More than 100 toxic chemicals found in cannabis smoke

Typical joint contains nearly 2,600 chemicals, including some linked with cancer, genetic mutation and birth defects: U of A study

More than 100 toxic chemicals found in cannabis smokeUniversity of Alberta engineering researchers have characterized the potentially hazardous particles in cannabis smoke and have raised awareness about their potential health effects. “It's not out of line to say there's potential health risk in marijuana smoke, and there's not nearly enough research,” said Robert Nishida, a U of A post-doctoral fellow and co-lead on…

Why COVID-19 could make the overdose epidemic worse

Social isolation can be deadly for people struggling with addictions, says University of Alberta expert

Why COVID-19 could make the overdose epidemic worseWhen Alberta’s chief medical officer, Deena Hinshaw, announced special exemptions to COVID-19 regulations for group therapy in residential addiction treatment centres, it was exactly what University of Alberta addictions expert Cameron Wild was hoping to hear. “The whole concept of recovery is in part founded on developing strong social supportive relationships,” said Wild. Wild is principal investigator with the…

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giant

Alimentation Couche-Tard has become one of the largest convenience store chains in the world by converting gas dollars and foot traffic into more food sales

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giantTaking over the world, one convenience store at a time, was Couche-Tard’s plan from day one. There are two types of convenience stores: Mom-and-pop stores, often operated by local people or newcomers seeking a better life in their adopted country. Stores that are part of enormous multinational conglomerates, which streamline operations by supporting thousands of…

The high social cost of allowing human indulgences

You don’t discourage bad behaviour by making it easier and more pleasant to engage in. Except Canadians have when it comes to gambling and drug use

The high social cost of allowing human indulgencesNot long ago, governments prohibited behaviour that was bad for its citizenry, like gambling and smoking pot. But now, government seems to encourage it, to the detriment of society. In gambling, those insufficiently aware of statistical probabilities are induced to lose money to those with a deeper knowledge of the odds – a sort of…

Edible cannabis rules fall far short of expectations

The strict rules could mean the black market will explode. And they will almost certainly mean that industry will defy regulations

Edible cannabis rules fall far short of expectationsHealth Canada’s regulatory framework on cannabis edibles will likely receive parliamentary approval and royal assent within weeks. But the framework is not exactly what most had in mind a few years ago, when everyone thought the federal government was inviting all Canadians to an enormous festival, at an exciting venue playing great music, with lots…

How to spark innovation and growth in Canada’s agri-food sector

Unless you intend to grow cannabis in a greenhouse, it’s close to impossible to get capital from investors. It’s time Canadian investors showed some patience

How to spark innovation and growth in Canada’s agri-food sectorAgri-food is seen by many investors as a good space to park their money for the first time in a very long while, at least in the United States. Now we need to find a way to spark the same interest in Canada. Uber, once hailed as the largest initial public offering (IPO) of the…

How high taxes create crime and hurt society

Excessive taxes that encourage smuggling and black market activity are a significant policy issue in Canada

How high taxes create crime and hurt societyIn The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described a smuggler as “a person who, though no doubt highly blameable for violating the laws of his country, is frequently incapable of violating those of natural justice, and would have been, in every respect, an excellent citizen, had not the laws of his country made that a…

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoff

Provinces and municipalities face a bevy of expenses and a web of regulations. And the tax benefits at all levels are questionable

Dazed and confused: legalizing cannabis offers no payoffYou might wonder how legislators could lose money by legalizing and taxing an addictive substance. Behold, Canadian officials have outdone themselves with the rollout of recreational cannabis. Provinces and municipalities, many already in financial dire straits, have revealed a bevy of legalization costs. Meanwhile, tax projections suggest relatively slim pickings, given the size of the…

Marijuana’s medical attributes vastly overstated

Pot’s benefits have been overstated by political advocates and scientists, whose bias may have tainted research results

Marijuana’s medical attributes vastly overstatedMarijuana users want society to believe the very thing they’ve told themselves for years – that the highs of marijuana far outweigh its lows when it comes to health and the effect on the masses. Informed minds that remain sober and less tainted by personal bias realize that’s probably not the case. Cannabis is demonstrably…

The trouble with edible marijuana products

Edibles scare Health Canada and the food industry, since they’re discrete, convenient and potentially dangerous

The trouble with edible marijuana productsOn Oct. 17, smoking cannabis will become legal in Canada. Cannabis edibles, on the other hand, will be legal in a little less than a year. Once cannabis-infused food products are available, things will get complicated in Canada’s food industry. But with the right regulations, this is a profit opportunity that doesn’t come by every…