘In my next business, I want to be a farmer,’ ” he says. Rather, he models himself after Joseph Kennedy (no relation), the patriarch of the political dynasty who, as Prohibition was sunsetting, traveled abroad acquiring import rights to liquor brands like Dewar’s Scotch whisky and Gordon’s gin. And Brendan Kennedy has complete conviction that “the end is near” for U.S. cannabis prohibition. “I don’t know when the Berlin Wall will topple over, but we’re getting closer and closer to that point,” he says.

It may happen sooner than people think, thanks to the drumbeat of next year’s presidential election. More of the public now views marijuana as a salve for confounding problems from the opioid crisis (overdose deaths dropped 21% to 25% in states with medical marijuana laws, a 2018 study by the think tank Rand found) to government deficits. Democratic hopefuls have signaled they will champion the issue. On the other side of the aisle, a recent Gallup poll found 53% of Republicans now support legalizing marijuana. That shift is owing in part to a concerted effort by advocates to reframe the debate in terms of states’ rights.

Among the people persuaded by that argument is President Trump, who has pledged to back legislation that would protect states’ marijuana laws from federal interference. And in a fraught campaign season, legalization could be a winning play. “We could envision a scenario in 2020 where the Trump administration could actually deem it politically advantageous to co-opt the issue from the Democrats and come out the hero,” Vivien Azer, an analyst at Cowen, told reporters in early January.

If Kennedy were setting a line in Vegas, he likes to say, he would pick 2021 as the year the U.S. will legalize cannabis. If he’s wrong, and the U.S. doesn’t budge? Not the end of the world, he says; he expects medical legalization to double to 70 other countries by then. Sure, as an American business leader, he’d feel let down by his government: “They’ll basically be ensuring that the companies that dominate this industry in the next decade are all based outside the U.S.” For the CEO of a Canadian company, though, that’s not really a problem.

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Hemp Seeds Market is Determined to Grow with immense rate By 2023

The Hemp Seeds market report covers the Global market and regional market analysis. The Hemp Seeds industry report examines, keep records and presents the worldwide market size of the important players in each region around the globe. Also, the report offers information of the leading market players in the Hemp Seeds market.

This research report consists of the world’s crucial region market share, size (volume), trends including the product profit, price, Value, production, capacity, capability utilization, supply, and demand and industry growth rate.

Look insights of Global Hemp Seeds market research report at

Key Players in this Hemp Seeds market are

  • Manitoba Harvest
    Hemp Oil Canada
    Canah International
    GIGO Food
    North American Hemp & Grain Co.
    Naturally Splendid
    Yunnan Industrial Hemp
    GFR Ingredients Inc.
    Jinzhou Qiaopai Biotech
    Navitas Organics
    BAFA neu GmbH
    Deep Nature Project
    Green source organics
    Aos Products
    Suyash Herbs

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Global Hemp Seeds Market: Product Segment Analysis
Whole Hemp Seed
Hulled Hemp Seed
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Protein Powder
Global Hemp Seeds Market: Application Segment Analysis
Hemp Seed Cakes
Hemp Oil
Global Hemp Seeds Market: Regional Segment Analysis
South East Asia

Important application areas of Hemp Seeds are also assessed on the basis of their performance. Market predictions along with the statistical nuances presented in the report render an insightful view of the Hemp Seeds market. The market study on Global Hemp Seeds Market 2018 report studies present as well as future aspects of the Hemp Seeds Market primarily based upon factors on which the companies participate in the market growth, key trends and segmentation analysis.

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Geographically this report covers all the major manufacturers from India, China, USA, UK, and Japan. The present, past and forecast overview of Hemp Seeds market is represented in this report.

Points Covered in Hemp Seeds market Report:
The points that are deliberated within the Hemp Seeds industry report are the key market players such as manufacturers, raw material suppliers, equipment suppliers, end users, traders, distributors and etc.
The capacity, production, price, income, cost, gross margin, sales volume, sales revenue, consumption, growth rate, import, export, supply, future strategies, and the technological progresses that are incorporated within the report. The complete profile of the companies is revealed.

