Neither Ontario nor Alberta — far and away, the leaders for the number of cannabis stores in the country — have witnessed a significant rise in emergency visits from traffic-related injuries since weed got the green light three years ago. “Implementation of the Cannabis Act was not associated with evidence of significant post-legalization changes in traffic-injury emergency department (ED) visits in Ontario or Alberta among all drivers or youth drivers, in particular,” notes the new Canadian study in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Published last week, researchers sought to get firm numbers afters some have expressed concerns about how recreational cannabis legalization could influence road-related injuries, particularly with respect to youth drivers. To get to firm numbers, investigators considered weekly drivers’ traffic injuries at all EDs in Ontario and Alberta from the start of April 2015 (three years before legalization) through the end of 2019. […] “There was no evidence of significant changes associated with cannabis legalization on post-legalization weekly counts of drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits,” researchers write.
Cannabis & Drugs
The small Ontario city of Fergus, not farm from Guelph, became the latest community in the province to yield yet another multi-million-dollar weed grow-op. As part of a probe of criminal organizations that exploit the legal cannabis market, a joint team led by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) executed a search warrant on a commercial property in Fergus on Thursday. There, they found more than 4,300 cannabis plants, notes a video release of the bust. Beyond the plants, estimated to be worth $4.3 million, the OPP reports that police seized about $250,000 worth of processed cannabis and an unspecified, although characterized as large, amount of Canadian currency. The OPP received help from local roads and fire departments, and the Electrical Safety Authority. The find has resulted in two men being charged with cannabis and other drug-related offences. Wei Chen, 40, and Zhong Xiang Chen, 30, faces charges under the Cannabis Act, including possession for the purpose of selling, according to Global News.
Police are searching for suspects after shots were fired at a northwest cannabis store during a nighttime robbery. The Calgary Police Service said the incident took place around 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the Co-op Cannabis Dalhousie store, located at 5505 Shaganappi Trail N.W. Three of the four suspects were armed with weapons, including a firearm, a Taser and a baton. At the time of the incident, the suspects were described as follows: A male wearing a black Adidas jacket with its hood over a white baseball cap, black pants, blue Under Armour gloves, black face mask, black sunglasses and a nose piercing. A male wearing a black hoodie with the number “7” and “New York” printed on the front with black pants, black and red sneakers and a blue face mask. A male wearing a black hoodie with a white circle design, black shoes, white pants and black balaclava. A male wearing a black hoodie with a brown Burberry-style scarf and black face mask.
A Canada Post distribution centre was instrumental in the New Brunswick RCMP seizing cannabis edibles, some of which looked very much like popular candy, and dried flower earlier this week in Dieppe. The RCMP did not specify how much candy was confiscated, but did report that officers also discovered “a significant amount of illegal dried cannabis.” The shipment of illegal cannabis products were identified at a Canada Post distribution centre, staff at which informed the Codiac Regional RCMP on June 1. The several packages of the products originated in B.C. and were destined for a number of locations in N.B. and PEI, according to police. “The cannabis candies seized would be indistinguishable from regular candies that are sold in stores,” says Cpl. Hans Ouellette of the New Brunswick RCMP, pointing out that “one package imitates a popular brand of candy” while another was in an unmarked resealable bag. Ouellette emphasized “the only legal way to obtain marijuana products is to purchase it from a licensed provider.” According to Canada Post, drugs, including narcotics and other controlled substances “can only be mailed in certain circumstances and subject to various restrictions.”
OTTAWA — The first federal budget in more than two years extends Ottawa’s COVID-19 “lifeline” for workers and struggling businesses another few months as it aims to pull Canada through the pandemic once and for all. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s first crack at a budget plan is also widely viewed as a pre-election platform with more than $100 billion in new spending over the next three years targeting a wide variety of voters, from seniors and their caregivers, to parents and business owners.
New Mexico is joining a wave of states legalizing recreational weed as its Democrat-dominated legislature sent a package of marijuana bills on Wednesday to a supportive governor. Lawmakers used a marathon legislative session to push through marijuana legalization for adults over 21 and a companion bill that automatically erases many past marijuana convictions. The bills would legalize recreational pot sales in New Mexico by April 2022. New Mexico would join 16 states that have already legalized marijuana. California and Colorado were among the first in the U.S. to legalize the drug, with Arizona following suit earlier this year through a ballot initiative. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a legalization bill on Wednesday, and a proposal in Virginia is awaiting the governor’s signature. The New Mexico bills would reconsider criminal drug sentences for about 100 prisoners and give the governor a strong hand in regulating the industry. New Mexico flirted with cannabis legalization in the 1990s under then-Gov. Gary Johnson. The state’s medical marijuana program founded in 2007 has attracted more than 100,000 patients.