The Province of B.C. announced this week that proposed new legislation would nearly triple the provincial sales tax (PST) on dried cannabis vaporizers to 20%. Other cannabis products would remain at the 7% PST rate. Industry insiders are urging the government to not move ahead with the legislation but the new rate is expected to come in to effect Jan. 1, 2020, pending legislative approval and a public comment period. 2. Government Pot Is Pesticide Free! Health Canada testing has found that roughly 95% of cannabis samples from licensed producers came back negative for pesticides in the months following legalization. Of the 133 tests conducted between November 2018 and February 2019, five samples tested positive for restricted pesticides. Four were within the so-called acceptable limits for pesticides like metalaxyl – a fungicide – which has a limit of 0.020 parts per million. The names of licensed producers for each sample were not included in the data but a quick cross-check with recalled products may shed some light on who the violators are. However, some people are uncomfortable with Health Canada testing its own product and have called fpr more frequent unannounced inspections by third parties to create greater separation between the regulator and producers.
3. Dispensary Closures In N.B. Three cannabis dispensaries in Saint John, New Brunswick were forced to close this week after police threatened to seize properties. The businesses recently received letters informing the dispensaries that they had two weeks to stop selling cannabis or their properties would be seized using the Civil Forfeiture Act. No store aside from Cannabis NB is allowed to sell cannabis in the province and the provincial government is encouraging its provincial peace officers to shut down establishments they believe are selling cannabis illegally. Two stores remain open in Saint John, though it's not clear if they received letters as well.
In the U.S., a new FDA consumer update claims that CBD “has the potential to harm” and suggests that symptoms could range from potential mood swings to liver damage, gastrointestinal issues and even male infertility. The findings are based on tests that involved giving CBD to mice. However, some critics have noted that the mice in the study were given the human equivalent of 42,050 milligrams of CBD, which they called “an unreasonable amount”, which is fair. However, as with all substances, especially those that haven’t been researched on human extensively, consumers should be careful and aware of any potential risk factors, especially those with underlying health conditions or those taking medication. That’s our round up for this week. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook for daily cannabis news and information!