Click here to view the web version of this report

Canada becomes second nation in the world to legalize marijuana
"Keeping Profits Out of the Hand of Criminals & Organized Crime"

Canada is only the second country in the world -- and the first G7 nation -- to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market. In the neighboring US, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use. Uruguay was the first country to legalize marijuana's production, sale and consumption in December 2013.

Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, stems from a campaign pledge of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime.

Although the Canadian government had initially stated its intent to implement by July 2018, provinces and territories, who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for marijuana sales, have advised that they would need eight to 12 weeks after the Senate approval to transition to the new framework.

On June 19, 2018 Justin Trudeau tweeted:

"This is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada," she tweeted. "This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime."

Once the bill is formally approved, adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.

However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana.

Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or -- when neither of those options are available -- federally licensed producers. Marijuana will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws, to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.

The bill set a floor on the minimum age of the consumer at 18 years, and makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors.

Market Boom

C-45 is also expected to spark a billion-dollar industry, given total spending on marijuana could surge as high as 58%, especially as users are expected to be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug.

In the United States, BDS Analytics estimated that the pot industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017. The revenue from the sales is equivalent to the entire snack bar industry.

As provinces decide local rules of implementation, marijuana availability will vary across the country. In Alberta, recreational weed will be widely available at more than 200 private retailers across the province. On the opposite end of the spectrum, marijuana availability will only be provided in 40 state-run shops in Ontario. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it will be available in Loblaws grocery stores.

Upcoming Cannabis Legalization is Dominating All Canadian News
RCC Plans Half Day Special Cannabis Forum

From Provinces struggling with licenses, locations, amounts, organized crime, and security. Not a day goes by without articles appearing across Canada. Even the Retail Council of Canada is planning a special half day session the day after their upcoming Retail Secure Conference devoted to the subject.

This is the precursor for the states as the U.S. trend continues as Canada will be the subject matter experts going forward. As mainstream retail will be involved or at least impacted in some form sooner or later. -Gus Downing

LP & Security Impact

Legalization of cannabis a groundswell of opportunity for security providers
"This is a huge business opportunity," says David Hyde, when asked how the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis under The Cannabis Act will impact the security business.

Hyde, owner and principal consultant at David Hyde and Associates, a risk management and security services consultancy based in Toronto, is not alone in this belief. Even prior to legalization, companies and consultants have seen opportunities to expand their business under the ACMPR, or the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation.

Expanding growth opportunities
Despite the difficulties of entering a new, somewhat "unconventional" industry, there is plenty of evidence to indicate the cannabis market will provide opportunities for growth.

"Within a six-month span, we have grown from just under 20 staff to more than 100 Canada-wide, and we project that we will exceed 200 by the fall of this year," says the owner of 3Sixty Secure.

Retail = revenue
For security service providers looking to enter the market, Hyde says he believes there are plenty of new opportunities. Today, there are 90 cultivation sites that are federally regulated, he says, and this will grow to 150 by mid-summer. Each of these sites will need security systems and guards.

Regulatory gaps
Part of doing your homework includes being aware of regulatory gaps that impact security, particularly transportation security. In fact, under the ACMPR, there are no regulations regarding the transportation of medical cannabis. As a result, the industry, particularly providers of secure transportation services, are setting their own security standards.

Holistic security
To capitalize on the cannabis market, not only is it important to be aware of regulatory gaps, but also of the strict physical security regulations under the ACMPR. The ACMPR focuses on barriers, doors, gates, ceilings and other aspects of the physical security of cannabis facilities. It is also focused on technological security and systems, including cameras, access control, intrusion, and more, explains Hyde.

Security policies and legal marijuana
With legal recreational cannabis coming to Canada next year, security professionals may be faced with new questions. Experts and consultants provide an update on the current legal status and what we can expect in 2018.

The Post-Legalization Economy: Jobs & Stocks

The World Is Watching The New $5.7B Industry & 150K New Jobs Come Oct.
Want a job in the cannabis industry? Try these Canadian colleges

Finding professors to teach the first generation of pot professionals has proven challenging

When legal marijuana hits Canadian stores this October, every other country will be watching and scrutinizing what happens in our market. "Canada is going to lead this industry globally," says David Purcell, director of emerging business, at BC's Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

With legalization, a whole underground industry is set to become legit; Statistics Canada said $5.7 billion was spent on cannabis last year, making it a bigger sector than alcohol or tobacco. Up to 150,000 new workers-growers, sellers, store managers, retail clerks-will need training. In response, Canadian post-secondary institutions with new classes and programs to meet new market demands. But how do you build a cannabis curriculum on short order? And how do you find reputable teachers, given many experts likely gained their wisdom while growing an illegal product? By necessity, colleges and universities are getting creative in their search for talent.

