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Health Canada Releases New Data On Cannabis Use In Canada

CANADA:  Health Canada published the results of its 2020 Canadian Cannabis Survey. Results of the survey provide a snapshot of Canadians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards cannabis and its use. Data were collected from April 30 to June 22, 2020.

The survey results will help to evaluate the impact of the Cannabis Act and inform policy and program development, and public education and awareness activities. This important research complements data collected through Health Canada’s national drug surveillance surveys—the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey and the Canadian Student Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey.

Key findings show that:

  • More than half of those who use cannabis, report using it three days a month or less. 54% reported using cannabis three days per month or less, while 18% reported daily cannabis use. Responses were unchanged from 2019.
  • More than half of those who use cannabis choose to obtain it through a legal source. 41% reported legal storefront as their usual source, an increase from 24% in 2019, whereas 13% reported obtaining cannabis from a legal online source.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had some impacts on cannabis use. People who used cannabis in the past 12 months were asked if their cannabis use had changed due the pandemic—56% reported using the same amount, while 22% reported using more and 22% reported using less.
  • Smoking remains the most common method of consuming cannabis, but it has declined while eating cannabis products has increased since 2019.
  • Almost 8 in 10 Canadians feel they have access to trustworthy information to make informed decisions about their cannabis use. An increase from 71% in 2019 to 77% in 2020. Information about the health risks associated with cannabis use is widely available and reaching Canadians.
  • Driving after cannabis use has decreased among those who reported past 12-month cannabis use, as compared to 2019 results. 22% of those who use cannabis drove within two hours of smoking or vapourizing cannabis in their lifetime and 13% reported driving within four hours of orally ingesting cannabis in their lifetime.
  • The federal government will continue to conduct research and share the results with Canadians, public health officials, provinces and territories, and other stakeholders.

The People’s Alliance Of Cannabis In Canada Brings Support, Services & Standards To The Growing Industry

CANADA: “We are concerned with setting standards for the cannabis industry in Canada that will not only demonstrate our united strength, but also give countries across the world something to emulate as they pursue federal legalization as well,” said Anne-Marie Fischer, M.Ed., the President of the newly launched People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada (PACC).

The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada, known as PACC, launched today on the second anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada. PACC represents the interests of professionals and consumers within the growing cannabis space across the nation. They provide support through crucial programming, develop professional standards for the industry to emulate, encourage the unification of all cannabis markets, and create a standard for education across cannabis in our country.

PACC operates and advocates for legislative change so that we create a cannabis industry where cannabis is always safely accessed, and provided by cultivators and producers who meet a set of defined professional standards.

“We came together in spring of this year because we were all frustrated about some of the things that were happening in the cannabis industry,” says Fischer, Founder and CEO of CannaWrite, “We saw that people were losing their jobs, that harassment and discrimination was a big problem, and that there were certain divides between markets that were preventing a united front for the progression of the plant.”

The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada has 6 focus areas that are led by one of the founding members, and supported by an Advisory Team of cannabis professionals, advocates, and consumers that have been carefully chosen to represent their part of cannabis. These focus areas are:

Medical Cannabis

Recreational/Retail

Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) in Cannabis

Hemp and Agriculture

Legacy Market

Cannabis Advocacy

Each Focus Area will work to develop professional standards, educational resources, and a path towards advocacy in their area of passion.

In addition to the Focus Areas, PACC will have several service areas that aim to provide support, benefits, and methods of recourse for disputes:

Group Medical Benefits

Legal Support

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Human Resources Standards/Best Practices

Harassment & Discrimination Reporting & Support

“The Founding Members of PACC all have professional backgrounds, and experiences, that we would like to see brought into this industry,” says Fischer, “By putting our skills, background, and knowledge of business, human resources, group benefits, and legal standards together, we hope that the people of cannabis feel they have somewhere to go, where they feel taken care of in all aspects of their lives”. The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada will unveil its membership program, that gives professionals in cannabis access to the above services, in mid-2021.

At present, PACC is working on establishing its Advisory Team and Working Groups, at which time the organization will move forward with establishing bylaws, terms and conditions, and objectives of PACC for the remainder of this year, and the year ahead.

Joining Fischer within the Founding Board is Vice President Kelly Addison, of Kelly’s Green Lounge, Michelle Parrotta of Mimi Cannabis, Khadisha Thornhill of Afro Cannada Bud Sistas, and Stacy Bobak of Cannadent.ca. “It’s been a passionate project for us all,” says Fischer, “We’ve been working every week together to move this forward. We genuinely hope this organization is a success that is supported by many.”

