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Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack  – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the victim of another cyberattack, this time leaving retailers unable to process or get their orders delivered.

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Latest Cyberattack

Unlike the previous May 11 cyberattack, the OCS said customers’ information wasn’t compromised. Instead, the August 5 attack targeted the OCS’s third-party distribution centre, Domain Logistics.

In a statement, the OCS said: “However, out of an abundance of caution to protect OCS and its customers, the decision was made to shut down Domain Logistics’ operations until a full forensic investigation could be completed.”

The OSC Monopoly

Despite the Ontario Cannabis Store’s reassurances, the cyberattack likely affects customers who shop online on the OCS website. As for the roughly 1,333 cannabis stores across Ontario – they have no choice.

The OCS holds a government-backed monopoly on cannabis distribution. However, bureaucrats only “check the work” of Domain Logistics. Contracted by the OCS, Domain Logistics is a private company. Although so-called “public-private partnerships” are the norm in contemporary Western society, historically, economists have labelled state-business relationships of this nature as a kind of economic fascism.

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack Means Free Shipping

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack 

The shelves may empty at your favourite cannabis shop this week as the OSC says the cyberattack will result in delays “until further notice.”

But, “as a goodwill gesture,” the OCS will waive retailer delivery fees until September 30. They will also waive at least one $500 processing fee per store between September 1 and March 31, 2023.

Why retailers are even paying a $500 “processing fee” to begin with is a better question.

The OCS and Domain Logistics have not mentioned how soon deliveries will restart. 

Are Distribution Centres Necessary? 

The latest cyberattack on the OCS brings up an excellent question. Are distribution centres even necessary? A farm-to-table approach is becoming popular across the country. As well, many alcohol-based distribution models don’t require distribution centres.

When Canada first legalized cannabis, IBM Canada suggested governments track cannabis using a blockchain system. Blockchains perform as effective peer-to-peer ledgers. If we minimize most of what OCS does, Ontario wouldn’t need the central distributor.

Can the OCS handle this task without a blockchain? Tracking the movement of cannabis products throughout the Ontario economy is a momentous task. Outside of funnelling more taxpayer money into the black hole, the OCS needs some radical readjustment to make itself efficient.

A blockchain model tracks cannabis using a built-in redundancy. It increases system reliability without a high cost to Ontario taxpayers.

If Ontario must have the OCS, which will inevitably be a victim of another cyberattack, then OCS headquarters should house the blockchain servers. Its responsibilities should consist of assigning various tokens for licensees. A blockchain can use individual tickets to track cannabis sales from the LP to the retail store.

Treating Cannabis Like Alcohol & Tobacco

Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Cyberattack 

Governments treat cannabis in Canada like alcohol and tobacco. A social evil that they permit. Ergo, the government’s strict rules, taxes, fees, and regulations are justified. But after yet another cyberattack on the Ontario Cannabis Store, does anyone still believe this fairytale?

With legalization, the Ontario government (first under the provincial Liberals, then Conservatives) created an entirely new regulatory body. They built and leased cannabis-specific storage facilities and central warehousing locations. All of it is unnecessary and costly to cannabis consumers and Ontario taxpayers.

And this is what they have to show for it: yet another OSC cyberattack.





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Cannabis genetics that express humulene

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Terpene profiles will soon be commonplace among cannabis consumers. Rare profiles with a variety of terpenes comprise exotic cannabis chemovars — also known as strains. Albeit less common, some exotic cannabis genetics and at least one traditional cultivar can produce humulene.

Humulene is closely related to the more common terpene, b-caryophyllene. Due to a different double bond in their chemical structure, the two related molecules present vastly different effects. Unlike caryophyllene, though, humulene does not bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Cannabis cultivars with humulene

Afghan Kush

Potent strains derive from the Afghanistan/Pakistan border near the Hindu Kush mountains. Cannabis’s history in the region stretches back centuries, with landrace genetics still found in parts of Afghanistan. And the Hindu Kush mountain system is the birthplace of the strongest cannabis varieties.

