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Pod 315 - A look forward in Canadian cannabis

by Jay Rosenthal
September 7th 2021
00:13:05
Description

On this episode of BofC Live, we connect with Matt Maurer of Torkin Manes LLP. Torkin Manes it the Official Law Firm of Business of Cannabis. Maurer... More

Yeah, welcome to be Fc live The daily video and podcast series of business of cannabis BFC live highlights the company's brands, people in trends driving the global cannabis sector, find out all that we do at business of cannabis dot com. Coming up a conversation with matt Mauer, he is the co chair of the cannabis law group at Torque remains the official law firm of business of cannabis. We want to connect with him to recap an event we held together on august 18th called Canadian cannabis. What's next? Wow yeah, madam, our thank you for being here. Hello j how are you? Good, Happy end of the summer. Is it a happy end of the summer? Here's the way to tell are you wearing shorts still? Maybe I am not actually, I'm wearing jeans. Yeah, yeah, I mean once in his labor day I just start wearing jeans, no shorts again. No, I'll wear shorts again but just not just not to work. Uh, the guy in high school, there were shortfalls for the winter. I was not, I was not uh, I was not, although I, those people are hardy for sure.

Um, a few weeks ago on the 18th of august you and us, we from torque in Mainz host an event called Canadian cannabis. What's next? It was like a good Sort of 3/4 of a day. I learned a ton, so thank you for making it happen. Um, I wanted to go over some things that we, we both learned, but more than that to say thank you for making it happen because um, I think it came at a really interesting time in the sector and sort of want to get your thoughts about the timing because I thought it was, it was a compelling day. Yeah, no, first of all, thank you for helping to, to put everything together and all you do know, it was, it was a great event. It was again very broad based and kind of, you know, sort of end of summer, start to fall. Um you know, when we talked about putting it together, we thought end of pandemic. Maybe not, uh we'll see. But no, it was, it was, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You know, one thing for me that we were hearing a lot of, that doesn't surprise me from before is consolidation, which we were seeing, you know, we're seeing, you're seeing uh a lot of people, anyone who's really looking at it is seeing the same thing.

So whether that's Lps, you know, heck, so Ready Cannon 48 North Fire and flower by in front of a stranger Chiaro buying cozy cannabis, it's happening at the LP level is happening at the retail level, um which are really your two main levels of the industry right now. There could be more in the future as we, as things unfold and you know, maybe we get consumption lounges or other hospitality type establishments, but that was something certainly a theme that kept popping up for me and I expected to to hear about it, but it was definitely something I heard about a lot on the 18th. Yeah, I think it came across as your point, like every point in the supply chain and lots of people talked about it was this era of consolidation sort of sink or swim or consolidate like so you have to choose a lane potentially if you're even if you're doing well, like all those things mean scale and and sort of consolidation. One of the other things that I heard, um a lot and it was both from like people in Ottawa working sort of government channels sort of on the lobbying front and from sort of patient advocates and from LPS to, and, and we had, you know, hybrid farm and we had shoppers, drug mart conversations as well is like there's going to be a need for change to the medical cannabis program, like just sort of full stop.

And it's because I think largely because the medical cannabis program that you, you know where patients get access from doctors and give it to LPS and that's a direct relationship or you know, the direct relationship with like a shoppers or a sort of consolidator of medical cannabis. Um, that's like one end in one silo, the other silo is like wreck, but there's a lot of people in the middle like health and wellness consumers of cannabis are and even patients are really driven to the ease of access to recreational cannabis through that system and retail. And I think that's not great for patients, that's not great for medical cannabis. That's not great for R and D. Like all of those things. It it's not even great for retail because those bud tenders can't have those conversations with potential patients and people should be in the medical stream. So like I think there's going to be something that gives there. And you know, even conversation about cannabis, health products being considered health Canada and sort of ongoing consultation. I just think that is right for new regulations or new ways of access.

And that's why it was great to hear from hybrid Farm in Ottawa because it is an interesting model that they have sort of crafted out of the current regulations where they are a proper pharmacy and you can get medical cannabis sort of consultations and medical cannabis basically over there, not over the counter, but with our recommendation with an authorization. So I think that conversation was interesting to hear sort of a full circle and a lot of sides of and I think it lends itself to uh, look at the regulations, which I don't know, what did you think about sort of lots of people calling on regulatory change, you know, that that's what people have been talking about the need for distinct medical market since legalization of before legalization occurred. And since legalization occurred, there's been a lot of criticisms of the medical system or the system in general. The fact that there's, you know, two systems, uh That a lot of things don't make a lot of sense. You know, there's issues with taxation, there's issues with access, uh, there's all kinds of things.

So, you know, that was, you know, great to hear as well. And you're like you said, it ties right into sort of the regulatory review, which we heard a lot about of on on the 18th as well. Um you have got the cannabis act review coming up. We've got, you know, just there's a lot of things um that I think people in the industry would say don't make sense. And look when you're, when you're creating a new industry, you're regulating a brand new industry. The cannabis act and its regulation regulations were drafted in the abstract and then you put it into practice and it's only when you start putting it into practice that you see where these little quirks happen and where these loopholes happen and where these uh deficits are that needs some adjustments. So whether it's the medical market, whether it's C. H. P. S, whether it's just a general review of the act, whether it's marketing and promotion, um, you know, density around retail, letting the province relating the municipality set some rules, there's a whole host of things.