To learn more about The People’s Alliance of Cannabis in Canada, visit www.peoplescannabis.ca, or follow the organization on Instagram at @peoplescannabiscanada or Facebook at www.facebook.com/peoplescannacanada

FSD Pharma Announces Decision To Surrender Health Canada Licenses For Subsidiary FV Pharma Inc.

FV Pharma to shut down operations within 30 days

CANADA: FSD Pharma Inc. today announced that it has notified Health Canada of the Company’s decision to forfeit the licenses of its wholly-owned subsidiary, FV Pharma, Inc.  and suspend all activities by FV Pharma within 30 days of the notification date. FSD Pharma has begun the process of liquidating all FV Pharma assets, including the sale of the Company’s cannabis production facility in Cobourg, Ontario.

“It is now clear to us that our shareholder value is best served in closing down our medicinal grade cannabis operation in Cobourg, Ontario and reinforcing steps to advance pharmaceutical R&D efforts on our lead compound FSD201 (ultra-micronized PEA) and continuing to explore the acquisition of other compelling compounds to expand our drug development pipeline,” said Raza Bokhari, MD, Executive Co-Chairman & CEO.

“Our pharmaceutical R&D team led by Dr. Edward Brennan is actively working to submit an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) to the FDA for the use of FSD201 (ultra-micronized PEA) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients by down-regulating the over-expressed pro-inflammatory cytokine immune response to SARS-CoV-2 virus infection. We are hopeful to initiate the phase 2 clinical trial before the end of this year and remain cautiously optimistic that our study may improve treatment outcome for COVID-19 patients.”

The Company is not making any express or implied claims that its product has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain the COVID-19 (or SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time.

CANADA: Cannalogue Introduces COVID-19 Compassionate Care Program For Medical Cannabis

Physician-led online marketplace offers discount of 20-50% on select products for frontline workers, seniors and financially strained

CANADA: In response to the closure of storefront retailers due to COVID-19, online marketplace Cannalogue announced today a new Compassionate Care Program that seeks to provide better access to medical cannabis for all Canadians. 

Qualified candidates including first responders, seniors, nurses, teachers, and those facing financial strain due to work shortage/layoffs can enroll in the program to receive selected products at a discount of 20-50%.  The doctor-recommended, Health Canada approved products include oils, capsules, and dried flowers from as low as $3.50/gram.  As the most inclusive program in Canada, Cannalogue’s Compassionate Care Program is also available to veterans, individuals currently enrolled in a disability, federal or provincial assistance program and Indigenous peoples.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on all Canadians” says President and CEO, Dr. Mohan Cooray. “As a result, we’ve seen an upsurge in cannabis use among patients managing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and stress – especially from symptoms related to COVID-19 isolation.  Cannabis is a natural plant medicine that can be used safely to manage mental health issues without the dependency effects we see from alcohol, opioids or narcotics.  During this unprecedented time and without access to storefront retailers, we want to help Canadians receive the products they need,” he says.

Additionally, with limited access to doctors or pharmacists during self-isolation, Cannalogue’s medical staff can assess and provide dosage recommendations over the phone.  “Cannalogue is an essential national medical service that Health Canada has confirmed will be fully available to patients during the pandemic. No matter how long we face the challenges of COVID-19, Cannalogue will be here to help,” says Dr. Cooray.

Leafly Pickup Expands Into Canada

CANADA: Leafly, the leading technology platform that helps people discover and find cannabis, today announced the launch of Leafly Pickup in Canada. Leafly Pickup allows consumers to browse the menus of participating cannabis retailers, reserve products online, and then pick up and purchase products in-store directly from the retailer.

Leafly Pickup is available now with leading Canadian recreational cannabis retailer Spiritleaf, a brand established by Inner Spirit Holdings Ltd. (CSE: ISH). Leafly Pickup will initially be available at Spiritleaf’s Alberta and Saskatchewan retail cannabis stores, including new flagship locations in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta. Additional retailers will follow Spiritleaf and launch the service in coming weeks and months. Canada is the first country to offer the service outside the United States, which first launched it in March 2018.

“Leafly Pickup is truly a consumer-first technology that exists to help people find the cannabis products they want coupled with the information they need to make informed decisions,” said Leafly CEO Tim Leslie. “We’re proud of the momentum Leafly Pickup has in the U.S. It’s improving the consumer experience and it’s boosting revenue for retail partners. Leafly Pickup is just another way we’re showing Canadians that Leafly is their destination for cannabis discovery and education.”

