The Rotation: Vol. 42
OCS Testing Program, Ontario Retail Expansion, and Governors' Call for Rescheduling
OCS Implements High-THC Cannabis Testing Program
Beginning in January, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) will initiate a program to test high-THC cannabis products, aiming for accurate labeling and product integrity, reports StratCann.
- The OCS will launch a program to test high-THC cannabis products, ensuring accuracy and safety.
- A secret threshold will be set to prevent producers from manipulating THC levels intentionally.
- Products falling within an acceptable range will be sold, while outliers will face retesting and possible return to the producer for proper labelling.
- The focus will be on accurate product representation and addressing concerns about inflated THC levels.
The OCS’ decision to test high-THC cannabis products is a commendable move toward curbing THC level inflation in the market. However, it’s critical to recognize the role provincial agencies played in perpetuating the demand for high-THC products. While the testing initiative is a positive step, concerns about its impact on smaller producers and potential shifts in lab testing practices arise. There’s a need for broader accountability measures and recalls for significantly mislabeled products. It’s clear that the issue goes beyond testing; it’s about addressing the demands set by provincial buyers that have inadvertently pushed producers into a high-THC race, posing challenges for smaller players.
Ontario Plans to Double Cannabis Retail Store Cap
Ontario is aiming to increase the licensed cannabis retailer store cap from 75 to 150 to combat the persisting illicit market, reports StratCann.
- Ontario plans to double licensed cannabis retail stores from 75 to 150, aiming to deter the illicit market.
- Ontario currently has approximately 1,800 retail cannabis stores listed as authorized to open.
- An additional proposal is aimed at preventing cannabis cultivation in childcare facilities and address illicit online cannabis sales.
- The new omnibus legislation, the Enhancing Access to Justice Act, 2023, would also further support negotiations with First Nations communities on the regulation of cannabis on reserves.
Ontario’s move to expand the licensed cannabis retailer cap seems somewhat positive. However, its direct impact on curbing the illicit market appears limited, with more potential lying in bolstered online sales enforcement and negotiations with First Nation communities. Notably, major cannabis retail franchises haven’t yet reached the cap, suggesting this change mainly favors larger players in the industry.
Governors Call for Rescheduling of Cannabis to Schedule III
6 Governors urged President Biden to reschedule cannabis to Schedule III, citing economic benefits and safety enhancements, reports Marijuana Moment.
- Governors from six U.S. states urged President Biden to reschedule cannabis to Schedule III, citing economic, safety, and regulatory benefits.
- Benefits highlighted include alleviating federal tax burdens on cannabis businesses and emphasizing safer, regulated products.
- The alignment of federal and state regulations was emphasized for a more coherent cannabis marketplace.
- Previous actions by federal agencies and reactions from industry stakeholders illustrated the complexity and potential impact of such a rescheduling.
The call by governors to reschedule cannabis to Schedule III is a step towards aligning federal policies with states and fostering a safer, regulated cannabis market. The economic benefits and potential tax relief highlighted in their push are intriguing. However, the emphasis on safer, regulated products versus illicit ones brings to light the importance of quality control. The alignment of federal and state regulations could mark a significant shift in the cannabis industry, emphasizing transparency and safety. It’s intriguing to witness leaders advocating for a more coherent and secure cannabis marketplace, which could potentially enhance consumer confidence and streamline business operations in the industry.