And so, You know, we should be looking at the regulations proactively and what can be changed. And I think it's important and I think we heard this on the 18th to that, you know, people in the industry and people with a vested interest take up the cause and advocate for it because there's a lot going on in the world, there's a lot going on in the health world for sure. Um, and you know, changing perhaps putting cannabis health products in grocery stores isn't high on the government's to do us. So without some pushing and some advocating from us, um, you know, we can complain or, you know, people can complain, but to some extent they only have themselves to blame if they're not going to pick up the cause and try to push it forward. I agree, I agree. And we did hear a lot about that, even from, you know, uh, from Ottawa from on the political side because we're also in the midst of an election. So it came up a number of times sort of this, this need to advocate for the industry for one's own business, all of those things.

Um any favorite moments or things that sort of really stuck out aside from sort of the big three themes we just talked about, uh you know, I really enjoyed the, what's next clips, We've never done anything like that before. Where, and I don't even think, you know, it's funny because maybe maybe the virtual event is amenable to it. You know, you think back a few years ago and uh I can't envision a live event where someone would come on stage for five minutes or less. Talk about where they see the future of the industry going and walk off into the sunset right after. Um, there's been some industry events where people come up and pitch their company for 3 to 5 minutes, but that's different. So it was really nice to hear a lot of different people, uh, some of whom I know, some of whom, I don't know it all in a lot of different areas of the industry, business owners, regulatory people. Um, you know, and in different segments of the industry, talk about what they think because um, we all see different things in the industry depending on what we're exposed to and what's right in front of us.

So it's interesting, it was interesting to me to sort of aggregate all those thoughts and opinions and sort of see what people have to say in general. There was two things that sort of struck me one was there was a retailer on a panel of retail associations talking about cannabis retail in Saskatchewan and that he has a partnership with the music festival and they're going to be delivering this is what I understood delivering cannabis to parking lots at a music festival, which, you know, those are all provincial guidelines obviously because it's about retail and delivery. Um, but then you think, well that is a really interesting thing to think about if we could get a delivery to a person's car, check. I'd make sure like then you start to really think about how to not massage the current regulations, but what is even available to retailers now? And how do we actually think about those things moving forward? That was sort of one thing the other and you know, I'm like a tech cannabis geek or cannabis technique, hearing Albert kim uh, and the folks are elevated signals. Talk about this ecosystem of cannabis technology that's really evolved in Canada.

And that the sort of regulations that are in place have actually helped that because the standards that like licensed producers need to adhere to. Same thing on the retailer side, like it created this need for really dynamic cannabis technology that was business operations, but also regulatory and compliance. So it was interesting to talk about that and they're both based in Vancouver. So like, you know, having hotbeds of sort of subsets of technology is always a good thing for Canada. So I, I really appreciate hearing that as well. And as always, it's great department with you because we are allowed to provide the opportunity to provide really, I think really insightful stuff and all the programming is actually available on business of cannabis dot com. We'll post it as we post this and we encourage folks to check it out. Um, if you have a free moment, like there are five or six minutes, you can watch a bunch of the time To encourage you to do that, but everyone, everyone has five minutes they can spare for yeah, learn what's next in the, in the cannabis industry. Yeah, and actually one other sorry, and I'm like so nerdy out on this stuff, but I also think it's interesting sort of Montreal cannabis this story.

Um You know, they grow right now, they're one product, they are in the top 10 seller of like every province there in on the flower side, like Do something, do it really well, find your audience and then expand like it was a pretty good business one on one component, but also around building brand and sort of consistent customers. So there's so much stuff but thank you again matt for today and for the event on the 18th. No, thank you. It's always always a pleasure and uh I'm looking forward to the next event. I don't know what it is, I know what your next event is, I don't know what mine is yet, but no, like I said at the event, you know, these are, these are really things that I like and that we like doing because you know workers work and and that's great too, but kind of getting together, especially in a time where it's challenging to actually get together um and exchange ideas and um sort of reconnect as best we can is always great. So always looking forward to the next one and always appreciative of the opportunity to do so thank you to everyone that was able to come and watch everything.

Uh you know it I know you feel the same way, but it's it's we're always delighted that we're able to just sort of provide information, provide more info for people that are looking for. Yeah, and I mean there were like 400 people that in and out throughout the day. So it was it was a really good group. And so thank you everybody who attended. Thank you again, Matt, we look forward to connecting with you down the road and have a good day. Okay, thanks for you too. That was matt Mauer of torque and mains. If you like this program, please rate and review us wherever you heard the podcast that helps support the work we do. Mhm. We're able to do what we do because of our ongoing partners, including alternate savings cannabis at work cannabis benchmarks, can delta, Gallagher headset and torque remains. Find out all that we do at business of cannabis dot com. You do you you you Yeah,

Pod 315 - A look forward in Canadian cannabis
Pod 315 - A look forward in Canadian cannabis
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