“Leafly Pickup is the latest example of how we leverage technology to solve business issues in the cannabis value chain – specifically, by increasing consumer access and the appeal of the legal market,” said Jo Vos, Managing Director, Leafly Canada. “We’re proud to launch this new feature with the fantastic team at Spiritleaf – just in time for Canada Day.”

Spiritleaf has franchise-owned or licensed retail cannabis stores operating in Brooks, Lethbridge, St. Albert, Calgary (Stonegate) and Edmonton (Argyll), Alberta; Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan; and Kingston, Ontario. Spiritleaf’s first corporate-owned retail cannabis stores are expected to open this week in Calgary (Beltline) and Edmonton (Old Strathcona), Alberta.

 

Sproutly Announces Joint Venture With Moosehead Breweries to Launch Cannabis-Infused Beverages in Canada

CANADA: Sproutly Canada, an affiliate of Moosehead Breweries Limited, are pleased to announce that they have entered into a definitive agreement to form an exclusive joint venture to develop, produce, and market non‐alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages in Canada using Sproutly’s proprietary, naturally produced water soluble cannabinoids known as ‘Infuz2O’. Both companies will bring their respective strengths to the joint venture to develop a line of great tasting cannabis beverages featuring a rapid onset and offset effect unique to the category. Sproutly will host a conference call with Keith Dolo, CEO, Sproutly Canada and Matthew Oland, Moosehead executive and incoming CEO of the JV, at 9:30am Eastern Time on May 1, 2019.

Joint Venture Highlights:

  • Partnership with the Oldest and Largest Independent Brewery in Canada
    • Over 152 years of brewing experience through six generations of family ownership
    • More than 140 million cans/bottles of beer sold annually throughout Canada, the United States and in 15 other countries around the world
    • Oland family’s proven ability in building, marketing and selling industry leading beers such as Moosehead Lager, Moosehead Radler, Alpine, and Hop City Barking Squirrel
  • Competitive Advantage Driven by Infuz2O
    • The JV beverages can deliver the cannabis effect as early as 5 minutes and last up to 90 minutes, providing an edible cannabis experience similar to traditional flower cannabis without the need to inhale smoke
    • Ability to address the industry challenges of overconsumption of oil-based edibles and beverages
    • Capability to produce a clear cannabis beverage that is much easier and faster to formulate than its competitors who will be using emulsifiers, encapsulation or chemical modification techniques
    • Ability to deliver functional beverages that address a “need state” by producing cannabis strain specific experiences
    • Natural Infuz2O process allows for a premium consumption experience and taste profile
  • JV Well Positioned to Enter Cannabis Beverages Upon Legalization
    • Moosehead’s beverage experience and R&D formulation capabilities will ensure that the cannabis beverages produced will be premium in quality and have a great taste profile
    • Moosehead’s established operational infrastructure will allow the Joint Venture to fast track its go-to-market strategy
    • Sproutly’s cultivation facility and processing license will advance the formulation work that has been completed to date as well as production scale up
  • Alignment of Interests
    • The Joint Venture is structured as a 50/50 equity ownership
    • Matthew Oland, one of Moosehead’s senior executives and Oland Family member, to lead the Joint Venture as Chief Executive Officer
    • Moosehead to provide infrastructure support such as R&D, operations, procurement, finance, and distribution
    • Sproutly to provide proprietary custom compositions using Infuz2O for cannabis beverages in Canada
    • JV will have exclusive rights to utilize Infuz2O for cannabis beverages for a period of 5 years with a possible 2-year extension
    • Ability for the JV to enter the European market once recreational cannabis use is legalized

“With the anticipated legalization of edibles in Canada later this year, Moosehead has made the strategic decision to enter the cannabis beverage market. As one of the oldest brands in Canada and a leader in the beer category, we believe we are uniquely positioned to be a leader in the cannabis beverage category.” said Andrew Oland, Chief Executive Officer of Moosehead. “As a 152 year old company spanning six generations, we are very selective about new business opportunities. After a significant amount of due diligence on Sproutly’s APP technology and Infuz2O water soluble cannabinoids vs other competitive technologies, we are excited to announce this joint venture. With their advanced technology and our long-standing product development experience, we expect to bring to Canadian consumers cannabis beverages that address the major issues currently limiting appeal of this category in other markets; a beverage that: 1) actually tastes good; and 2) provides an immediate and controllable cannabis experience lasting up to 90 minutes.”

