B.C. cannabis producer signs supply deal with Shoppers Drug Mart

Products are expected to only be sold online
Tilray Canada Inc. has signed on to supply Shoppers Drug Mart with medical marijuana

Medical marijuana users should prepare to point and click if they want to buy B.C. cannabis products from Shoppers Drug Mart.

Vancouver Island’s Tilray Canada Inc. has signed on to supply Shoppers Drug Mart with medical marijuana, the licensed cannabis producer announced Friday (January 19).

Tilray said it expects Shoppers Drug Mart to sell its products online due to Canadian regulation that bar medical marijuana sales in retail pharmacies.

“Tilray’s products are currently sold in pharmacies in seven countries around the world. Today’s announcement is another strategic milestone as we aim to build the world’s leading medical cannabis brand by increasing availability of a diverse range of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products for patients in need,” Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy said in a statement.

The deal is still subject to Health Canada approving Shoppers Drug Mart’s application to sell medical marijuana.

In October the retailer submitted its application to become a distributor of medical marijuana, delivering these products through mail.

Last month Shoppers also signed a deal with Ontario-based Aphria Inc. (TSX: APH) to supply it with medical marijuana.




B.C.’s first oil and gas land sale of 2018 nets $12.9 million

Industry purchased a total of 39,005 hectares at an average price of $328.25 for the month
A Canadian Spirit Resources drilling rig. Photograph by: Canadian Spirit Resources

Industry spent $12.9-million for petroleum and natural gas rights at B.C.’s first land sale of 2018.

Eighteen drilling licenses sold for $11.3 million and covering 37,151 hectares at the Jan. 17 sale. Six leases sold for $1.6 million and covering 1,854 hectares.

Two drilling licences sold for more than $1 million — Plunkett Resources picked up a licence for a 4,414-hectare parcel for $2.2 million at an average price of $505.78 per hectare. Windfall Resources picked up a 3,680-hectare parcel for $1.5 million, or an average of $410.87 per hectare.

Scott Land and Lease, meanwhile, paid the most for a lease, spending $886,039 for a 518-hectare lease at an average price of $1,710.50 per hectare.

Industry purchased a total of 39,005 hectares at an average price of $328.25 for the month.

The average selling price per hectare, a gauge of the demand on the land’s geological potential, sat at $301.62 for drilling licences and $876.77 for leases.

For full results of the January sale, click here. 

The next sale is set for Feb. 21.

Spending in B.C. was up to $173.25 million in 2017 after plunging to a record low of just $15.1 million in 2016. At the first sale in 2017, industry spent $39.6 million for eight drilling licences, including a record-setting $35 million parcel east of Dawson Creek.

Meanwhile, Alberta started 2018 with a $18.69 million sale, according to the Daily Oil Bulletin.


Collateral damage from America’s anti-free-trade regime is being felt well beyond the economy.

Countervailing and anti-dumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber exports to the United States are now adding around 20% to the cost of Canadian wood exports to the U.S. That’s having a negative impact on B.C. and other Canadian lumber producers; however, the ruling late last year from the U.S. International Trade Commission that determined softwood lumber imports from Canada were hurting American lumber producers is also raising the cost of house construction south of the border.

But trade protectionism under the Donald Trump White House includes more than products.

In the home of the brave and the land of the free, one of the bastions of that freedom is under siege. Local newspapers, which provide an invaluable voice and forum for the exchange of ideas and information for any community, are disappearing fast. The information they generate cannot be replaced by online news aggregators that pay nothing to distribute it to their subscribers. Cash flow from digital news products has yet to offset the steep declines in print ad revenue, classified sections and other mainstays of the newspaper business. The economic reality for many local and regional publications, their news gathering machinery and the venue for free and open discussion they provide is therefore grim and getting grimmer.

So countervailing duties of up to 9.9% imposed earlier this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce on imported Canadian newsprint is bad news for local publications in the United States that are already struggling to survive. More than 1,000 small and medium-sized U.S. newspapers have consequently lobbied Washington to remove the duties.

Shielding American companies from competition is doing more than eroding bottom lines for their Canadian counterparts. It is damaging the institutions that have made America great in the past and without which the country will be far less than great in the future. 


City of Coquitlam initiates help center for budding businesses

A one-stop shop will be opened at Coquitlam City Hall to help new and expanding businesses find their footing in the business world 

The City of Coquitlam has launched an initiative to support businesses looking to start or grow in the Lower Mainland.

On January 22, a new business information shop labelled Business LinQ Resource Centre will open at Coquitlam City Hall. Located on the main floor, LinQ will offer businesses a way to connect to resources and help navigate city processes.

LinQ will help with licensing, permitting, zoning, building code, economic development and various other issues.

The centre will be staffed by existing business licensing staff, and the funding to construct and finish the resource centre will come from the city’s economic development reserve fund.

Coquitlam issues about 6,600 business licenses a year. Of those licenses, 20% to 25% issued are for new businesses.

“A lot of people come in and they are unaware of what specific zoning requirements pertain to their business model or they are unaware that if they make alterations to a space they need interior alteration permits from the building department,” said Aaron Hilgerdenaar, business services at City of Coquitlam.

“We want to coordinate processes and services provided by the city. A business licence touches various city groups and we want to make sure that businesses receive coordinated service in a single location.”

Business owners will be permitted to drop in during regular city hall hours for free advice, one-on-one meetings and access to publications and other informative sources.



NEB to expedite resolution of permit disputes on Trans Mountain

Energy regulator sets up dispute resolution process for Trans Mountain pipeline
Kinder Morgan Canada asked for and received a new dispute resolution process that will allow it to move ahead with its pipeline twinning project.

Kinder Morgan Canada will still need to seek permits from Burnaby, the provincial government and other municipalities as part of its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, but whenever there is a dispute over foot-dragging, the National Energy Board (NEB) has committed to resolving it within three to five weeks.

As detailed yesterday in Business in Vancouver, Kinder Morgan Canada (TSX:KML) has pushed had to push back its expected in-service date by one year, due largely to permitting delays.

One of the biggest obstacles to date has been the City of Burnaby, which the company claims has not issued routine approvals, such as tree cutting permits, in a timely fashion. The company has calculated it is losing $75 million in anticipated earnings for every month the new pipeline’s in-service date is delayed.

As a federal regulator, the NEB has the constitutional authority to override provincial and municipal laws, which it did in December, when it gave Kinder Morgan the authority to proceed with various construction projects in Burnaby, including the expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal, despite not having the city’s approval.

But there are still dozens more provincial and municipal permits that will still be needed as work on the $7.4 billion project proceeds.

In addition to asking the NEB to set aside the current Burnaby permits, Kinder Morgan also asked the NEB for a process for dealing with future disputes as they arose, and warned that it needed clarity on the issue before it could fully commit funding to the project.

The NEB received written objections to such a process from the attorney general of B.C., the Katzie First Nation, Chilliwack, Surrey and Langley. It received writtwn support from the attorneys general of Canada and Alberta.

On January 18, the NEB announced a new “generic process” for considering future disputes.

The company is still obliged to seeks permits and variances for the work it has to do from provincial and municipal governments and make every effort to satisfy the requirements.

But in the event of future delays, the NEB has committed to resolving those disputes within three to five weeks.

In a written statement, Kinder Morgan Canada Ian Anderson welcomed the decision.

"Provision of a process that is open, fair and provides certainty for all parties is good news and is an important component of the assurances we need for the successful execution of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project," he said.




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