Cultivars from Afghanistan were available in America as early as the 1960s. But the genetic stunk like dead skunk, slowing the strain’s spread in the West.

Thiols and myrcene produce the Indica’s pungent and sweet profile. But some Afghanistan cultivars — even crossed with a BC OG Kush — are more spicy and earthy with their b-caryophyllene and humulene backgrounds.

Death Bubba

Death Bubba crosses Bubba Kush with the Skunk derivative, Deathstar. Bubba Kush derives from a cut of Northern Lights and OG Kush back in 1996, according to legend. 

Death Bubba is, therefore, dominant in Hindu and OG-based genetics, with a slight backdrop of Mexican and Columbian. And mild sedation following a pungent aroma and taste agrees with the cultivar’s heritage.

Death Bubba genetics can produce cannabis dominant in myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene or humulene with undertones of bisabolol or camphene.

Death Bubba

Slurricane

Bred by In House Genetics, Slurricane propagates from Purple Punch crossed with a Do-si-Dos. Grapes and acrid stone fruits best describe Slurricane’s flavour and aroma. And while the strain’s genetics are diverse, its name comes from a hurricane-like effect.

Breeders began propagating prime cultivars and keeping their parent’s ID a secret by the 1980s. Strains today, therefore, contain many mysterious landrace ancestors as a result of proprietary cultivations.

A Phylos Biosciences genetic report, however, puts Gold Columbian as one of the most genetically distant cultivars from a Slurricane cut. Throughout the family tree, Hindu, Skunk, and OG genetics likely dominate this complex cultivar. Although South Africa’s Durban genetics also tie into Slurricane.

Peanut Butter Mac

Cuts of PB MAC can express a unique secondary profile featuring humulene. Peanut Butter Breath by ThugPug Genetics crosses with Miracle Alien Cookies (MAC) by Capulator to create Peanut Butter MAC.

Their lineages greatly vary, yet Slurricane shares multiple family members with Peanut Butter strains. Do-si-dos and Mendo Purps are common ancestors, for example. And while various landraces mix into MAC. Capulator bred Miracle Alien Cookies using a cross of Columbian and the Hindu forward, Starfighter.

Peanut Butter MAC is suitable for anyone who enjoys a PB&J on a forested hike. Caryophyllene, humulene, and limonene are predominant throughout the experience. Humulene and farnesene are more common in hops than cannabis, yet both terpenes are present in some cuts of PB MAC.

Conclusion

Cannabis appears to produce humulene when Afghanistan genetics cross into various OG Kush cultivars. Of course, this review cannot dive into a specific strain’s complex genetic realm.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the terpene, humulene. Do you have any high-humulene strain suggestions?

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Reviewing the Cannabis Act – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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Justin Trudeau’s hashtag government is finally reviewing the Cannabis Act – a year late.

They want to know: has cannabis legalization been successful?

Not in the sense of whether it’s been working for those who buy, sell, and consume cannabis. No, according to the Liberal’s Cannabis Act, the review must focus on Indigenous people, home growing, and whether legalization has helped the children.

After all, it was never about your right to your body. Post-COVID, it’s clear that freedom doesn’t exist. It’s a privilege handed out whenever the corporate state sees fit.

According to Justin’s Health Minister, this review will be “inclusive” and “evidence-driven.” And the result will “strengthen the act so that it meets the needs of all Canadians while continuing to displace the illicit market.” 

You can see the problem here.

Reviewing the Cannabis Act – a year late.

Reviewing the Cannabis Act

Reviewing the Cannabis Act is a year late. The Liberals said they’d do it three years after legalization. Nevertheless, it’s here. 

A couple of federal ministers announced how the Liberals would be reviewing the Cannabis Act. Like the Legalization Task Farce, there will be an “expert panel” led by retired career bureaucrat Morris Rosenberg.

Rosenberg is well-liked across the board. Everyone expects him to do a competent job.

And he might. But any recommendations can be ignored by Justin Trudeau’s hashtag government. Reviewing the Cannabis Act may not yield any positive results for anyone.