The past data from 2012 to 2018 and forecast data from 2019 to 2023.
The growth factors and the different end users of the market are explained in detail.
This report focuses on detailed analytical account of the market’s competitive landscape, on the basis of complete business profiles, project feasibility analysis, SWOT analysis, and several other details about the main enterprises operating in the market.

The report display an outline of the impact of recent developments on market’s future growth forecast.

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Key Reasons to buy Hemp Seeds market Report

  • To understand the most influencing driving and limiting powers in the market and its effect in the worldwide market.
  • Find out about the market methodologies that are being embraced by driving individual associations.
  • To know the future standpoint and prospects for the market.
  • Other than the standard structure reports, we likewise give custom research as per explicit requirements.

The Hemp Seeds market report offers the market growth rate, size, and forecasts at the global level in addition as for the geographic areas: Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Middle East & Africa. Also it analyses, roadways and provides the global market size of the main players in each region. Moreover, the report provides knowledge of the leading market players within the Hemp Seeds market. The industry changing factors for the market segments are explored in this report. This analysis report covers the growth factors of the worldwide market based on end-users.

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South African Beer Company Brews With Hemp Instead of Hops

A new kind of beer is brewing in South Africa that will include cannabis after lawmakers there recently decriminalized it.

Poison City Brewing makes five different types of beer, including their newest addition, Durban Poison Cannabis lager. It is made with hemp, not hops, which are usually used to flavor beer.

“The easiest route into the market was to go with beer. And an interesting part there is that in beer there’s an ingredient called hops which most people know about and hops is actually part of the same plant group as cannabis,” said Graeme Bird, co-founder of Poison City Brewing.

However, hemp doesn’t have the same psychoactive chemicals that marijuana does.

The Constitutional Court decriminalized using and cultivating cannabis in private last fall. That decision did not include legalizing its trade or distribution. It can be risky to even display cannabis in public.

Officials have two years to make amendments to the country’s cannabis laws, but that isn’t stopping manufacturers like Bird, whose beer is shipped all over South Africa.

“I don’t really get that whole cannabis thing; if you never told me that, I wasn’t gonna think it’s a cannabis beer. So, they must put some more cannabis, maybe like a smell or something, I don’t know,” Johannesburg resident Dakalo Motselele told Reuters.

“I don’t think it’s something that I’ll order again but very interesting. I think the name ‘cannabis’ is what brings your attention to it but besides that I’m not a fan but I like the name,” said Kgomotso Mokgashwe, a Johannesburg resident.

Durban Poison takes its name from a popular strain of marijuana, notorious for its distinct smell and short flowering period.

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Cannabis boom brings recruitment challenges for employers

As the cannabis industry rapidly grows, employers in the sector are feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of employees they need to recruit.

A network for human resources professionals in the cannabis industry, called Cannabis at Work, was launched on Friday to meet the need. It aims to provide a forum for employers in the regulated cannabis industry to learn and build relationships.

The sector faces many challenges with new licensed producers entering the market on a regular basis and existing ones expanding their facilities, says Alison McMahon, chief executive officer at Cannabis at Work. The influx of new employees means a greater administrative burden for employers helping candidates settle in to their new roles and enrolling them in their benefits plans, she says.

As well, employers in the sector have to attract and retain highly skilled talent, says McMahon. Specifically, finding people to fill niche roles like cultivating or growing the product, which is challenging, she says. “They would want them to have previous experience growing cannabis within the regulated framework in Canada. There’s only a certain number of people who have held those roles in Canada over the last couple of years, so it’s not a huge pool of people.”

Employers would also want candidates in those roles to have a certain security clearance, a requirement that’s unique to the sector, adds McMahon. “We do find some pockets of roles where it can be challenging.” As for other roles, employees from different industries with transferable skills can fill them, she says.

