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Canada’s Cannabis Credit Union – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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When you’ve got a cannabis credit union in your corner, nothing seems impossible. Despite Canadian cannabis legalization, banking for cannabis producers and operators is still a struggle.

That’s where Community Savings Credit Union has stepped up. With seven branches in British Columbia, they’ve won two awards from the Canadian Marketing Association for cannabis advocacy.

Specifically, they won awards for their “Roll with us” marketing campaign and “Does your bank deliver,” which compared choosing their services with choosing toppings for your pizza. 

A win for the Community Savings Credit Union is a win for cannabis in Canada. With traditional banks charging fees 5000% higher for cannabis-related businesses, this is where it helps to have a cannabis credit union in your corner.

Why the Banks Don’t Like Cannabis 

Canada's Cannabis Credit Union

President and CEO of Community Savings, Mike Schilling, said: 

“There is a serious side to our campaigns that have fun with cannabis culture. We meet too many businesses in the industry that are being exploited and paying up to 5000% more than they should for a simple account. We treat cannabis retailers like any other small business, with best-in-class service and products.

“This campaign isn’t only about the cannabis industry – it is about equal access to fair and affordable banking services. Community Savings will continue to advocate for what is right and what is fair, and supporting the cannabis industry is just the beginning.”

But why don’t the big banks like cannabis? Don’t they like money? If they see a cannabis credit union, don’t they say to themselves, “hey, we want some of that!”

According to Mike, the reason they don’t is due to stigma. For many of the suits on Bay Street, cannabis is still the domain of biker gangs.

Banks see cannabis as a higher risk, often making the comparison to alcohol. But breweries and distilleries don’t face the same kind of stigma cannabis does. A fairer comparison would be how banks deal with casinos.

And if you do manage to get a cannabis-related bank account, expect to pay fees upward of $500 per month compared to $50 per month (the average cost of a corporate account).

Until banks come to their senses, Canada’s cannabis industry must rely on credit unions.

Canada’s Cannabis Credit Union

Canada's Cannabis Credit Union

Banking is fundamental to business. While credit unions like Community Savings Credit Union have stepped up, overall, there is a limit to what a credit union can do for your business. 

That said, the awards won by the Community Savings Credit Union highlight that there is money to be made in helping out cannabis producers and retailers.

Large banks would be wise to treat the legal cannabis industry like any other legal sector. Or perhaps, especially after freezing the bank accounts of people peacefully protesting in Ottawa, the rest of us should be getting out of traditional banking and patronizing credit unions instead.





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How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2022 – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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So, how popular are cannabis beverages? With just over a month left in 2022, it’s time to take a step back and analyze sales and consumer data for this product category.

Using real-time data reporting from Headset, we can see how cannabis beverage sales have increased by 40% in the US and Canada.

But more importantly, we can answer questions like: which beverages are the most popular? What are the consumer demographics like? And which markets are cannabis beverages the most popular?

Market Popularity of Cannabis Beverages 

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

With triple-digit year-over-year sales, cannabis beverages have never been more popular. Seasonality is a factor, with summers and popular holidays (like the 4th of July) seeing spikes in sales.

In Canada, cannabis beverages are the 7th most popular product, making up 2.1% of total cannabis sales from January to October 2022.

In the US, this popularity captured 1.1% of the cannabis market, making beverages the 6th most popular category.

The market share of cannabis beverages in Canada and the US varies from province to province and state to state.

In the province of Ontario, for example, beverages made up 2.4% of total cannabis sales.

US markets in Washington, Oregon, and California remained the most popular states for cannabis beverages, despite being less than 3% of total sales.

Typically, the more recent the legalization, the less popular cannabis beverages are.

In the US, Florida has the lowest sales of beverages at 0.1%. Of course, we can explain this by a couple of factors. One, Florida only has a medical program which the government strictly controls.

Second, there are no ready-to-drink products available in Florida. Patients must buy cannabis powders that they dissolve into other drinks.

The Growing Popularity of Cannabis Beverages

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

Michigan has the lowest share of beverage sales in any recreational US cannabis market. However, Michigan is also the fastest growing.

For the first ten months of 2022, Michigan’s cannabis beverage sales increased 272% compared to the year before.