The government hasn’t named the other members of the “expert panel.”

Confines of the Review 

Reviewing the Cannabis Act

The issue with reviewing the Cannabis Act is that the Act itself demands “dual objectives of protecting public health and maintaining public safety.”

“Public health” means more of the same political spin about cannabis’ alleged harms and impact on children and indigenous people. Interesting that the federal government needs to hold the hand of these two identity groups.

I thought children had parents and mentors who looked after them. And aren’t indigenous people free, adult human beings?

This is why Justin Trudeau’s government is a hashtag government. They care more for optics and sound bytes than substance—they fake sincerity.

And this causes real-world destruction.

Look at the amount of plastic waste the Cannabis Act has created. Combined with face masks showing up in the ocean, fertilizer mandates, and not building pipelines, Justin Trudeau’s hashtag government has been a net negative for the environment.

Justin, his cronies and supporters don’t understand that fossil fuels are necessary to transition off fossil fuels. You can’t dictate consumer demand and expect the market to follow.

This hubris is why the illegal cannabis market still exists.

The “public health” approach to cannabis prevents BC Bud from operating aboveboard.

Cutting bureaucratic red tape and refocusing legalization away from “public health” and toward a viable commercial industry needs to be done.

What Canadians choose to do with their bodies is of no concern to the federal government.

Reviewing the Cannabis Act: 18 Months Later

Reviewing the Cannabis Act is not only a year late, but they expect the “expert panel” to take 18 months to conclude.

The problem is, with the current excise tax regime, many smaller producers won’t last. 

The government hasn’t rewarded those who have tried to play by the rules.

And that’s the problem in a nutshell. If you want to displace the “black market,” you must make it worthwhile for those individuals to get licences.

But when even the large licensed producers complain about an overtly restricted regime, what incentive does BC Bud have?

Reviewing the Cannabis Act means an “expert” panel will spend 18 months and hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars focusing in the wrong direction.

Fortunately, alongside public health busybodies, the panel will also hear from the cannabis industry and the general public.

So there’s an opportunity to turn the tide. Direct the narrative away from concern about children, edibles, and home-growing to excise taxes and a bloated bureaucracy.

Ottawa doesn’t license craft brewers in British Columbia. It has no business doing the same for cannabis.

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Making Sense of the COVID Cannabis Surge  – Cannabis | Weed | Marijuana

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How can we make sense of the COVID Cannabis surge? As reported previously, a pandemic-induced cannabis bubble has now burst. Total market cannabis sales are now in decline but what’s happened is a return to pre-pandemic market conditions.

We can answer some pressing questions using real-time sales reporting from Headset Insight. Namely, did we see a more significant decline in transaction volume or transaction size?

Which products fared best and worst during the last couple of years? And which customers are now buying less cannabis than they were in 2020 and 2021.

Digging into these underlying issues reveals patterns we can discern from the data. We know the COVID cannabis surge was real, so let’s discuss the details.

Decreases in Cannabis Transactions 

COVID Cannabis Surge

This graph shows the monthly transaction volume of the median store in four markets (California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington). Previously, Headset marked mid-summer as the turning point for when sales begin to stagnate and decline.

You can see that point marked by a grey dotted line.

Transaction volumes have been steadily declining. For example, the California median store transaction volume dropped from 7,309 transactions in July 2021 to 6,106 transactions in July 2022.

COVID Cannabis Surge – Shrinking Baskets

COVID Cannabis Surge

Again we look at the median store in each of these US cannabis markets. This time we’re looking at the average transaction or basket size trend. (Basket size is a measurement describing how many items a consumer purchases in a single transaction).

Similar to the previous graph, there is a steady decline across all markets. Consumers are spending less overall on each trip to the cannabis store.

The average basket size at a median Colorado store in July 2021 was $59.73.

In July 2022, it was $55.21.

This means that the COVID cannabis surge was indeed a pandemic-related consumer response.