However, many people are eager to join the growing industry with the recent legalization of marijuana in Canada, so employers have benefited from that, she says. “They’re in a pretty good position to attract employees given that there’s been so much hype around the cannabis sector and the fact that it’s kind of the green rush of our generation instead of the gold rush.”

On the other hand, employers still find some candidates are cautious about entering a sector that carries an illicit history, says McMahon. “I think [certain] people are still potentially concerned that moving into the cannabis sector could be kind of ‘career suicide,’ that if they were to move to the cannabis sector and wanted to go back to a different, more traditional sector, that that might be hard for them to do because of the stigma.”

So what can employers do to incentivize those hesitant to work within the cannabis industry?

First, employers should ensure their human resources practices align with companies from traditional sectors, says McMahon. “I think it’s really about making sure when they’re going through the recruitment process with a potential employee and then going through the offer stage of a process, that they ensure the process is well implemented and meets the best practices that those candidates would expect to experience in any other sector.”

Two surveys conducted by Cannabis at Work found salaries and employee benefits offered by cannabis employers were comparable to those from other sectors, says McMahon.

As well, contrary to societal assumptions, cannabis employers have implemented traditional benefits plans, she says. “The one area we’ve seen a bit more progressive stance is around covering medical cannabis in the industry. That doesn’t mean employers are allowing employees to be impaired at work, but that just means there’s a more progressive stance towards covering medical cannabis and that might be an option for individuals.”

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Film festival aims to reduce marijuana stigma as New York moves closer to legalization

When the first NYC Cannabis Film Festival was held in 2015, organizers hoped to minimize the stigma surrounding marijuana use in the public’s perception. Now, with recreational pot already legal in 10 states, this year’s festival could be the last before New York becomes the latest state to lift its prohibition on the drug.

“I think this is just the beginning, and I think this is a very exciting time we’re in,” Michael Zaytsev, the founder and CEO of High N.Y., which organizes the annual festival, told CBSN on Saturday. He said the first event was well-received by the cannabis community but the negative stigma associated with marijuana meant some filmmakers were hesitant to attend.

“I think people were excited, but there were still filmmakers [who] were not coming out the way they are now, where I think they think it’s safer and they don’t mind having their name out there attached to this festival,” Zaytsev said.

In December, New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his legislative agenda for 2019, which included a push to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana. If recreational pot becomes legal in New York, it could mean a significant shift in cannabis culture, not just for the state, but for the country as a whole.

Zaytsev said he thinks it will still take at least a generation to move past the stigma.

“I think it will change, but I don’t think it’s going to happen overnight. I think there is still a ton of education that needs to happen,” Zaytsev said. “Part of the festival’s goal is to undo that and to normalize the cannabis lifestyle.”

He said he thinks the biggest misconception about marijuana is the idea it has no medical value.

“Some people do use it for altering their consciousness, but I think the greatest misconception is how harmful the plant is, when in reality it has so many beneficial uses that we are not making use of today as much as we could be,” he said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently categorizes marijuana as a schedule I drug, defined as substances having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” However, in 2018 the DEA for the first time categorized an anti-seizure medication containing cannabidiol, a chemical extracted from cannabis, as a schedule V drug, the least restrictive category under the Controlled Substances Act.

The films appearing at the NYC Cannabis Film Festival are intended to depict a non-stereotypical view of cannabis culture, with some tackling other topics altogether. The film “Bodega” explores how gentrification is changing the role of the ubiquitous corner delis in New York communities, and received an honorable mention for best documentary short at the IMDB Film Festival.

Zaytsev said he chose to show “Bodega” because it underscores the impact of commercialization, a major issue in the cannabis community.

“Just as we are seeing this paradigm shift in cannabis culture, and there are these questions of gentrification of the community and the industry and the commerce of cannabis,” Zaytsev told CBSN. “I think the bodega kind of mirrors that in a way that is interesting to see and I think a lot of the audience would be able to relate to.”

Zaytsev pointed to the work of those that came before him, regardless of whether marijuana becomes legal in New York state.