Even Investors Are Paying Close Attention
Motley Fool says cannabis industry moving at lightning speed but will need time to take shape

I don't know if I've ever covered an industry that moves as quickly as the cannabis space, with companies jockeying for position and rushing to strike deals and make announcements in an attempt to gain an edge in an exceedingly competitive and emerging legal industry. I've especially seen a lot of traders/investors line up to buy cannabis stocks in anticipation of that October 17 legalization date. Thing is - there won't necessarily be a lot that changes right away on October 17. It will take time for the distribution and retail sales of cannabis -- which will be different in each province -- to take shape.

In short, it won't be until well into 2019 when we get an idea of which cannabis companies are indeed gaining traction and which ones are falling short of expectations. This is why the idea of buying cannabis stocks in anticipation of a "pop" before or on October 17 doesn't strike me as all that effective a strategy.

Cannabis companies seeing big business in bud

The Retail & E-Commerce Impact

Public Vs. Private - Ontario - Canada's Guinea Pig
Ontario 'freezes' Cannabis Store leasing ahead of possible shift, sources say

The previous Ontario government committed to opening 40 government-owned retail storefronts in the first year of legalization, which is set to begin Oct. 17.

"Ontario will be ready with a system in place that meets the objectives of protecting youth and eliminating the illegal market," said Clint Thomas, communications director for Ontario's finance minister.

Shift to private model?

If those consultations result in a shift away from a government monopoly, that could open the door for potentially hundreds of privately owned cannabis outlets.

Experts and academics have urged the newly elected Progressive Conservative government to carve out space for entrepreneurs to put the legal industry on a more competitive footing with the black market.

"The current plan to have 40 stores open by year end and 150 by 2020 is woefully inadequate in usurping the black market for cannabis, and everyone knows it," Damas said.

The OCS is set to announce supply arrangements with licensed producers in the coming weeks, but it's unclear where exactly the cannabis products will be sold. It's possible Canada's largest market, Ontario, may start with only online sales.

Editor's Note: Shoppers Drug Mart, Canada's biggest drug store chain, was reported to have filed for licenses to sell months ago. That brings mainstream retail into the game, and how does that play on Loss Prevention?

Who will sell legal marijuana in Ontario, and where? It's no longer clear
With less than 90 days to go until legal recreational marijuana is a reality on Oct. 17, it's no longer clear how many legal cannabis stores Ontario is planning to open, or who will run them. An FAQ published by the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) still says the agency plans to open 40 bricks-and-mortar stores in 2018. However, a spokesperson for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, the OCS's parent agency, would not say if it still planned to meet that target, writing that "updates on OCS retail openings will be provided in the near future."

This Influential Marijuana CEO Believes Amazon Will Eventually Sell Cannabis
The legalization of adult-use cannabis in Canada is an especially big deal. Marijuana growers had been expanding their capacity at a breakneck pace in anticipation of the Cannabis Act passing, which it finally did on June 19. By Oct. 17, weed will officially be legal for adult purchase, opening the door to what could be a $5 billion windfall once the industry is fully ramped up (which could take a few years).

With such big dollar signs being tossed around, the question most folks have been asking, including Wall Street professionals, is what industry might want to dip its toes into the water? Will it be more spirit manufacturers following in the footsteps of Constellation Brands, or could Big Tobacco look to turn around ailing sales by partnering or investing in marijuana businesses? Or, dare I say, will e-commerce giant get wind of the marijuana industry's potential and look to nab its slice of the pie?

Manitoba aims to boost number of cannabis stores in province

As Legalization Looms, Canadian Companies Rush To Produce Weed Drinks

Canada will allow pot, but Facebook isn't allowing ads talking about it

Regulations & Protections

Health Canada Security Rules for Medical Marijuana Producers
Licensed producers will be required to store cannabis within a secure area of their facility. This area must be secured with physical barriers, an intrusion detection system, and 24/7 visual monitoring and recording capability. A record of the identity of every person entering or exiting the storage area must be kept, and access to those areas must be restricted to those whose presence is required by their work responsibilities. In addition, licensed producers will no longer be required to maintain 24/7 video surveillance inside the rooms where cannabis is being cultivated, propagated or harvested. All access points to cultivation, propagation and harvesting rooms will, however, continue to be subject to 24/7 video surveillance and recording in order to record all entries and exits," the agency said in the announcement.

