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Marijuana Stocks Fall On Report That US Could Ban Canadian Workers

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Marijuana stocks Tilray (TLRY), Cronos Group (CGC) and Cronos Group (CRON) slid after-hours on a report that a U.S. border official said that Canadian industry employees and marijuana investors broadly could be blocked from coming to the U.S.

The news was reported by Politico. Tilray lost 2%. Cronos fell 3.2%. Canopy fell 2.9%.




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“If you work for the industry, that is grounds for inadmissibility,” the official, Todd Owen, executive assistant commissioner for the Office of Field Operations, told Politico.

Same goes for if you invest in it. “We don’t recognize that as a legal business,” he said, adding that investors from nations like Israel have been blocked from U.S. entry.

Recreational legalization in Canada, which is only weeks away, could complicate cross-border travel between the two countries, Politico noted. The U.S. still federally forbids marijuana even as more states have legalized it over the past several years.

Owen told Politico the U.S. wouldn’t be asking everyone crossing the border whether they’ve used marijuana, but said authorities might inquire further “if other questions lead there.” Lying about past drug use, he told Politico, represents “fraud and misrepresentation, which carries a lifetime ban.”

Tilray Brings More Cannabis To Germany

Earlier Thursday, Tilray said it had received the OK to export buds into Germany for patients in that nation. The company made its cannabis extract products available in Germany last year. Germany legalized medical marijuana last year.

On Tuesday, Tilray said that its CBD oil “was successfully imported” into the U.K. for a patient. On Wednesday, short-seller Citron Research said surging valuations in marijuana stocks were “more ridiculous than Bitcoin” and had led to a “ridiculous valuation discrepancy” for Tilray. Earlier this month, Northland Capital downgraded Tilray, saying that its valuation was “complex” while still praising the company’s strengths.

Cronos Group’s New Recreational Marijuana

With recreational legalization in Canada a little more than a month away, Cronos on Thursday also announced the launch of what it is calling Spinach.

“Cronos Group’s first priority is responsible distribution so we made sure to select a brand name that we felt would not appeal to kids,” Mike Gorenstein, Cronos’ CEO, said in a statement. “Spinach has been carefully curated to deliver on our promise to provide high-quality products to fun-loving mature adults who are sick of hearing about kale.”

That’s just a bit of a departure from the normal corporate language usually found in the press releases from Cronos and its Canadian rivals.

Spinach’s website — loaded with close-up photos of bulk vegetables and rural whimsy — says its expectations are “high.” The product is “super frosty like your windshield in February.” But it also offers a window into how the cannabis industry might try to market recreational products.

Increasingly, marijuana companies are marketing recreational cannabis products around moods and occasions throughout the day. One Spinach product, called “Sensi-Star,” is good for winding down, the site says. “Diesel” is good for, well, feeling good. “Dancehall” is energizing.

Spinach is the company’s second weed brand for the recreational market. The other, called Cove, is marketed as a premium brand. Cove’s website, whose mood is all alpine morning fog, advertises strains with names like Rise, Reflect, Restore and Relax.

“Make each experience a discovery,” the Cove website says. “Which one are you?”

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Richmond Mounties seize servers containing private data allegedly being sold

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Police in Richmond are investigating allegations that database servers containing sensitive and unencrypted customer data from the bankrupt tech retailer NCIX are being sold online. 

AP files

Mounties seize servers after local IT expert reports they had been bought from bankrupt Vancouver company NCIX and contained unwiped information.

Police in Richmond are investigating allegations that database servers containing sensitive and unencrypted customer data from the bankrupt tech retailer NCIX are being sold online.

According to a Richmond RCMP statement, an investigation was opened Thursday, and the database servers in question have been seized.

Vancouver-based tech retailer NCIX filed for bankruptcy late last year, closing more than a dozen stores and auctioning off most of its remaining goods — hardware and software.

According to an article posted online by Vancouver cybersecurity expert Travis Doering, NCIX compromised security for hundreds of thousands of customers, whose private data — including IP, home and email addresses, passwords, credit card information and social insurance numbers — was being sold to the highest bidder on Craigslist,

In a piece written for Privacy Fly, described as a boutique cyber-security firm based in Vancouver, Doering said a Craigslist post advertising NCIX Database Servers led him to a Richmond warehouse, where he discovered that the full records of the now-defunct company, dating as far back as 15 years, were readily available for purchase.

Doering said the servers, which the seller claimed had been purchased through Able Auctions, were never wiped. As a result, prospective buyers were invited to either buy the servers and all the data with them, or simply copy the data to their own hard drives for a five-figure fee.

Doering said many of these records were completely unencrypted, and those that had some measure of security were easily cracked — a fact the seller even boasted about.

The seller, who identified himself as Jeff, bragged that he could “crack their ISCSI server with very simple tools in five minutes,” and called their security “really, really, bad,” according to Doering.

“The data I have seen today contained some the most damaging and extensive records I have ever come across covering at least seventeen years of business transitions,” Doering wrote. “Data breaches by external actors are common in today’s digital world but what makes this set of data so damaging is that it contains every record NCIX ever held.”

By failing to secure their customer data upon bankruptcy, Doering explained, NCIX potentially allowed millions of confidential records to be sold anonymously and without any oversight at all.