People have been doing this work for decades. I am standing on the shoulder of giants, and it is a privilege that I am able to be a leader in this community and contribute to something that I care deeply about and that I believe impacts the lives of many New Yorkers,” he said.

The festival is being held Sunday in New York from noon to midnight. You can find more information High NY’s website.

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Marijuana Marlboro And What Altria’s Purchase Of A Canadian Marijuana Maker Means

The Cannabis market was jolted on December 7th by the announcement that Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, had purchased a 45% stake in Cronos Holdings for $1.8 billion (US). The deal includes a $1.05 billion option to purchase an additional 10% in the future. While Cronos had acknowledged that discussions were in progress on December 3, the stock still shot up 28% when it was confirmed.

In retrospect, it was obvious that Altria was going to make a move into Cannabis at some point. If you look at cigarettes, the company has faced fewer Americans smoking each year since…basically the sixties. Recently, there has been a significant uptick in vaping led by JUUL Labs, another company Altria is negotiating with for a stake. However, that does not change the long-term trends facing the company’s core business in cigarettes. While Altria can lean on traditional smoking to provide high cash flow and pay dividends for a long period to come, the company has been known to look for ways to diversify its product base. By entering the cannabis market, particularly at this early date, Altria can move to take market share, research products, and position itself in new markets as they open. In short, this is a logical proactive move for the company and it should mesh well with their current experience, R&D and product lines. For investors in Altria, it is exciting to imagine a company with the kind of cash flow that exists today combined with growth in cannabis and a high dividend. An appealing combination and one that Altria could not ignore for long. A move into the cannabis space by Altria was inevitable.

Richmond, USA – May 14, 2018: Altria office sign in Virginia capital city tobacco business closeup by road street, parent company of Philip Morris

So that leads us to the next question of why they chose to partner with Cronos Group. I would argue that it is fair to characterize the Canadian cannabis market as an oligopoly led by only a few strong players. The largest is Canopy Growth, a company that is currently 38% owned by Constellation Brands with options to increases the ownership to 51% in the future so they are spoken for. If you look at the remaining players, Cronos Group was the one who best matched Altria’s style and structure in the tobacco market. Cronos preferred to develop new products and brands while focusing on distribution and R&D rather than focusing on growing supply.


A SIDE NOTE: It is interesting that early in the growth of many markets, investors and companies focus on metrics that will not matter in the future. In the Internet bubble of 1999, every company focused on-site visits or clicks. For years, Amazon only reported on the growth of Kindle. For cannabis, the focus is on how much cannabis a company can produce. Long term, we would expect few companies to produce their own cannabis, much like few cigarette companies produce their own tobacco.

Cronos Group has worked hard to be at the leading edge of medical marijuana, a space that is much closer to moving towards legalization in global markets compared to recreational. Their partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks is specifically focused on developing innovative products that could prove important to the medical side of the business.

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Budweiser maker teams up with cannabis company to explore pot drinks

NEW YORK (AP) – The maker of Budweiser is partnering with medical cannabis company Tilray in a $100 million deal to research cannabis-infused drinks for the Canadian market.

The alliance announced Wednesday is the latest foray by a major beer company into the cannabis business in Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in October.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Tilray Inc. said each would invest $50 million in the project to study non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD, which some claim has calming and healing affects, and THC, the cannabis compound known for its psychoactive effects.

Belgium-based AB InBev, the owner of more than 500 beer brands including Budweiser and Stella Artois, said it will participate in the project through its subsidiary Labatt Breweries of Canada.

“Labatt is committed to staying ahead of emerging consumer trends,” said Labatt Breweries President Kyle Norrington.

British Columbia-based Tilray has products available in 12 countries and operations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Latin America and Portugal.

Tilray’s shares jumped 15 percent to after-hours training following news of the deal with AB InBev. The company had announced a day earlier that a subsidiary struck a deal with pharmaceutical company Sandoz AG to jointly operate in jurisdictions where cannabis is, or will be, approved for medical purposes.

Shares of AB InBev were little changed.