Other top sales growth markets include Ontario (67%) and Massachusetts (53%).

Other markets have seen negative sales growth over this same period. They include Colorado (-15%), Maryland (-17%), and Nevada (-21%).

That said, the market share of cannabis beverages has only grown more popular, with an increase of 40% since January 2021

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

Seasonality affects popularity. This is apparent in Canada, where you can see total sales over the last two summers. But popularity spikes exist in US cannabis markets as well.

In both countries, the number of brands offering cannabis beverages continues to grow. Canada experienced a 300% increase in brands. The US experienced 65% growth.

While both countries had good years, the popularity of cannabis beverages in the United States may be slowing.

Popular Cannabis Beverage Brands 

So what kind of cannabis beverages are popular? This graph shows a diverse market among Canadian consumers.

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

Beverages like XMG’S Mango Pineapple Sparkling Drink are among the most popular. Iced Tea, Lemonade, and Fruit products capture 20% of sales. THC-infused Water captures another 19% of the Canadian cannabis beverage market.

There is a greater variety of products in the US.

Drops, Mixes, Elixirs, and Syrups dominate the market. However, Iced Tea, Lemonade, and Fruit, as well as Carbonated Beverages, capture 21%-29% market share. Even the infused Water segment captures 15% of sales.

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

You cannot legally sell beverages beyond 10mg of THC in Canada. This graph confirms that.

Because high-dose beverages are illegal, as well as selling CBD drinks outside the cannabis access system, comparing the US and Canada on these fronts isn’t without issue.

Without THC limits, customers in the US go for higher-dose beverages. Half of all cannabis beverage sales are in the 100mg per package category.

More THC for a lower price is the obvious conclusion. Speaking of which…

How Popular are Cannabis Beverages in 2021

Like other cannabis products, the price of beverages has been dropping in both US and Canada.

Canada has seen the most significant drops in price. However, this might be explained by uncertainty when the products first reach the market. And then, the consumer realized that 10mg drinks weren’t worth the initial offering price.

That said, the US is also seeing drinks drop in price, although by much less.

Who’s Buying?

In Canada, cannabis beverages are popular with males and females between the ages of 26 and 57. These consumers account for over 80% of beverage sales, nine percentage points higher than their typical rate in cannabis.

In the US, female customers over 25 dominate the cannabis beverage category. Typically, this demographic accounts for 29% of cannabis sales. However, in the US cannabis beverage market, female consumers contribute 37% of sales.

In Summary

Cannabis beverages may be a small part of the cannabis market, but they are rapidly gaining popularity. In some areas, sales have tripled year over year.

Beverages are also an excellent introduction to people who are used to drinking alcohol. If beer and BBQ in the summer go hand-in-hand, why not a THC-infused non-alcoholic IPA?

People concerned about inhaling hash or flower may also find solace in beverages. Unlike traditional edibles, which can take hours before you feel their full effects, some beverage brands use nanotechnology. This not only properly infuses fatty cannabinoids in liquid but also ensures the onset is quicker.

Is anything more popular on a hot day than cracking open a cold beverage? For these reasons and more, stay tuned to CLN to see how popular cannabis beverages remain throughout 2023.





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Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis  – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Investors have lost billions investing in Canadian cannabis. That’s the latest data collected by the law firm Miller Thomson.

Of the total 183 publicly traded licensed cannabis producers, they collectively lost $131 billion.

Or, as one Redditor put it,

High quality marijuana cost $7.69 per gram.

It’s estimated that the average joint has 0.32 grams of marijuana in them.

So one joint should be around $2.46.

Therefore, $131 billion could purchase 53,252,032,520 joints.

Canada’s population is 38.25 million.

So each Canadian could have gotten 1,392 joints instead of investing in cannabis companies. That’s damn near 4 joints a day for an entire year. (Even a leap year)

u/GazelleOk5652

Or, to paraphrase a lawyer from the law firm, it’s akin to each investor losing $43,000.

How Could Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis?

Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis 

How could investors lose billions with Canadian cannabis? The writing has been on the wall for a while.

First, let’s look at the macros. Instead of relying on the old, tried and tested methods of balance sheets, revenues, assets, equity, net income and profit – Canada’s large cannabis producers focused on market value.

