Tuesday, April 23, 2019

China planning to restrict or stop Canadian ag exports beyond canola

A recent report in the Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail claims that China plans to restrict or even stop imports of agricultural commodities extending beyond canola.

Before the recent trade dispute between the two countries grain forecasters claimed that China could import more than two million tonnes of peas from this year's crop up from a previous high of 1.3 million tonnes. Gao Huazhi chief executive of Jiangsu Tongliang that imports Canadian agricultural products into China said "purchase plans for wheat, peas, flax seed, and rapeseed meal have all been cancelled". Rapeseed meal is canola meal.
All Richardson International canola shipments to China blocked
According to a recent blog article: "Amid heightened political tensions China blocked all canola exports from Canadian agri-exporter Richardson International Ltd. The move comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries in a dispute over trade and telecom related technology that has ensnared the chief financial officer of the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Ltd. who faces criminal charges in the U.S. " At the request of the US the CFO of Huawei was arrested last December at Vancouver International airport. This has created tense relations between the two countries. Canada is being sued by the CFO Meng Wanzhou for her arrest. Some analysts see the ban on canola exports and possible restriction of others as a response to Canada's treatment of the Huawei executive Wanzhou.
It is not clear why Richardson's exports to China have been halted. Officials at China's General Administration of Customs had no comments on the situation. If there is an extended ban on canola exports this will not only hurt Richardson, Canada's biggest grain handler but has ramifications for Canada's agricultural economy. China is the world's top importer of canola. China's purchases of canola from the US are also negatively effected by US duties and China's response.
Oilseeds, led by canola represent a leading component of China export category and made up 17 percent of all exports in 2017. Just yesterday, the Canada Council of Canada president Jim Everson claimed that China had expanded its restriction on buying canola to all Canadian exporters, not just James Richardson International.
The issue is also examined by an Alberta paper:On Thursday, March 21, the Canola Council of Canada said in a statement Chinese importers are unwilling to buy Canadian canola. To add to tensions, the Western Producer quoted the Globe and Mail Friday saying China plans to restrict or stop imports of Canadian agricultural commodities beyond canola. They say purchase plans for wheat, peas, flax seed and rapeseed meal have been canceled.The Council says discussions have not indicated the issue will soon be resolved.

Previously pubished in Digital Journal

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Some companies have complaints about Canadian marijuana legislation

Although cannabis infused edibles are not yet legal in Canada, they are still available illicitly. The black market for edibles could continue to flourish as businesses complain of complicated government regulation slowing the rollout of legal edibles.

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Edibles are a big market, offering cannabis customers a method of use often preferable to smoking. With an estimated $1 billion in the US and Canada being spent on edibles in 2017, the market is expected to grow to $4.1 billion by 2022 according to BDS Analytics.
Regulations governing edibles and vaping to be in force by October 17, 2019
Food and beverage makers as well as cannabis companies are hoping to tap into the expected demand and are preparing to roll out legal pot-infused edibles once the new regulations go into place in later this year. However, the process faces problems and the parameters for legal production are not clear.
Cannabinoid-infused products that will be legalized under the new regulations include inhalable extracts as well as solids, beverages and topicals, like lotions.
Jeff Zietlow, of licenced producer CannTrust Holdings Inc. said: "It's a challenge. Everyone is running for the October deadline, and we're trying to develop multiple products at the same time. The more certainty you have, the easier it is to innovate products."
Health Canada published proposed edible pot regulations last December and has finished public consultations on February 20. It is now in the process of reviewing responses before it published final regulations.
Companies preparing for new legal cannabis products
Greenhouse Juice Co. based in Toronto is planning to produce beverages infused with cannabidiol. It will be helped by a $9 million investment from Canopy Growth Corp's venture capital division. Also, the licensed producer Organigram has partnered with Canada's Smartest Kitchen to develop edibles. Initially it will focus on the chocolate confectionery market. And Hexo Corp., based in Quebec, has joined with Molson Coors for a joint venture called Truss which will make and sell cannabis-infused drinks but they will be non-alcoholic.
Reactions to proposed rules vary
Jessika Villano, owner of Buddha Barn dispensary in Vancouver, says she hopes the government genuinely wants her opinion although she was sceptical: "I don't feel like anybody's been listening. I feel a little bit deflated, actually," Villano notes that a single serving would be limited to 10 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and each serving must be individually wrapped. However Villano claims that some cancer patients use up to 650 milligrams per dose. The regulations would outlaw higher does products. She claims that substitute products would be much too expensive for users.
Bruce Linton, CEO of Canopy Growth Corp., said the rules aren't perfect, but they're very good. Canopy Growth is developing a calorie-free cannabis beverage. Linton did not have an issue with the 10 milligram limit per serving for drinks. He said that the one area where the limit might be too strict is with respect to vape pens which usually have a higher does so they may be used on several occasions.
However, Linton was generally pleased with the regulations saying that the government was moving forward in a well-regulated, incremental way. He said that if necessary the dosage could be increased later. He concluded:"In the context of how governments normally work, this is astounding."

Previously published in Digital Journal