The Rotation: Vol. 8
Falling Cannabis Prices, Big Brand Copycats and Fight for Homegrown Cannabis in Manitoba
Price of Cannabis Continues to Fall
The price of recreational and medicinal cannabis has decreased significantly since 2018 according to Statistics Canada reports the Globe and Mail.
- Recreational cannabis dropped by 8.3 per cent and medical cannabis by 10.2 per cent over the past year, and by approximately 25 per cent in both categories since the end of 2018.
- The current environment is a marked difference compared to the start of legalization where supply shortages and a lack of access to legal cannabis plagued the industry.
- Cannabis inventory is now said to be between 5 – 18 times more than demand, depending on the product category.
- However, production capacity has slowed down with approximately 1.7 million square meters of indoor growing space as of September, down 22 per cent from peak levels in 2020.
The oversupply of cannabis in Canada has been a growing concern since 2019. Some would argue that a major culprit is the continued influx of capital from large financial investors into producers with no clear direction and mismanaging funds. Many analysts believe that the price for dried cannabis has bottomed out, with little room to go any lower, this will likely lead to some companies struggling and consolidation accelerating, as pointed out in the article.
Large Food and Beverage Brands Ask Congress to Crack Down on Cannabis-Infused Copycats
Pepsi, General Mills and Kellogg and other major food and beverage companies are asking Congress to do more to stop the proliferation of cannabis-infused copycat products that mimic their well-known brands reports Marijuana Moment.
- A letter from the Consumer Brands Association was sent to congressional lawmakers where more than a dozen companies and industry trade associations argued that misleading packaging of cannabis products that are modeled in the style of popular commercial items poses a public safety risk, particularly for children.
- A potential solution suggested by the associations and companies is to revise and expand a section of an anti-counterfeit bill that is heading to bicameral conference.
- The suggested update to the bill would allow companies to be penalized for selling “famous” marks that don’t necessarily meet the definition of “counterfeit” in the existing language.
It’s difficult to argue against the requests being made by brands that are having trademarked logos being used inappropriately and against their will. A key pillar in the legalization effort is to ensure cannabis does not appeal to children and entice them to use it and the use of famous brand logos that often incorporate bright colours and cartoon characters is a clear infraction of this basic rule. Furthermore, copying the packaging of well-established brands shows a back of creativity and unethical business practices that should not be condoned.
Manitoba Home Cultivation Constitutional Challenge Decision Imminent
The constitutional challenge against the Manitoba Government’s ban on home-grown non-medical cannabis lead by Jesse Lavoie is awaiting a judges ruling per StratCann.
- Manitoba and Quebec are currently the only two provinces that do not allow the personal cultivation of non-medical cannabis.
- Quebec’s ban was successfully challenged in 2019, however the province is now appealing the ruling.
- In the Quebec case, the judge noted that the province could likely further limit home production and possession, but not outright ban it, citing it would be an infringement on federal jurisdiction.
- Lavoie’s legal team, which is made up of prominent cannabis lawyers Kirk Tousaw and Jack Lloyd, are making a similar argument, saying that the province doesn’t have the right to outlaw a right outlined in federal law.
We are eagerly anticipating the final ruling on this constitutional challenge and commend Jesse Lavoie for following through on his commitment to fight for home-cultivation in Manitoba. For everyone to have reasonable access to cannabis and eliminate the illicit market, key goals of the legalization effort in Canada, home cultivation is a critical part of that.