Aphria strikes Paraguay supply deal; still mum on Latin American operations

Aphria announced Wednesday it has struck a deal with Insumos Medicos to provide the Paraguayan pharmaceutical company with medical-grade cannabis, the first such deal in the country. Paraguay will become Aphria's third market in Latin America, following Argentina and Colombia. But the announcement comes on the heels of a sharp focus on Aphria’s Latin American assets following a short seller’s report alleging the company bought assets in Colombia, Argentina and Jamaica at "vastly inflated prices." Aphria officials declined to comment on when it plans to release a detailed rebuttal to the short seller’s report.

Aphria to end relationship with Stikeman: Report

Aphria is also expected to end its relationship with long-time law firm, Stikeman Elliott after last week’s short-seller report, according to the Globe and Mail, which cited unnamed sources. Stikeman lawyers advised Aphria on its acquisitions in the three countries from a small Toronto company then named Scythian Biosciences Corp. Stikeman, one of the country’s largest law firms, has had a number of other cannabis clients including acting for MedReleaf in its $3.2-billion acquisition by Aurora Cannabis. When reached by the Globe and Mail, Aphria CEO Vic Neufeld said Stikeman was still the company’s corporate counsel. A Stikeman spokesperson declined to comment on client or internal firm matters.

Mississauga to prohibit legal cannabis stores

Looking to buy your legal pot in Mississauga? Aside from a few clicks on a website, legal cannabis shops will be absent for residents of the Toronto suburb after Mississauga council voted to ban cannabis stores. City councillors agreed Mississauga is being rushed into making a decision without any control or planning, although they discussed the possibility of taking a wait-and-see approach of what the legal pot environment will look like six months or so after marijuana retail stores will open in Ontario this April. Ottawa councilors will vote on a similar ruling on Thursday.

Illinois Governor-elect wants to legalize cannabis in the state

Illinois is yet another U.S. state looking to get onto the legal pot bandwagon. Illinois Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker told NPR that he wants to make legalizing marijuana one of his top priorities and is already working out the details with legislators. Pritzker is urging the state’s legislature to look closely at becoming the first in the Midwest to make legal cannabis available. Last month, Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana by a referendum but the state’s legislature appears to be rewriting what was approved, according to NPR. Any taxes earned from legal cannabis in Illinois should go toward funding pensions, the mayor of Chicago said.


“I don't want Mississauga to be a guinea pig.”
– Mississauga councilor Dipika Damerla on taking a more prudent approach to the city’s stance on legal pot shops.

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