“Moosehead is a truly iconic brand and we are very excited to partner with a company that possesses such deep-rooted Canadian heritage and over 152 years of history in the beer industry. Partnering with a company of this caliber is a strong validation of APP Technology and Infuz20.” commented Keith Dolo, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sproutly. “This partnership with Moosehead marks an important milestone in Sproutly’s mission of delivering a safe and consistent whole plant experience from cannabis, with a lead position in the beverage market. We have developed a relationship with Moosehead built on trust and our shared vision of creating safe, responsible and high-quality cannabis beverages and we look forward to making this a reality for Canadian consumers”, added Dolo.

“After careful analysis of the cannabis industry and the cannabis beverage opportunity in Canada, we believe that Moosehead and Sproutly together are well positioned to become a significant player in the category.” said Matthew Oland, incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Venture. “The JV’s ability to leverage Moosehead’s rich history of building adult-beverage brands, and its established R&D and operational infrastructure, will enable the JV to bring great tasting cannabis beverages to Canadian consumers. The Infuz20 technology delivers a natural cannabis beverage experience, with an onset and offset time similar to traditional flower cannabis, without the need for chemical modification. We believe this will be a game changer for the sector.”

FSD Pharma Receives Cannabis Sales License From Health Canada

CANADA: FSD Pharma Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary FV Pharma Inc. has received its Sale for Medical Purposes license to sell cannabis under the Cannabis Act (Canada). The license went into effect on April 18, 2019.

The license allows the current FSD facility to supply and sell cannabis products. The company anticipates receiving the amended sales license that will include the sale of dried and fresh cannabis flower in the near future.

Dr. Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman and CEO congratulated the FSD Pharma team, shareholders and stakeholders on this much anticipated achievement. Dr. Bokhari stated, “Our sales license is a key development for FSD Pharma and a huge success and step forward for our Cobourg Facility.”

“We have achieved this milestone thanks to the efforts of our dedicated team. We are exceptionally proud of this achievement and look forward to accelerating our efforts,” commented Dr. Sara May, President of FV Pharma Inc.

Zeeshan Saeed, President and Founder, added, “The granting of our sales license allows FSD to serve the growing medicinal use markets in Canada. We intend to quickly scale up production at our current facility, while continuing to build out the plant to add additional grow capacity. In addition, our sales license opens the door for our partner Canntab Therapeutics to commence sales of its suite of novel cannabis oral dose delivery platforms, including CBD and THC capsules, in Canada and global markets. We expect that this will provide an immediate benefit to both parties, since FSD is entitled to a share of Canntab’s revenue from sales as a result of the collaboration and profit sharing agreement that we entered into this past fall.”

Anthony Durkacz, Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of the board speaking on behalf of the FSD Pharma Board of Directors stated, “We are proud of the leadership at FSD Pharma. This industry is transforming very rapidly and the leadership has positioned the company well to generate top tier revenue from our medicinal grade cannabis production.”

Tilray Announces Support Of Two New Clinical Research Studies In Australia And Canada

CANADA: Tilray, Inc., a global leader in cannabis research and production, today announced its support of two new clinical studies: a pilot study led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a larger randomized placebo-controlled trial of cannabis extract as a form of treatment for reducing Severe Behavioral Problems (SBP) in pediatric patients with Intellectual Disabilities (ID); and a study with McGill University Health Centre’s Division of Infectious Diseases and Chronic Viral Illness, to examine the effectiveness of medical cannabis on immune activation in People Living with HIV.
 
Tilray_Logo“Tilray is at the forefront of clinical research in the medical cannabis field and we’re very proud to support two groundbreaking studies that have potential to identify more indications in which medical cannabis can benefit patients in-need,” says Philippe Lucas, VP of Global Patient Research and Access, Tilray. “We are committed to advancing cannabinoid-based science to further understand the potential benefits of medical cannabis as a treatment option among these critical patient populations. There is a serious need for more clinical data in our field, and we are proud to support research like this around the world.”
 
