As we celebrate the arrival of a brand new year, it also provides an opportunity to reflect on the year that was. Here at Canadian Evergreen, we’ve been privileged to share a wide array of stories from and about the cannabis world – from news and business to food features and how-to stories.
We hope you enjoy this look back at 2021, and that you’ll continue to join us for engaging, informative stories in the year ahead.
We kicked the year off with a story deconstructing some of the most common cannabis myths.
Kelowna’s Valens Company announced it had bought LYF Food Technologies, an edibles manufacturer with expertise in novel product creation and infusion technologies. The move will significantly expand Valens’ ability to participate in a fast-growing product category. Also in Kelowna, North America’s first research and development facility focused on cannabis cultivation techniques and systems opened.
In a change of policy, the UFC announced it won’t punish fighters for marijuana use.
For cannabis retailers, 2020 saw year-to-year sales doubling, according to new figures released in February by Statistics Canada – $298 million in sales in December 2020, compared to $148 million the year prior.
In March, Seth Rogen expanded his Houseplant cannabis into U.S. … and the site temporarily crashed from popularity.
In other news, Princeton’s B.C. Green Pharmaceutical prepared to grow ‘magic’ mushrooms, seen by many as an alternative therapy to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, dementia and PTSD.
And a Statistics Canada survey found that 34 per cent of prior users increased their cannabis use during the pandemic. The main reasons for the increase were stress at 65 per cent, boredom at 58 per cent and loneliness at 39 per cent.
A dog became ill after consuming cannabis remnants in Golden Ears Provincial Park, sparking a call for cannabis users to be more mindful of their discards.
From the culture pages, we looked at the link between creativity and cannabis, and on the innovation front, we shared how the world’s first feminized cannabis seeds – grown right here in B.C. – will soon be for sale in Canada.
Thrive Cannabis’ 184-acre farm in Simcoe, Ont, became the first to offer farm-gate sales, giving shoppers an opportunity to learn how their favourite products are grown and processed directly from the people who made them, much like a craft brewery. B.C. is on track for a 2022 launch of farm-gate sales.
And the Boston Beer Co., maker of Samuel Adams beer and Truly Hard seltzer, announced it was moving into Canada’s cannabis beverages market, creating a subsidiary to serve as a Canadian research and innovation hub for non-alcoholic cannabis beverages.
A study by the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the UVic found the price of cannabis at B.C.’s government-run stores had declined while potency rose between 2019 and 2020, raising questions about what that could mean for public health.
B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth announced home delivery of cannabis by licensed sellers would be allowed in a bid to remove the advantage for the province’s illegal producers.
A Vancouver pot shop owner was ordered to pay $40,000 for copying Subway in his signage.
And in Manitoba, a Winnipeg-based cannabis producer and retailer hoped to increase COVID-19 vaccination uptake with ‘Joints for Jabs,’ offering a chance to win cannabis prizes to fully vaccinated Manitobans.
From the culture files, Canadian Evergreen checked in with three experts about their top 3 tips to get your cannabis journey off the ground.
In July, Canadian Press reported that pre-roll sales had soared as the pandemic prompted Canadians to share joints less.
18 research projects were announced that should help narrow our knowledge gap on mental health and cannabis.
And in the wake of American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson missing the Olympics after testing positive for chemicals found in marijuana, Associated Press explored why cannabis remains on the banned list for Olympic sports, despite the fact that pro leagues are slowly accepting that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug.
The latest look-see into pot’s effect on asthma sufferers coughed up one concern: patients may not be getting as much information from their doctors as they’d like.
South of the border, southern Oregon’s illegal cannabis cultivation was thrust into the spotlight, with related issues including human trafficking and forced labor continuing to find their way into headlines throughout the rest of 2021.
People living with cancer were invited to be part of a cross-Canada study evaluating three Health Canada-approved medical cannabis oil extracts for their their effects on some of the most common cancer symptoms: nausea, pain, anxiety and insomnia.
And on the business front, cannabis companies and advocacy groups were pushing Health Canada to change regulations curtailing the sale of pot-infused beverages.
In October news, the Beatrice Society reported that 48 per cent of Canadians surveyed are open to trying functional mushrooms, “one of the latest health trends to go mainstream, with more people exploring the integration of mushrooms into their wellness routines.”
The Yukon government announced plans to allow private cannabis shops to conduct their online shops and home delivery.
On the third anniversary of the legalization of adult-use cannabis, the cannabis community’s report card graded legalization with a ‘D.’ The message: the work isn’t done yet. “In celebration of the third anniversary of Canada’s historic leadership, we are calling upon governments to come together with renewed energy and adopt the reforms needed to fulfill the health, social and economic promise of cannabis legalization.”
And, recognizing the growing connection between food and cannabis, Canadian Evergreen visited with Necole Hines, a Vancouver-based cannabis chef and educator on a mission to make cooking with cannabis less intimidating — and more predictable.
In November, Canadian Evergreen celebrated the return of Toronto’s Lift & Co. Expo and explored Cannabis tourism in Canada: The problems … and the potential, shared by Elizabeth Becker, founder and CEO of HiBnb, at the New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit. In short, while recreational cannabis is legal in Canada, stigma persists and regulations vary, making it challenging for cannabis enthusiasts to indulge while visiting.
In November, the B.C. government announced that cannabis retailers would soon be able to sell cannabis-related clothing, books and other items, providing customers with more choice and legal cannabis sellers with additional revenue streams.
In Alberta, the province looked to get out of the online cannabis business and allow licensed retailers sell it on the internet instead, along with some branded clothing and other accessories.
Ontario-based CannabCo Pharmaceutical announced a strain with a lab-tested cannabinoid count of 40.59 per cent with a THC rating of 35 per cent. However, the main distinguishing feature, other than its high THC content, is that it was created with the company’s proprietary odourless cannabis technology.
An annual Health Canada survey suggested that Canadians purchased more cannabis from legal sources in 2021 than ever before, with sales from brick-and-mortar retail stores tipping into the majority for the first time since legalization.
On the lifestyle front, readers were curious about How to Use Cannabis: A Beginners Guide.
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