The Rotation: Vol. 14
New Beverages Rules Not Expected Before Fall 2022, Upcoming Report on Cannabis Consumption Spaces in BC, and Layoffs Hitting Aurora
Proposed Changes to Increase Beverage Limit Won’t Be Rolled Out Before Summer
Health Canada told MJBizDaily that proposed amendments to regulations for infused beverages wouldn’t come into effect until the fall – at the earliest.
- The current possession limit in Canada for infused drinks equates to approximately five standard-sized cans, the proposed changes would increase the public possession limit for beverages to 17.1 liters which is more than 8x’s the current volume.
- Some industry stakeholders were hoping the changes would happen sooner, due to the increased popularity of cannabis beverages during the summer months.
- Health Canada stated they are still in the process of analyzing the results of the public consultation and once complete, will submit the proposal for consideration by the Treasury Board and approval by the Governor in Council before the changes come into.
It looks like the industry will need to practice a bit more patience as we wait on the proposed updates to possession limits for cannabis beverages. Despite the optimism surrounding the regulatory changes, it’s difficult to say how big of an impact this will have on increasing infused beverage sales. The important question to ask here is whether consumers are consistently trying to buy the maximum beverage amount per transaction but are simply unable to due to the regulations. We would argue that the answer is likely no, and poor beverage sales have more to do with the fact that many don’t taste great, require consuming several for the desired effects and are generally too expensive.
Report On Cannabis Consumption Areas Expected by End of Year
The BC Cannabis Secretariat announced at the Grow Up Cannabis Conference in Victoria that a “What We Heard Report” based on their public engagement around cannabis consumption spaces will be released by end of year, reports StratCann.
- Although details are currently limited, the BC government has suggested in the past that one possible approach would be to issuing “special occasion” permits
- In BC “Cannabis consumption space” is used as a general term that “refers to a business, special event or other establishment providing cannabis for sale and use on-site” and can include cafes, lounges, ticketed events, and even spa experiences.
- Indoor smoking and vaping would still not be allowed in consumption spaces, but the province is considering whether to permit outdoor smoking and vaping.
It appears the potential of cannabis lounges opening across the country is gaining momentum. Festivals in Edmonton and Saskatchewan will both feature cannabis consumption spaces and it was just announced that The Exhibition Place in Toronto will have a dedicated space to consume cannabis this summer. This is a positive development that helps normalize cannabis use and help reduce the stigma associated with cannabis consumption.
Aurora Cuts 12% of Global Workforce
Aurora Cannabis, the Edmonton, Alberta-based company announced that it will be cutting 12% of its global workforce, as part of its plan to become profitable next year.
- The company said it identified additional cost savings worth up to 90 million Canadian dollars that will result from its corporate reorganization.
- Aurora stated they are refocusing their efforts on medical cannabis markets outside of North America.
- Aurora reported a net loss of 1 billion Canadian dollars ($770 million) for the three months ended March 31.
It’s disheartening to see yet another round of layoffs announced by the large, licensed producers in Canada. 2022 is turning out to be a terrible year for Canadian cannabis industry workers and we can only hope that all employees impacted by this recent round of layoffs are treated fairly and find new opportunities in a timely fashion.