Pot companies get extension from feds on annual fees

The federal government announced Wednesday that Canadian cannabis companies have been granted a six-month extension to pay annual regulatory fees because of pandemic-related struggles. Canadian firms now have until March 31, 2021 to pay the fees, which are based on a percentage of each company’s cannabis revenues to offset regulation costs. The feds say the deferral will cost $3.5 million in reinvestment opportunities and potential cash defaults.

Sproutly files cease trade order

Vancouver-based cannabis beverage maker Sproutly applied for a cease trade order with B.C. regulators on Monday, in advance of an Aug. 12 financial statement-filing deadline the company is likely to miss. The company blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for its inability to complete an audit on time. Sproutly also utilized a pandemic-driven regulators’ extension to delay filing its first-quarter financial results. The company vowed to file its statements no later than Aug. 28 and to disclose its first-quarter results by Sept. 14. Investors will still be able to trade the company’s CSE-listed shares during the order, which will prevent the company’s executives to issue or acquire shares.

B.C. eases sales rules for private pot retailers

The B.C. government announced Tuesday new rules for private cannabis retailers that will allow pot orders to be reserved and paid for online. However, customers still have to pick up their orders in person. Previous licence rules allowed customers to reserve cannabis products online, but required them to visit a store to complete the payment and obtain their purchases. The province says it changed the policy after private retailers said online orders would help limit customer time in stores during the pandemic.  

TerrAscend appoints former Bausch Health exec as chief legal officer

Ontario-based cannabis company TerrAscend Corp. announced it is bringing on Jason Marks as chief legal officer in an executive shake-up. Marks’ resume ranges from InflaRx N.V., Bausch Health and Stryker Corporation. “With a breadth of experience in the life sciences industry, we're thrilled to have Jason join us and bring a unique perspective to our executive team," TerrAscend CEO Jason Ackerman said in a release Wednesday. The company also announced the departure of General Counsel Brian Feldman and executive vice president, business development and chief strategy officer Heather Molloy.

Thai Cabinet approves draft law expanding cannabis production, distribution

Thailand’s cabinet approved a proposal Tuesday that would expand access to medical cannabis in the country. The draft amendment, submitted by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, would allow health professionals, farmers and medical patients to produce, import, export, distribute and possess cannabis and its products. Thailand, previously known for its strict anti-drug laws, is gearing up to tap into the growing Asian cannabis market, valued by Prohibition Partners to be worth US$5.8 billion by 2024. In 2018, Thailand’s legislature amended its drug law to allow for the licensed medical use of pot, and in January the country opened its first two full-time clinics for medical cannabis oil. The draft will be sent to the Council of State for further scrutiny and then passed onto the Parliament for a vote.  

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-- The approximate number of patients in Brazil that were authorized to import non-registered pot cannabis products in the first quarter of 2020, a 123 per cent year-over-year increase, according to data shared with Marijuana Business Daily by the country’s health regulator.

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