If all this is true, millions of North American consumers are now at risk of identity theft and fraud as a result, even after RCMP seizure of the hardware.

“The data can easily be used to cash out credit cards, craft convincing phishing messages containing details on purchases and commit identity theft,” he wrote.

hmooney@postmedia.com


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Legalization countdown: The week in cannabis

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As the countdown to legal marijuana becomes a matter of weeks and days, not months, it comes more and more into focus.

Here’s what we learned this week:

  • Legal marijuana markets will mostly be online to start in several provinces (totally online in Ontario). Online shopping, as we know, means credit cards. But credit card data is held in the U.S., and non-Americans have no protection if Uncle Sam decides to take a peek. So if the U.S. wanted to start assembling a list of at least a fair number of Canadian marijuana users after legalization, they certainly have a way of doing so. That’s awkward, because … 
  • … Politico published an important story last week, in which a senior U.S. border official told them that even after legalization anyone using cannabis in Canada could be barred for life for use, and anyone involved in the Canadian cannabis industry could be barred for drug trafficking. This is important new information – there was some doubt about how strictly the letter of the law would be applied at the border.

WATCH: 1 month until marijuana legalization: Is Canada ready?






  • Will we eventually see imported marijuana for sale in Canada? Recreational imports are banned at the moment – but as more countries move to legalize we could eventually get into a marijuana trade dispute with Uruguay, Mexico or Jamaica, a trade expert explains.
  • It’s not surprising on some level, but decades of illegality has left marijuana strain genetics a mess, DNA studies show. Hindu Kush from three different suppliers can be very different varieties.
  • Marijuana stocks have had an exciting ride. But is it a bubble? It will take six months to a year to see, an investment expert explains.
  • We won’t see factory-made cannabis beverages for at least a year (unless you want to buy some THC oil and make your own, which won’t be all that hard to do). But big beer makers and Coca-Cola have their eye on the market. Apart from anything else, brewers may lose customers as marijuana becomes more available, so they’re making a virtue of necessity by investing in their new rival.

WATCH: Pot sector workers could face trouble at U.S. border






  • Want to pitch yourself as a “cannabis connoisseur” who should be paid $50 an hour to sample different kinds of marijuana? These folks are hiring. (You’ll also have to write social media posts and appear in videos.)
  • Saskatchewan’s fledgling marijuana retail system fears a pot shortage, at least at first.
  • B.C. is warning grey-market dispensaries that they should either shut down on their own or be shut down. (Awkwardly, the province will have exactly one legal store ready to go on October 17, in Kamloops.)

WATCH: Weed and the workplace: Are employers equipped for the implications?






  • Economists at TD predict that legal recreational cannabis will add $7-8 billion to Canada’s GDP, Sort of. “We would caution against reading too much enthusiasm into this,” they write, calling it an “accounting illusion”. The grey and black markets were actually a part of the national economy, after all. Some portion of what looks like growth in 2019 should basically be ignored, they say. (Illegal economic activity gives economists headaches – it obviously exists, but it’s hard to measure.)
  • StatsCan estimates that about 5.4 million people will buy legal cannabis in Q4, while another 1.7 million will stick with grey/black market suppliers. Canadians will have spent $800 million to $1 billion on legal pot by the end of the year, they predict. (StatsCan would also like to hear about your grey/black market pot buying – quantity, quality, price – anonymously.)
  • Bloomberg talks to a company that’s hoping to lower the price of weed to 20 cents a gram through streamlining its production process, and another that wants to have its greenhouses run mostly by robots. (In the long run, will high-tech, largely automated cannabis production be the job creator we were hoping for?)

WATCH: How the military will handle marijuana







QUESTION: So where does legalization leave soon-to-be-not-illegal marijuana in our culture? Is it respectable, a bad habit, a vice, a harmless pleasure? (Will attitudes change over time? It took Ontario decades after Prohibition ended to run liquor stores like more or less normal retail stores.) The words we use all have different value judgments attached: cannabis, marijuana, pot, weed.

Story continues below

Understandably anxious to enter the mainstream, people in the cannabis industry want to create space between them and what for want of a better word we could call stoner culture. Reporters get very polite but firm requests to avoid the word ‘pot,’ let alone ‘weed,’ and images like the one below.

(Global’s style rule is to prefer ‘marijuana,’ given that it’s the term most in common use, but also to allow ‘cannabis,’ ‘pot,’ and ‘weed,’ ideally on second reference.)

If you were choosing images for an online story about cannabis, would you use the photo below, which Canadaland called “the most overused stoner pic of all“? (They may have a point.) Why or why not? The form is below the image. Responses may be published. 

A woman exhales while smoking a joint during the annual 420 marijuana rally on Parliament Hill on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in Ottawa. Ontario adolescents are drinking, smoking and using cannabis and other recreational drugs at the lowest rates since the late 1970s, suggests a biennial survey of Grade 7 to 12 students by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

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Power outages in South Temiskaming

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Several communities in South Temiskaming are experiencing power outages due to a  storm packing 70 to 100 kilometre an hour winds that swept through the region on Friday, September 21. Hydro One crews are responding to a number of downed power lines and tree branches in the area. Hydro One says there were 32 incidents and 992 customers in the New Liskeard region affected by the power outages.

was last modified: September 22nd, 2018 by Editorial Staff

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