5 Things To Know In Business Today: Canada's Edibles Rules Will Harsh Your Buzz

Five years in prison for selling cannabis gummies?

Canada’s recently-announced rules on edible marijuana products ban the sale of any product that “can reasonably be considered appealing to a young person,” and that has some in the industry concerned. “A cookie is appealing to a kid, so can I make a cookie? Can I make a brownie? What do you mean by appealing to kids?” cannabis lawyer Trina Fraser asked, as quoted by Bloomberg. But a Health Canada official told media it’s easy to tell the difference. “There are chocolate bars that are designed and marketed to adult consumers and there are chocolates and candies that are marketed to kids.” Officials also warned that breaking the rule can mean a five-year prison sentence or $1 million fine. Many in the industry say the rule means popular cannabis gummies can’t be sold, but Health Canada suggested they just be made colourless.

Watch: Cannabis jobs in Canada. Story continues below.


Amazon becomes world’s most valuable brand

Online retailer Amazon has leapfrogged Apple to become the world’s most valuable brand, according to research from brand equity database BrandZ. The researchers credited “Amazon’s smart acquisitions that have led to new revenue streams” for the brand’s success. Other than Instagram, which saw its brand value rise, and Facebook, which stayed level, social media platforms “face challenges in terms of trust and desirability,” BrandZ said in a statement. Canada’s Lululemon was the second-fastest riser on the list behind Instagram, BrandZ noted.

No business case for TMX pipeline, ex-Liberal minister says

The federal government is expected to issue a formal approval for the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion this week, but a former Liberal environment minister is urging Justin Trudeau’s cabinet to reject the move. David Anderson, who served as environment minister under prime ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, wrote a letter to six cabinet members arguing the strategy to expand oil sales to Asia is unlikely to succeed. “There is no credible evidence to suggest that Asia is likely to be a reliable or a significant market for Alberta bitumen,” Anderson wrote, as quoted by the Canadian Press. Given that the federal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion in 2018, it’s virtually a given Trudeau’s cabinet will approve the project.

Gaingels comes to Canada

A U.S.-based investment group that specializes in funding businesses with progressive values and LGBTQ leadership has made its first investment in Canada, CBC News reports. Gaingels has invested $360,000 in Borrowell, a Toronto-based fintech company that offers personal loans and free credit reports to customers. “We’re kind of drawing a line in the sand and saying that this is something that matters to us as a business,” said Larissa Homes, Borrowell’s vice-president of talent and a member of the LGBTQ community.

One-fifth of Vancouver’s detached homes are investments

Nearly half of Vancouver’s condos and 19 per cent of its detached homes aren’t occupied by their owners, according to data from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program. Simon Fraser University’s Andy Yan noted in the Vancouver Sun that, as recently as 2009, only 35 per cent of Vancouver condos weren’t occupied by their owners. “It’s gone up substantially, city-wide,” he said. Yan says the influence of foreign investors on the condo market means the city has been building smaller condos than it otherwise would have, because investors prefer small condos. “Much of the housing that was built in Vancouver was for investment or for (financial) safety,” he said.

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