Demand for highly skilled workforce will rise significantly as the Canadian cannabis industry continues to expand. This is according to proponents of a new educational initiative that will create experience-based learning and applied research opportunities for commercial cannabis growth and production.
The Yukon Liquor Corporation has signed an agreement with Tilray Canada to supply the territory with an array of non-medical cannabis products in light of the anticipated legalization of recreational use later this year.
EDMONTON – In a press release, Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced the successful delivery of the first ever batch of privately exported medical cannabis from Canada to the Italian government through its wholly-owned German subsidiary Pedanios.
HALIFAX – Legislation governing legalized cannabis in Nova Scotia is moving ahead, despite calls from several health groups for the Liberal government to strengthen provisions governing where the drug can be smoked in public.
TORONTO – Second Cup wants to serve up a different kind of buzz by converting some of its coffee shops into cannabis dispensaries and, when legal, pot lounges.
With the Canadian cannabis industry continuing to expand as legalization looms, the opportunities for women to get involved in this market is increasing as well, an advocate for gender diversity in the cannabis industry said.
The chief executive officer of CanniMed Therapeutics has resigned, effective immediately, as Aurora Cannabis wraps up its acquisition of the medical marijuana company.
TORONTO – Tickets are now on sale for the Lift Expo Toronto, Canada’s premier cannabis event, taking place May 25 to 27, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 
HALIFAX – Nova Scotia is expanding restrictions on where people can smoke tobacco and cannabis ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana use this summer.
CHARLOTTETOWN  – The Prince Edward Island government is going to allow up to four cannabis plants per home and consumption in designated areas.
New Brunswick says it will provide funding for people interested in taking a marijuana cultivation program in Campbellton.
OTTAWA – The Senate gave approval in principle Thursday evening to the federal government's bill to legalize recreational marijuana, after a tense few days of manoeuvring by Conservative senators hoping to derail one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's signature election promises.
CALGARY – NewLeaf Cannabis, an Alberta-owned company of Calgary-based operators, announced their submission of 22 retail cannabis store license applications for locations across Alberta; including CalgaryEdmontonRed DeerSt. AlbertAirdrieLethbridge and Medicine Hat.

NewLeaf Cannabis' name speaks to 'turning over a new leaf', and changing negative attitudes towards cannabis and its retailers with services focused on education and appropriate-fit product recommendations.

NewLeaf's CAO Angus Taylor believes their educational approach and commitment to safety, proactive communication and community engagement will position their convenient, suburban-focused locations for success. 

"The future is friendly for those committed to responsible cannabis retail store management," says Angus Taylor

"Legal cannabis has the potential to help a lot of people, and we're committed to ushering a new, more accurate narrative into the mainstream; leading by example with products and business practices that are beyond reproach; operating in the open, where responsible Albertans can include purchasing cannabis as part of their regular shopping routine". 

Quality trumps quantity when it comes to NewLeaf's location selections. However, Angus Taylor does acknowledge that they will be submitting additional location applications in the coming weeks.  

Angus explains, "We have been engaging landlords and signing leases since last summer, and there are more coming every day it seems! We're just Albertans that see an opportunity to create strong cannabis businesses here in our Province. We hope to employ over 200 staff by the end of summer!"

In the meantime, two proposed NewLeaf locations have begun construction to provide complete proof-of-concept stores for review, by both the interested public and approving authorities, before the end of April.

NewLeaf Cannabis is committed to being stewards of authentic relationships through diligent education and contribution to the communities they serve, and welcomes anyone that has questions about their approach to contact them directly. 

*This story has been updated from it's original version*

$650,000 was the price tag attached to the LCBO’s recently unveiled Ontario Cannabis Store, which will serve as the brand identity for all of the cannabis retail stores in Ontario when the drug is legalized this summer.

On their public information website, the LCBO said "the name is designed to convey a safe, simple, and approachable environment for consumers, and agency employees, in a clear and easily understod manner."

The design of the cannabis brand by Leo Burnett is minimalist and safe, but the email statement from the LCBO with the bill total didn’t say how the quote was reached; it stated that the development of the brand followed “the government priorities of restricting access to youth, protecting public health and addressing the illegal market.”

Tweets displayed in coverage by the CBC, Global, and CTV show mixed to poor reviews and confusion about the final product and its cost. Some aggregate news platforms like BlogTO have openly mocked it.


Matt Maurer, Chair of Canada Cannabis Legal at Minden Gross LLP said he isn’t surprised at the simplicity of the new designs.

“It doesn’t get any more basic than this,” he said. “They have a monopoly so they don’t need to entice people, and they don’t want to.”

Still, he thinks $650,000 is a steep price for a brand that simply describes exactly what the store is.

Maurer said that while he understands the LCBO’s position on the OCS, he’d like it if they were more transparent with Ontarians about how and where the money was spent.

But if there’s one thing that was certain, it’s that designing a cannabis brand for the provincial government of Ontario was not going to be easy.

Bridget Hoffer, Partner and Head of Brand Strategy at Cannabis Communications and Marigold PR , defended the work.

She said she thinks that what the government paid is relevant to what a major corporation would spend on brand development.

“Fees and costs are allocated for a revision process as well,” she said. “There’s probably 2-4 creative concepts initially presented, and they’ll lock down on a couple, develop those further then land on one and started refining it."

“Most large companies will designate anywhere between 10 and 25 per cent of their annual budget on marketing,” she said.

This will be especially true for the fledgling cannabis industry, wherein the marketing must indirectly attract and show discretion at the same time.

The Ontario Cannabis Store is intended to convey a very simple, clear service that sits comfortably with the Ontario directives, and communicates that it is the official source.

And while simplicity has certainly been established, it still remains to be seen whether or not it will actually reduce let alone eliminate black and grey market cannabis sales.

At the time of writing, Leo Burnett Toronto could not provide any comment.

Health Canada sets clear packaging rules

On Friday, Health Canada announced that cannabis products must have “tamper-evident, child resistant and plain packaging provisions, as well as warning labels that clearly outline potential health risks associated with cannabis use.”

The Canadian Medical Association made similar recommendations in a submission earlier this year.

In a statement, CMA President Laurent Marcoux said that while the government is making strides in the right direction, the CMA still has concerns over a dual system approach in respect to medical and medicinal cannabis regulations.

“The use of cannabis presents the same health risks regardless of how it may be acquired; this means that cannabis for medicinal purposes should face the same scrutiny and include the same health warning messages as non-medicinal cannabis,” he said.
Newly elected Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford says he promises a government that won't meddle with people's lives when it comes to taxes, sex education and cannabis — and that he's not in favour of government-run pot stores.

"I don't believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time. I believe in letting the market dictate," he told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Tuesday.

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