In 2018, for example, Aurora had a $7.4 billion valuation. When you consider Aurora’s 2018 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, that valuation was 28 times higher than it should have been.

And they’re not the only ones. Canopy Growth burns through money. Neither LP has ever had positive cash flow.

People haven’t been investing in Canada’s cannabis companies. They’ve been gambling. Or rather, donating their income so overly packaged, sterile cannabis can sit in government distribution centres ready to be shipped to private retailers.

Investors have lost billions investing in Canadian cannabis because it was never an investment, to begin with.

There is a difference between the modern stock market casino and the traditional role of the stock market that facilitated capital investment.

It is like the difference between canned spam and a grass-fed ribeye steak. Both are technically meat, but one is superior to the other.

Blame the Black Market! 

Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis 

Have investors lost billions investing in Canadian cannabis? Of course, we can’t blame the system. The black market must be at fault!

Many retail operators have opened and shut their doors in Canada’s legal market. They played by the rules, applied for all the licences, dotted their i’s and paid all the fees and taxes.

But the government didn’t live up to its end of the bargain. One arm of the government was busy taxing and regulating the legal retailers with zeal. While the other arm haphazardly and incompetently enforced shutting down the illicit sector.

According to the law firm behind the latest numbers, “It’s an industry that has been created by the Canadian government and frankly set up to fail.”

In looking for someone to blame, governments and their cronies have no problem throwing medical cannabis growers under the bus.

Many medical cannabis growers have licenses for hundreds of plants. They’ll grow for themselves and others who have a medical license. Often, they’ll share their growing space with other medical growers.

But even a spokesperson for the law firm Miller Thomson couldn’t help but speculate medical growers divert their production to the black market.

This belief was widespread (and discredited) during the Allard trial, but, as the saying goes, if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

And now, Health Canada is gearing up for another showdown. 

Soon, they’ll argue that these medical growers and designated licenses don’t need to exist. That recreational legalization is sufficient, and they can legally shut down the medical cannabis program in Canada. 

Could the Cannabis Act Review Fix Everything?

Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis 

The long overdue review of the Cannabis Act is underway. But even then, it’s supposed to take up to 18 months before completion.

Until then, investors have plenty of time to lose billions more with Canadian cannabis.

All of the fundamentals regarding the large licensed producers have stayed the same. If anything, they’re using news about German and other European legalization schemes to inflate their already inflated stock prices.

The small-to-medium producers suffering from excessive taxes and regulations won’t likely survive the next two years of the government’s review process.

Additionally, retailers are falling behind too. As one near-bankrupt retailer told CTV, “I got screwed by the government 100 per cent.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that a government plagued by scandals and incompetency couldn’t even manage to legalize cannabis effectively.

Only governments could lose money selling drugs.

How Can Investors Make Billions with Canadian Cannabis?

Investors Lose Billions with Canadian Cannabis 

Investors have lost billions investing in Canadian cannabis. But how could they recover?

First, it’s unlikely to happen. Canada’s Laurentian Elite prefers corporate conglomerates to a network of small businesses. 

For example, name a single prime minister in the last four decades that hasn’t been a stooge of the Desmarais family and the Power Corporation.

So long as cannabis legalization takes a backseat to “public health and safety,” the viability of a legal industry is contingent on what some bureaucrat thinks instead of what the consumer wants. 

The answer is simple enough. But the odds of it happening in Canada are nil, which is a shame because it is a simple answer. Just a series of three concrete steps.

  1. Eliminate red tape, excise taxes, provincial distributors, government mark-ups and fees, and every single regulation on “public health and safety.”
  2. Cannabis pardons across the board. A former criminal record shouldn’t preclude you from owning a cannabis business.
  3. Expand the medical cannabis program, and allow doctors to prescribe cannabis rather than “authorize” it while increasing the number of plants per patient and designated growers.

The illicit market competing with the legal market is not the issue. The cannabis market is not open and free enough to incentivize illegal actors from entering the legal regime.

You can either pay all this money for licenses and get regulated to death by government bureaucrats while slowly but consistently losing money to the underground competition. 

Or you can risk fines and imprisonment but remain profitable. The old “if you can’t beat them, join them” idiom. 

Free markets will always overpower the tastes and wishes of government bureaucrats. If you’re investing in Canadian cannabis, you’re best to keep this lesson in mind.





