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Buddy Boy dispensaries will shutter their doors Friday as state’s weed sales tumble

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Buddy Boy Brands’ seven metro-area dispensaries will shutter their doors permanently on Friday, with the owner blaming a market downturn and high costs.

John Fritzel took over Buddy Boy in June 2014. Buddy Boy’s locations dot the Denver area, selling flower, concentrates, edibles, topicals and more.

Fritzel, who also owns dispensaries Lightshade and PotCo, initially said sales tumbled off of a cliff, forcing him to close Buddy Boy. However, he admits “a tax balance” is also a contributing factor.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.



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Colorado’s cannabis industry prepares for tough times as U.S. recession looms

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Colorado’s cannabis industry is preparing for tough times as marijuana sales drop and economic problems pile up.

During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, weed businesses serviced consumers eager to stock up on their favorite edibles, concentrates and pre-rolls. That high has since given way to a low for the industry, as less consumer spending means sales are falling in both the recreational and medical markets, according to Headset, which provides insights into cannabis consumer trends.

In Colorado, total sales for marijuana stood at $153 million in April – a 26% decrease compared to about $206 million sold that month last year, according to the Marijuana Industry Group, the trade association for the state’s cannabis industry. Medical sales specifically took a hit, plunging to about $20 million in April from almost $40 million last April.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.



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Amending the Cannabis Act – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Amending the Cannabis Act? The Canadian government says they will review and amend it as soon as possible. But the deadline to begin the review is eight months passed. Scheduled for October 2021, Health Canada won’t comment on when the review will occur, only that any amending will come from a “credible, evidence-driven process.”

Health Canada also said the review could take up to 18 months. The latest federal budget promised a cannabis industry roundtable, but no details have been released. However, some remain skeptical that meetings between government bureaucrats and industry insiders will do anything except help out the larger producers at the expense of the smaller craft companies.

Forward Regulatory Plan

Amending the Cannabis Act

But will a review and amendment of the Cannabis Act work out in everyone’s favour? So far, the federal government plans to update the Cannabis Act through some regulatory changes that Health Canada will be taking the lead on.

These regulatory changes include:

  • Cutting back on regulatory paperwork “to simplify and reduce requirements related to record keeping, reporting and notifications, and to provide more flexibility in meeting certain requirements related to matters such as antimicrobial treatment.”
  • Amending the regulations to “facilitate cannabis research for non-therapeutic purposes.”
  • Increasing the possession limit for cannabis beverages (no indication of raising the THC limit or abandoning it altogether).
  • Allowing the sale of certain health products containing cannabis without a prescription
  • Amending Cannabis Act regulations to “restrict the production, sale, promotion, packaging, or labelling of inhaled cannabis extracts with certain flavors, other than the flavor of cannabis.”

Health Canada says these changes are unlikely to be ready until the end of the year.

Buying cannabis health products without a prescription is a step in the right direction. But the typical attitude of Health Canada bureaucrats is that public health and safety trump your personal autonomy. So the agency will now be targeting cannabis producers promoting terpene profiles that they’ve decided are not “flavors of cannabis.”

Why Bother Amending the Cannabis Act?

Why bother amending the Cannabis Act when the government should scrap it altogether? The entire Liberal Legalization scheme has insulted the Western legal tradition of free markets and the rule of law. 

All they needed to do was remove cannabis from the Criminal Code. We already have laws on the books that facilitate peaceful associations. Tort and criminal law provide security, while contract, property, and commercial law facilitate cooperation and exchange. Politics doesn’t need to enter the picture. Politicians certainly don’t need to draft new legislation and create roles for their already inflated taxpayer-funded bureaucracy.

The three major hurdles for small craft producers are:

  1. Barriers to entry because of the high costs of bureaucracy
  2. Arbitrary rules on some products, such as THC limits on edibles and capsules
  3. How the LPs can tap equity markets and starve out their competition who are malnourished because,
  4. Excise taxes ensure Canada won’t ever have a middle-class of cannabis producers.

Will an industry roundtable consisting of large producers and government bureaucrats solve these issues? Or will they only address the excise tax since even the larger producers send half their revenue to Ottawa?

Time will tell, but LPs and bureaucrats seem to think the roundtable will be a cure-all.

I have my doubts. If you want some insight into what this “cannabis industry table” is going to be about, look at who supports it. If you want some insight into what amending the Cannabis Act will look like, take a gander at everything else this government has (or hasn’t) done.

A true, small L, classical liberal cannabis market won’t occur until Justin’s Liberals are out of power.





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Cannabis & Hospitalization

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Cannabis and hospitalization go hand-in-hand, according to a new study. Cannabis consumers are 22 percent more likely to visit emergency rooms and require hospitalizations. Led by researchers at Unity Health Toronto, they surveyed 4,800 cannabis users over 12 months. They compared the data with 10,000 people who had never used cannabis.

Despite the observational nature of the study, the lead author of the study, Dr. Nicholas Vozoris, told CTV that:

“Our analyses are adjusted and controlled for all of these other factors, making it less likely that the other factors explain the positive emergency department visit and hospitalization finding.”

Observational vs. Experimental Research 

Among the reasons for hospitalizations or ER visits, cannabis users reported acute trauma (15%) as the most common cause. Followed by respiratory problems (14%) and gastrointestinal issues (13%).

But the study was observational and therefore unable to say that cannabis use causes higher hospitalization rates. This was a correlational study. Despite the lead researcher’s claim, this study did not test a specific intervention against a control group. All they did was look at the data on particular groups and then form a conclusion.

Observational research can give us insight into what types of connections exist between lifestyle and risks of a specific disease. But all they can do is show correlation. Even the researchers admitted as much, given their small sample size. They said further research is needed to confirm the “possible link between all-cause mortality and respiratory illness.” 

Cannabis & Hospitalization Study Bias 

Cannabis & Hospitalization

Because this was an observational study with no control group, the claim that the study controlled for other factors of hospitalization, like alcohol use, opioid use, prescription drug use, underlying mental health or medical conditions, is patently false. 

The study did not compare rates of ER visits and hospitalizations among cannabis consumers to rates among users of alcohol, opioids, prescription drugs, or other substances. The lead researcher, Dr. Vozoris, said he’s unaware of existing research comparing these rates.

Vozoris hopes this study will inform the public that cannabis is not risk-free. But what exactly has this study proven, if anything at all? 

The Problem with the Cannabis & Hospitalization Study 

Dr. John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford University, criticizes observational study research. In his paper, “Why Most Published Research Findings are False,” he explains that “research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”

And that seems to be the case here.

There’s nothing in this study to indicate why cannabis users would have higher rates of hospitalization and ER visits.

Suppose there are factors the researchers haven’t considered. The only way to truly determine a cause between two variables is to do an experimental study like a randomized control trial. Plenty of observational studies can confirm that cannabis users have higher hospitalization rates. But, without randomized control trials, this correlation tells us nothing.

It’s like the correlation between Nicolas Cage movies and swimming pool drownings. No serious researcher would publish a paper highlighting this correlation, concluding that more observational research was needed, and then remind people that “Nicolas Cage movies aren’t risk-free.”

That’s essentially what has happened here. 

That’s why studies like this always call for “further research.” All they have to do is claim a possible connection between cannabis and hospitalization. But with observational research, it is impossible to say x causes y. If anything, “further research” will increase the number of studies claiming a relationship between cannabis and hospitalization, muddying the waters for researchers doing real science.





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