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia:  

Over 50,000 youth in Australia today have Intellectual Disability with Severe Behavioral Problems such as irritability, aggression, and self-injury. Anti-psychotic and other psychotropic medications are prescribed for half of these patients in Australia, despite limited evidence for their efficacy and a high risk of serious side-effects, including weight gain, metabolic syndrome and extrapyramidal movement disorders. Polypharmacy and off-label prescribing are common in these patients, and drugs are sometimes added to treat side effects. Novel interventions are urgently needed for this highly vulnerable patient group.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians have highlighted the need for further research into the therapeutic uses of cannabinoids in youth. There is intense interest from parents and physicians in medical cannabis as a treatment for SBP in youth with ID. Research to date suggests that CBD and other cannabis extracts, have had fewer reported side-effects than anti-psychotic medications; however, there is currently insufficient evidence to inform its use in treating SBP. MCRI is among the first institutions to conduct research specifically testing the effectiveness of CBD on patients with intellectual disabilities to reduce severe behavioral problems.  
 
“We are committed to increasing the scientific understanding of cannabinoid-based medicine as treatment for pediatric patients with intellectual disability and associated severe behavioral problems through this study.” says Associate Professor Daryl Efron, senior researcher at MCRI and pediatrician.
 
The single site, double-blind, parallel group, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study of 10 participants, compares CBD with a placebo in reducing Severe Behavioral Problems in pediatric patients aged eight to 16 years of age with Intellectual Disability. Participants are randomized 1:1 to receive either Tilray C100 oral solution or the placebo.
 
Tilray supplied the medical cannabis products used for this trial, which were successfully exported from Tilray’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified facility in Nanaimo, British, Columbia, Canada to Australia in early 2019, with the trial commencing shortly thereafter.
 
The results from this trial are expected to be published by 2020.

Tilray Expands Manufacturing Capacity With New Processing License From Health Canada

Newly-acquired Natura Naturals Inc. located in Leamington, Ontario obtains processing license, allowing it to produce a wide range of cannabis form factors for the Canadian market

CANADA: Natura Naturals Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tilray, Inc. and High Park Holdings Ltd., has received a standard processing license under the Cannabis Act. The Natura greenhouse facility, which previously held a standard cultivation license, will now be able to manufacture a wide range of cannabis form factors from cannabis starting material, including oil, pre-rolls, and novel formats such as topicals and edibles.

Natura, which will operate under High Park Gardens Inc., was acquired by Tilray in February 2019 to serve the adult-use and medical cannabis market in Canada alongside Tilray’s existing operations. The site is a 662,000 square-foot greenhouse facility with 155,000 square-feet licensed for cultivation. The addition of a standard processing license means that High Park Gardens will be able process cannabis raw material cultivated on site – as well as raw material sourced from other cannabis licensees – into a variety of value-add product formats. This development provides Tilray’s facilities additional flexibility in the manufacture of products for the Canadian cannabis market, and in the development of novel products in preparation for legalization of additional cannabis products, including tinctures, concentrates and edibles, in Canada later this year.

High Park Gardens will work closely with Tilray’s existing operations in British Columbia and Ontario: High Park Farms Ltd., a cultivation and processing facility featuring 13 acres of greenhouse space on 100 acres of property in Enniskillen, Ontario; High Park processing facility, a 56,000 square-foot processing and R&D facility in London, Ontario and Tilray Canada Ltd., a cultivation, research and processing facility located in Nanaimo, British Columbia. All sites are actively engaged in the cultivation, manufacture, and sale of cannabis products for the Canadian cannabis market.

“The acquisition of High Park Gardens in February allowed us to significantly increase our production footprint,” says Greg Christopher, EVP Operations, Tilray. “With this additional licensing, we’re pleased to have expanded Tilray and High Park’s capacity to develop and manufacture high-quality branded products for the Canadian market.”

 

FSD Pharma To Establish Presence In Canada’s Insurance Regimes

Signs agreement focusing on exploring insurance coverage for medical cannabis Canada wide

CANADA: FSD Pharma Inc. announced the signing of a consulting agreement with Joseph L. Romano, a well-respected lawyer with a strong track-record in personal injury law. Mr. Romano has been working with medical cannabis since 2006, assisting people coping with chronic pain to have access to medical cannabis, a viable alternative to opioid based medications.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Mr. Romano will provide consulting on the inner workings of third party actions, WSIB claim handling, first party coverage and no fault benefits across Canada. Mr. Romano will also assist in identifying strategic acquisitions that will enhance shareholder value.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Raza Bokhari, Executive Co-Chairman and interim CEO said, “We are very excited to engage Mr. Romano in advance of our anticipated sales license. This is a very timely and important agreement for FSD Pharma to maximize the opportunities in the Canadian market for our products and fits well with our strategy of establishing the company as a leader in medical cannabis.”

In consideration for his services, FSD will pay Mr. Romano consulting fees, warrants and shares in the company, subject to compliance with all applicable securities laws and the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange.