Two days after they could’ve started selling them, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch now has cannabis edibles for sale on its direct-to-consumer website in addition to retail stores that must buy from the government middleman.
Two types of chocolate, a soft-bake chocolate chip cookie, mints and a vape pen are now available out of the 260 individual products BCLDB has registered for sale through its own website and retail stores, as well as to wholesale customers selling through a handful of approved cannabis stores in the province.
“The newest cannabis 2.0 products, including edibles, extracts, and topicals, will be added to this collection regularly,” reads the edibles section.
The supplier for all five products available through BCLDB is Aurora, based out of Alberta. A five-serving package of sea salt and caramel milk chocolates sells for $7.99, with 1.7-2.3 mg of THC in each piece. The chocolate chip cookies each have 4.2-5.8mg of THC, with a two-cookie package selling for $11.99.
Edible cannabis products, like chocolates, gummies, candies, THC-infused beverages, vape pens and topical creams and lotions have been slow to come to market across the country, with much of the delay attributed to requirements from Health Canada. Producers were able to apply for approval to sell them on Oct. 17, one year after dried cannabis products were legalized for sale.
The BCLDB has overseen the rollout of recreational cannabis and a spokesperson told CTV News earlier this week that producers were having challenges making products that are shelf stable, or don’t require refrigeration.
Customers in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta have already been warned they won’t see any edible products until at least mid-January, as they’re subject to a separate set of provincial regulations.
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London health chiefs today pledged to speed up vaccinations by opening up to 25 new centres in the capital this week, including a major site in the shadow of Wembley Stadium. With the number of centres due to hit 170 by the weekend, the capital’s most senior doctor urged people to come forward “without delay” for the jab when called. “We’re adding more and more sites as vaccine supplies become available, and staff and volunteers are going the extra mile to vaccinate to those who need it most,” said Dr Vin Diwakar, Medical Director for the NHS in London.
Canada to wait longer than Europe for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine – The Globe and Mail
The European Union will have a much shorter interruption in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine than Canada, despite commitments last week that countries would share equally in a temporary drop in doses.
On Friday, the federal government announced vaccine deliveries to Canada would be cut by half for a four-week period starting Jan. 25. The pharmaceutical giant said the slowdown was needed to allow the company to retool its Belgian plant in order to expand production.
Major-General Dany Fortin, who is leading Canada’s vaccine logistics, said the loss would be made up in the subsequent weeks, with the company still delivering all four million vaccine doses in the first quarter — as previously committed.
Maj-Gen. Fortin also said that every country that has purchased Pfizer vaccines will be “affected equally.” But after first laying out a three- to four-week slowdown in shipments to European countries, the company later said shipments would resume their original schedule to European Union members the week of Jan. 25.
The vaccine is delayed in Canada as COVID-19 infections continue to rise and as pressure on hospitals remains high in many parts of the country. Ontario reported 3,422 new infections on Sunday, along with 69 deaths. The numbers were based on nearly 60,200 tests.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said in an e-mailed statement Sunday that Ottawa has reiterated to Pfizer the importance of Canada returning to its regular delivery schedule of vaccines, but no explanation was provided for the discrepancy.
“I understand and share the concerns of Canadians regarding the temporary delivery delay of Pfizer doses,” Ms. Anand said. “We are once again in touch with representatives from Pfizer to reiterate firmly the importance for Canada to return to our regular delivery schedule as soon as possible.”
Canada was previously expecting to receive 208,650 doses in the last week of January and about 367,000 doses each week in February. Instead, about 655,000 of those doses will be delivered later.
Based on publicly released delivery numbers, the drop will translate to approximately 327,000 people getting their two-shot vaccine later than expected.
The slowdown means Ontario will increase the interval between the two shots needed to maximize the protection provided by the vaccine, from the company-recommended 21 days to up to 42 days. On Friday, British Columbia said it was also evaluating whether it would need to increase the interval between the shots.
Ms. Anand said Pfizer assured the government it is deploying all efforts to return Canada to its original delivery schedule as soon as possible. “This is an evolving situation. As soon as updated information on the delivery of Pfizer doses for Canada is available, we will share it with Canadians,” she said.
Europe had initially been advised it would face a similar delay as Canada. Germany’s Health Ministry had said Friday that Pfizer informed the European Commission it would not be able to fulfill all of its promised deliveries in the next three to four weeks. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she “immediately called the CEO of Pfizer.”
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at his press conference that the setback was “out of our hands” and that’s why Canada has contracts with several vaccine developers.
Christina Antoniou, a spokesperson for Pfizer, said in an e-mailed statement Sunday that because of the improvements the company is undertaking to scale up capacity, vaccine shipments will be temporarily affected in late January and early February, but it will allow for a significant increase in late February and March.
“The principle of equity is used when considering allocation of doses worldwide and we expect to have more information in the coming days,” Ms. Antoniou said.
Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner said in an e-mailed statement that it is up to the Prime Minister to explain to Canadians why they will not be able to get vaccinated for months after people in other countries, such as the United States.
“It’s up to him to explain why, based on Friday’s news about vaccine delivery delays, we might be looking at many more months of lockdown – with the lost jobs, time with families, and mental health challenges that accompany them – while vaccines are being delivered to countries like the United States. It’s also up to him to find better path forward; if his Plan A has failed, what’s Plan B?” asked Ms. Rempel Garner.
With a report from the Associated Press
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