It said licensed producers "will need to continue to meet all the other robust, multi-layered physical security requirements outlined under the ACMPR, namely securing the perimeter of their site in a manner that prevents unauthorized access, ensuring that this perimeter is visually monitored at all times and that intrusion detection systems are installed and operate at all times. All indoor areas where cannabis is present will continue to require physical barriers that prevent unauthorized access, intrusion detection systems, visual monitoring and recordings, and restricted access and entry and exit logs. Strict inventory control measures and regular reporting of cannabis production, inventory and shipments to Health Canada will continue to be required and verified during Health Canada's inspections of producers, providing another important regulatory control to ensure that cannabis is not diverted to the illegal market. Finally, licensed producers and applicants must continue to meet all other requirements under the ACMPR, which represents one of the most robust frameworks in the world for ensuring effective control and regulation of the production of cannabis for medical purposes."

Health Canada Proposes Fees to Recover Costs of Regulating Cannabis
Canada's Cannabis Act will come into force Oct. 17, 2018. With the government committed to fully recovering the costs of regulating the new cannabis industry, Health Canada on July 12 launched a 30-day public consultation on the proposed approach to cost recovery for the regulation of cannabis. "The proposed cost-recovery approach is guided by the principles that fees should allow for both larger and smaller players in a diverse market. The approach proposes to collect no more than the cost of delivering the regulatory program," the agency's announcement said.

The agency proposes to scale fees according to the size of the business and to provide for lower fees for the newly proposed micro-scale license holders, with some types of license-those for research, analytical testing, and hemp production-being exempt from fees. The public and interested stakeholders are asked to comment online by Aug. 13, 2018.

The cost-recovery proposal includes four fees:

A fee for screening license applications
A fee for conducting security screening of key persons
A fee for reviewing applications to import or export cannabis for scientific or medical purposes
An annual regulatory fee to cover other regulatory costs, including the detailed review of license applications, issuing licenses, inspections, and compliance and enforcement activities.

AIHA: Cannabis Industry Workers Need Protection
The American Industrial Hygiene Association's The Synergist has published an article discussing the need for proper PPE by workers in the young but expanding cannabis industry. The article, titled "Growing Pains," addresses the hazards that workers can encounter in the indoor cannabis process.

Some hazards their article discusses include exposure to pesticides, marijuana dust and resin, ultraviolet light from high-output grow lamps, and mold spores. Recommended PPE includes gloves, respirators, safety glasses, and faceshields.

"The Synergist article brings to light important health and safety issues that few have examined in the rapidly developing cannabis industry," said AIHA CEO Lawrence Sloan, CAE. "In the rush to capitalize on the new opportunities unleashed by state legalization, the protection of workers must not be overlooked, but should instead be placed front and center. As with every industry, AIHA and its members are called to use the type of unique expertise exemplified by this article to protect the health and safety of workers, wherever they may be."

Health Canada Warns Medical Marijuana Producers About Sponsoring Events

Black Market & Security Concerns

One important question no one is asking but ultimately will be answered
What happens when you take a $5.7B market away from organized crime?
Is it similar to stopping crime in one store and forcing it to another location? These groups aren't going to disappear and they're losing their income.

Certainly a number will be absorbed into the market. But Canadian officials are screening those people and saying they won't allow those involved in the illegal trade into the market.

"We're not going to employ anyone who's been illegally producing cannabis-that's very important," says Unwin. (Instructors require full security checks through the RCMP.)

So where do they go? Just a thought -Gus Downing

Why Canada's pot legalization won't stop black-market sales
As Canada's Liberal government prepares to legalize recreational marijuana use this summer, the biggest remaining obstacle to regulated sales will be competition from a thriving black market, according to cannabis investors, researchers, policy analysts and government data.

Many buyers of illegal pot will have little incentive to switch to legal weed, which is expected to be more expensive and less available because of strict regulations on sales, according to hedge fund GTV Capital, which invests almost exclusively in Canadian cannabis stocks, and the Marijuana Policy Group, a U.S. research firm.

If the price difference allows the black market to compete, that will hamper the public benefits of legalization - legitimate investment, job creation and tax revenue - and complicate efforts to stamp out crime associated with illegal drug trafficking. Statistics Canada, working with police data in a 2014 study, found organized crime involvement in about a third of marijuana production and trafficking.

Border security raises concerns for cannabis legalization in Canada
Carrying cannabis or cannabis products like edibles and oils across the border will remain a criminal offence, regardless of its legal status in Canada. Additionally, Canadian citizens who admit to having smoked up - ever - may face a life-long ban from entering the U.S. if they admit to having done so to American border agents.

Canadian police warn they aren't ready for cannabis legalization challenges

Facebook Share on Facebook       Twitter Share on Twitter       Linkedin Share on LinkedIn