By the ounce  

The sky hasn't fallen

In less than a week, cannabis will have been legal for one year in Canada.

The sky hasn’t fallen; emergency rooms haven’t been overwhelmed with pot overdoses; there’s been no marked increase of people driving high; and the streets aren't filled with smoke.

Here's a short history of the past year in cannabis:

Cannabis consumers

The biggest benefit is, of course, no more prohibition. Those who have been convicted in the past of possession can be pardoned fast and free.

Consumers have more choice, better information, and (some) reassurances that their product is consumer protected. Normalization is happening.


A lucky few legal stores have their licences, as many retailers continue to go through the financially (and emotionally) exhausting licensing process.

Illegal stores have been facing an ongoing crackdown, but mail-order marijuana is still going strong. Stores on Indigenous land remain a grey area.


It’s clearly been a learning curve to grow cannabis on such a commercial scale. From a consumer perspective, quality and value have been hit and miss.

Certain producers have developed a cult-like following and others have developed a group of dedicated haters and whistle blowers. With limited freedom to brand, current popularity is often determined by word of mouth.


Investors have been mauled by a bear market — everything from:

  • the CannTrust debacle
  • Canopy’s CEO being turfed
  • fears over vaping; shortages in major markets
  • mould and bug controversies; etc.

On average, those investing in the top 10 largest cannabis producers have seen a negative return of 57% says the Financial Post. Few have been spared.

Home growers

Scrolling through Instagram, it seems home growers have had a lot of fun dipping their green thumbs into the experience of growing weed alongside their tomatoes and sunflowers.

(That is, when their cannabis plants aren't being chopped down by police.)

Also note, the right to grow your own is on the table in the upcoming federal election.

Meanwhile, fear of vaping is lingering like a big ol’ smoke cloud.

It seems like every day there’s a new story about serious illness or death in the U.S. related to vaping — and we’ve seen a small number of cases in Canada.

Here is some useful info from health officials.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating more than 800 American cases of people suffering from severe pulmonary illnesses.
The CDC has recommended that people refrain from using e-cigarette or vaping products — particularly those containing THC.

They found things in common among patients:

  • a history of e-cigarette use, vaping, or dabbing (vaping concentrated marijuana) within 90 days before symptom onset;
  • lung injury
  • absence of evidence of infection, and,
  • absence of alternative plausible diagnoses.

Health Canada is advising Canadians who use vaping products to monitor themselves for symptoms — including cough, shortness of breath and chest pain — and to seek medical attention promptly if they have concerns about their health.

Be upfront with doctors and nurses about your vaping habits, including if you use oils from illegal or unregulated sources.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. — a cannabis newsletter that covers the growing legal weed industry from the Okanagan Valley.

He has been a journalist for nearly two decades, working in newsrooms all over Canada.  

David is active as okanaganz on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Subscribe to the email newsletter at okanaganz.com.

An ounce of info goes a long way.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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