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Cannabis Act Review: No More Medical Program? – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Take the Survey and Tell Health Canada to Keep their Hands Off Our Medicine

Does the Cannabis Act review mean no more medical cannabis in Canada?

Many of Canada’s cannabis consumers, producers, and retailers welcome the Cannabis Act review. And why not? It’s a year late, and there are plenty of problems with the current legalization scheme we hope the review will fix.

But will ending medical cannabis in Canada be one of its consequences?

Health Canada is asking for our input. If enough people submit negative reviews of the medical cannabis program, Health Canada may scrap it altogether.

The survey is open until Monday, November 21st.

Cannabis Act Review: Section 5.2

Cannabis Act Review: No More Medical Program?

So, instead of using the Cannabis Act review to increase THC limits or remove Ottawa’s bureaucracy from the industry as much as possible, Health Canada wants to end medical cannabis.

This is like asking an electrician to look at a faulty light in your house. Instead, he removes all the copper electrical wiring from your home.

“Everyone’s going to aluminum wiring,” he’ll say. “I did you a favour.” He might even add it’s for public health and safety.

That’s Health Canada’s reasoning. Yet, despite the usual “we’re doing this for your own good,” rhetoric, the devil is in the details.

 Section 5.2 of the survey asks, “Is a distinct medical access program necessary to provide individuals with reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes, or can access needs be met through the non-medical framework?”

In other words, isn’t the recreational market enough? Do we need tens of thousands of home gardening medical licenses? 

If this sounds familiar, it’s because the healthcare bureaucracy tried to pull the same stunt under Stephen Harper. 

But as economist Ludwig von Mises once wrote, “the cabinets come and go, but the bureaus remain.”

Or, as long-time cannabis activist Ted Smith put it, “It’s the bureaucracy. The politicians aren’t making these decisions. That’s what happened with the MMPR. That wasn’t the politicians deciding, that was the bureaucrats sick of dealing with patients and their licenses.”

Cannabis Act Review: Ending Medical Gardens

Cannabis Act Review: No More Medical Program?

Reasonable access to medical cannabis is a constitutional right in Canada. This is why Health Canada has a medical cannabis program. It’s not because they believe in the power of the herb. They don’t even like it.

“They’ve hated it,” says Ted Smith. “This whole program has just been rammed down their throats.”

Health Canada and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) have done everything they can to undermine medical cannabis. 

Don’t let these names fool you. The “Health” in Health Canada doesn’t refer to the word as we usually define it. An organization that receives 90% of its funding from pharmaceutical corporations will have a different definition of “health,” then the patient relying on medical cannabis. 

Likewise, the CMA has never been for medical cannabis. Vice-president Dr. Blackmer said legalization makes the medical program “redundant.” 

(The CMA also called the “fourth wave” of COVID-19 a “result of misinformation, under-vaccination and premature abandonment of public health mitigation strategies,” so go figure.)

The fact remains: these bureaucracies don’t work for the average person. We have no means of withdrawing our financial support. And no elected politician can gut these unaccountable antidemocratic institutions without facing backlash from corporate presstitutes and public labour unions. 

What if Canada Loses its Medical Program?

You may think, what’s the big deal? Since Canada has legal cannabis, can’t patients walk into any number of stores and purchase cannabis like anyone else?

But consider, without a medical cannabis program:

  • Thousands of MMAR licence holders will cease to exist. 
  •  No more medical discounts to low-income or palliative care patients.
  • Lower demand for (and eventual elimination of) cannabis products designed for medical purposes 
  • No more reimbursements or coverage from insurance companies 
  • No more information about cannabis for medical purposes since the law prevents budtenders from recommending cannabis for health ailments. 

Are The Days of Medical Cannabis in Canada Numbered?

VCBC fines

The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club have made their answers to Health Canada’s questions available on Cannabis Digest.

Less than a week before the survey closes, Smith and the VCBC hope the public will see the arguments being made and voice their support.

 The VCBC is also holding a press conference this Friday, November 18th, at 1 pm. In addition to the survey, they will also discuss a Saskatchewan court case involving Pat Warnecke and the Best Buds Society

Take the Survey and Tell Health Canada to Keep their Hands Off Our Medicine





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