Transaction volume vs. Transaction size 

COVID Cannabis Surge

Decreasing transaction volume and shrinking baskets have both contributed to overall sales declines. But which one is causing the most impact?

The chart above compares relative declines in median store transaction volume and average basket size by state from July 2021 to July 2022.

In every market, the relative decrease in transaction volume is more significant than the relative decrease in basket size.

This decrease implies that the reduced number of transactions has had a more significant effect on sales than shrinking baskets.

Of course, this depends on the market. In Colorado, for example, the retraction in overall transaction volume is nearly double the decline in basket size. Whereas, in Washington, these two data points are almost identical.

Category performance in California 

It can be tricky discovering sales trends among the different product categories. Diving into the data, we can see what’s contributed to recent downturns in top-line sales.

The chart above shows the year-over-year sales growth of different products in California. It then compares it to total market growth over the same period.

Flower, of course, performed well. From July 2019 to July 2020, flower sales growth rates were nearly double of the overall California market. This is the COVID cannabis surge in action.

Drinks and vape pens have maintained positive growth while topical and tinctures sales are decreasing.

Category Performance in Washington 

Washington’s cannabis market performed similarly to California’s. Flower saw a massive increase in early 2020, a poster child for the COVID cannabis surge.

Flower is now correcting while drinks and vapes remain consistent. Like California, tinctures are on the decline. But, unlike California, the topical category saw positive growth. 

Trends among top cannabis spenders before and after the COVID Cannabis surge

Who helped create the COVID cannabis surge? Top cannabis consumers spend more than average and contribute a disproportionate percentage of revenue to the cannabis industry.

This graph shows the median total spending of the top 10% of cannabis consumers over three months (May to July) over the past four years.

These customers have the greatest (relative) influence on top-line sales. For example, the top 10% in California have accounted for 30% of all cannabis sales this year.

On average, the top 10% also spent $100 more during the COVID cannabis surge than in 2019.

This trend shows that the top-tier cannabis buyers were influencing the COVID cannabis surge by purchasing more cannabis than average. This trend now appears to be in decline.

Cannabis customers compared 

The graph above compares the top 10% with the rest of the group. Here, we can reach the 10% with the bottom 90% and how it relates to the COVID cannabis surge.

In 2020, all cannabis consumers increased their spending. This is what we mean by the COVID cannabis surge. 90% of customers in California increased their spending just as much as the top 10% did.

In 2021, all groups had flat year-over-year growth in spending.

As the COVID cannabis surge officially ended by 2022, the differences between these two customer types are apparent.

In both Washington and California, the summer spending of the median customer in the top 10% decreased significantly more than that of the median customer in the bottom 90%.

Cannabis’ biggest spenders are tightening their belts. This is causing top-line market retractions.

COVID Cannabis surge broken down by age

All age groups follow a similar pattern. Generation X had the highest spending levels, while Millennials still contributed the most considerable total revenue.

Year over year growth in median customer spending during the May-June period is graphed above. During the 2020 COVID cannabis surge, younger customers spent more. This may be because older generations were less willing to venture outside the house and visit a retail shop.

Median customer spending held flat in 2021 across all age groups.

So far in 2022, most age groups have averaged similar decreases in spending. One exception is Generation Z which has the most significant reduction in total spending at -11%.

This data suggests that the youngest customers were also fuelling the COVID cannabis surge in early 2020.

In Summary

The COVID Cannabis surge is over. We see this with decreases in both transaction volume and basket size. However, reductions in transaction volume have a greater influence.

Flower remains the most volatile, with massive surges early in the pandemic with significant corrections in 2022.

Beverages and vape products have remained the most consistent during the rise and fall of the COVID cannabis surge.

The top 10% of cannabis consumers increased their spending in 2022 but decreased their spending in 2022 more than the bottom 90% of customers.

Younger customers were also responsible for the COVID cannabis surge. But customers across all age groups are now reducing their spending at more or less equal rates.

Footnote(s)

https://www.headset.io/industry-reports/understanding-the-recent-sales-declines-in-legacy-cannabis-markets





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