Canada has emerged as a world leader in the cannabis industry, which is surging as legalization also expands in the United States.

North American consumer spending on legal cannabis is expected to grow from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion in 2027, according to Arcview Market Research, a cannabis-focused investment firm.

Earlier this month, Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. invested $1.8 billion for a 45 percent stake in Cronos Group, a Canadian medical and recreational marijuana provider.

In August, wine, liquor and beer company Constellation Brands announced a $4 billion investment in Canadian pot producer Canopy Growth Corp.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Guinness brewer Diageo have said they are closely watching the market for cannabis as it evolves.

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First Cannabis Clinical Trials All Set In UK

Beckley Canopy Therapeutics, based in Oxford, England has raised ₤7.4 million for the purposes of cannabinoid research and drug development. The new company is a unique partnership established between Canopy Growth Corporation and the Beckley Foundation, a research institute which examines the utilization of psychotropic drugs for the treatment of physical and mental conditions.

Studies focusing on the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of opioid addiction and cancer pain will be conducted in Europe, the UK and the US.

Why Is This Significant?

Here is the first reason: the woman behind it all. Her name is Lady Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March. Born into a landed gentry family at Beckley Park (a Tudor hunting lodge with three towers and three moats) she also has a long history of engaging and supporting scientific endeavours that use stigmatized drugs in the treatment of both intractable disease and mental illness via the use of scientific research.

In 1998, Amanda Feilding set up the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust which initiates, directs and supports neuroscientific and clinical research into the effects of psychoactive substances. She has also co-authored over 50 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.

The so-called “hidden hand” behind the rebirth of psychedelic science, Fielding’s contribution to global drug policy reform has been widely acknowledged in international drug policy circles. She was named as one of the bravest men and women in the history of science in 2010 by the British Guardian.

And here is the second reason: The foundation is now partnered with Canopy Cannabis, one of the leading cannabis firms in the world, which is also working closely with Spanish opioid manufacturer Alcaliber.

In other words, this coalition is almost the mirror opposite of the approach taken by the American Sackler family, makers of Oxycontin, who have fought cannabinoids as an alternative or even transition drug in multiple state legalization campaigns. Meanwhile the death rates from overdoses have quadrupled since 1999. In 2016, opioid-related drug overdoses killed about 116 people a day (or about 42,249 for the year). It is estimated that about 11 million people in the U.S. are currently misusing or dependent on opioids.

Amanda Fielding
Image credit: Robert Funke

Beyond The Politics of The Opioid-Cannabinoid War

While opioids clearly have a role particularly in chronic pain treatment, the question now at the global scientific table is this: Are cannabinoids a substitute for longer term chronic pain management? It is a fiercely battled scientific debate that has frequently, particularly in the U.S., crossed over into political drug reform questions.

The unique partnership of Beckley and Canopy is well placed both scientifically and culturally to take on a discussion which has languished for too long in the grass of political debate and reform.

Even better, it is taking place in a country where English is the first language, but outside the U.S. and further, in a country where cannabis has now been legally reclassified as a Schedule II drug.

Do not expect, in other words, the same trials and tribulations that faced noted U.S.-based researcher Sue Sisley, to slow down research, trials or findings.

Why Is A Cultural and Scientific Reset Required?

For the past forty years, since the end of the 1970s, cannabis in particular, has been pushed into a strange scientific territory in part, because of the culture surrounding the drug. This in turn, along with the schedule I classification of cannabis, has led to not only a dearth of research, but a reluctance on the part of prescribing doctors to examine its efficacy.

In the present, this means that doctors are still (beyond insurers who demand medical evidence before approving payment) the biggest hurdles in every medical system where cannabis is becoming legal. See the debate in Canada, the UK and of course, Germany, where patients frequently report asking for a drug their doctors refuse to prescribe.

This is exactly the kind of high-placed, societally influential effort in other words, that might finally break the medical taboo at the most important remaining logjam– at the point of prescription and approval for patients.

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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.

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