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This Week in Cannabis: Top Stories From Across Canada From Apr. 5-11

April 12, 2019
this week in cannabis 420 Vancouver(AlexLMX/iStock)
This week in Cannabis: Cyprus Hill is headlining Vancouver’s 420 festivities, Yukon’s first private cannabis retailer is opening next week, Canadian consumers aren’t impressed with the cannabis selection in stores.
We’ve rounded up this week’s top stories from across Canada.

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Cyprus Hill to Play Free Show at 420 Vancouver

On 4/20, it’s well-known Vancouverites wanna get high, and whether by hits from the bong or something they can roll up, light up, and smoke up, the goal is high times, until stoned is the way of the walk. Obviously, that’s a job for red-eyed hip-hop legends Cyprus Hill, and the good news is Vancouverites won’t have to pay to see the group at Sunset Beach on 4/20. They’ll headline a free show that’s also advertising free weed, which will guarantee those considering staying home because weed’s legal now will come out this year.

But will there be a next year?

The usual fight between Vancouver parks board officials and 4/20 organizers has reached a new stage, in which the parks board argues since cannabis is legal there’s no need for the event to take place in city parks. Tricia Baker, parks board commissioner, claims this year will be the last time 4-20 celebrations are held in a municipal park, but organizer Dana Larsen plans “to be back at Sunset Beach next year, the year after and the year after that.”

Yukon’s First Private Cannabis Store to Open Next Week

If all goes according to plan, a Whitehorse couple will open Yukon’s first private cannabis retail store early next week–ahead of 4/20!

Last year, Yukon decided it would begin with a single temporary government-controlled store in Whitehorse before handing brick-and-mortar cannabis sales over to the private sector.

The Whitehorse government store did enormous business on Day One with 1,000 people lining up and 30,000 people (in a territory with a population of 35,874) visiting the territorial cannabis website.

By the first week of January, reports emerged that the territory had spent $924,000 on cannabis (or $25.76 per person)Jordi Mikeli-Jones and Jeremy Jones, owners of Triple J’s Canna Space, have been planning their Whitehorse store for three years, and won’t likely have much difficulty interesting locals in their products.

Supply Shortages Are Only Half the Problem—the Real Issue Is Selection

Since legalization, customers have complained that retailers didn’t have enough of what they were looking for. Originally that was true of cannabis generally, but as the shortage has eased and products are beginning to more readily reach the market, there’s far less choice than consumers would prefer.

Those who’d rather a low-THC, high-CBD strain or nothing—those who want the highest THC cultivars available—aren’t likely to accept an eighth of Northern Lights as compensation.

Unfortunately, this situation is provoking complaints across the retail world, where the Globe and Mail reports popular high-THC cultivars are quick to sell out in Alberta stores, leaving consumers frustrated.

Meanwhile, cannabis consumers less particular in their tastes should expect confusion, rather than frustration, according to more reports that the public has little awareness of cannabis producers or brands and are likely to buy based on THC and CBD percentage alone.

Last month, a study reported 95% of those leaving cannabis stores in the first week after legalization could not say which brand they had purchased. Now retailers and LPs are worried that without branding and marketing, they’ll be hamstrung in differentiating their products in the minds of their customers. One predictable but effective fix for that has emerged: social media influencers.

To Do List

#HiiiTea Victoria

VICTORIA, BC – Hiiighvibes hosts this tea social on Apr. 13 (location TBA) showcasing beautiful products from creators, influencers and artisans. Tickets start at $55 and the event location will be emailed out to ticket holders 24-48 hrs. in advance of the event.

420 Music & Arts Festival Calgary

CALGARY, AB – Returning in a haze of smoke for its third year this three-day festival, held at County Line Saloon from Apr. 18-20, celebrates 420 culture with a solid lineup of local and international talent. On the bill: Crobot, The Grudge, Valley of The Sun, Buffalo Bud Buster, Great Electric Quest, and more. Tickets are $69.

Cannabis Comedy Festival Presents: Dope

TORONTO, ON – There should be no short of laughs, but there might be low on seats. The DOPE Cannabis Comedy Festival takes places at Lithuanian House on Apr. 18 and promises some of Toronto’s top comics, headlined by Yuk Yuk’s Danny Martinello. Tickets range from $14.99-$24.99.

Are you hosting a cannabis event in Canada? Email canadaevents@leafly.com to share your event with the Leafly community.

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image

Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse B. Staniforth is the editor of the free cannabis-industry
newsletter WeedWeek Canada. He also reports on Indigenous issues,
cybersecurity, and food safety.

View Jesse B. Staniforth's articles