Opening Statement



Friday, 22 March 2019

Oh Cannabis Spring 2019 News y Views!

Inhale! Hold! Exhale! Smile! Then Read "Oh Cannabis News Y View" @ Directory! UpDAtEs AddED iN LaRgE TyPe! Live tweets @ davidchiarelli 




HEADLINES

Canada's First Nations declare weed sovereignty on treaty lands. What'll the Feds and provinces do?

US Legalization: Democrat and GOP politicians and lawmakers are getting onboard as legalization takes hold to the north! But will they succeed in 2019?

Pot Race: Licensed Ontario dispensaries race to open April 1st in Canada's largest market! Will they make the deadline? What comes next?

Nowhere 2 Toke: Licensed lounges remain verboten in Ontario, despite Cannabis otherwise being legalized! Is there any hope in sight?

Pot Tax: Canadian Federal Budget adds a new medibles and topicals tax. Provides some limited income tax relief for med pot users! What's up? How to fight back? 

Stock Market Reefer Madness: Many challenges face Canada's floundering legal cannabiz industry in the year ahead. The unlicensed market continues to kick their butt! Why can't they compete?

Casual Causal: Cannabis is under renewed hostile scrutiny! Sound science verses more reefer madness: which will win?

Some Spring Weed Musings ....

OH CANNABIS



Weed Sovereignty: Six Nations are fed up. The largest of Canada's indigenous peoples are now in effect declaring weed sovereignty on the treaty lands. The goal? To protect their "health and safety". And to prevent "external interference". All levels of Canadian government be damned! They've got their own regulations for cultivating, distributing, selling and using weed. Minimum age is set at 19. Plus 18% of sales goes towards community projects. A new cannabis control commission is being set up. And provincial sales licenses have no validity here! So what if anything will Ontario's "law and order" reefer madman Premier Doug Ford do now? Or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who's facing a dicey federal election this fall? With indigenous issues all ready in the spotlight? Note that many of the Six Nation reserves are located next to our major urban centres. Ontario's government licensed dispensaries don't even begin to open until April 1st, with only 25 so far approved, for across the whole province. Ha! The heat is on @ HSpec @ CBC

Canuck Pot Budget: It's official! The 2019 Canadian federal budget includes a new excise duty tax for cannabis edibles and extracts, including oil and topicals. It takes effect May 1st for medical cannabis users. Later this year for everyone else, once it's legalized for recreational use. Expect to pay $0.01 cent tax per milligramme of THC, in the government's new tax by "THC content" scheme. Meanwhile, the $1 per gram tax on dried flower remains unchanged. Consumer spending on "legal cannabis" was only $1.2 billion, less than projected. However, our untaxed "black market" enjoyed a 400% increase in sales. Basically, government licensed weed just doesn't make the grade. Can't compete in supply, quality or price. But try telling Ottawa that, as they pile on more and more taxes, regulations and other restrictions @ BloomB 

Med Pot Tax Time: Cannabis remains the only Canadian prescription drug that includes an excise tax! A little medical patient tax relief is being offered through a 15% credit come income tax time. Still, no justice, not peace! The good fight continues @ Leafly 

CFAM: Canadians For Fair Access 2 Medical Marijuana continue to actively lobby for and demand the removal of any and all taxes on medical cannabis. Join the fight @ CFAM

Worker Compensation Pot Claims: Injured workers from across Canada continue the important fight to have medical cannabis prescriptions for pain management covered as a benefit. The results remain mixed at best @ CBC

Ford's Ontario Pot Lottery: A third, winner strikes gold by throwing their lot in with Alberta's High Tide Inc., this time to open a legal Canna Cabana dispensary in Toronto, by the government's April 1st deadline. Surprise! The corporate big boys somehow come out on top again! So much for our many, long time, eager, knowledgable, homegrown, mom and pop operations who didn't win the draw. More below in "Green Marketing" and @ HTI

IN THE NEWS



US Legalization: US lawmakers from both the Democrats and the GOP are on a roll. This spring, there are 6 pieces of legislation before congress to end prohibition at the federal level. Will one of them pass? Here are the 6 different bills in play @ Leafly But don't hold your breath! Here's why they still might not pass this year @ Fool

Canadian Green Print eh? American busine$$e$ are increa$ingly nervou$ that Canadian legalization will freeze them out of the marketplace if they wait too long. Some even view the Canadian model as a "blueprint" for how it can be set up in the United States. Hmmm. Wanna buy a used one for corporate government monopoly? Then try ours! Sure, it's got some salient points. Actually, I'd say it's more of a "green print" too, but but but .... More @ SN



US Cannabiz Equity: The MCBA [Minority Cannabis Business Association] isn't taking any chances as legalization takes hold across the US. They're providing US lawmakers and regulators with a policy model. It seeks to maximize the ability of disadvantaged communities of colour to rightfully benefit in equal measure as manager, owners, employees and investors in the new, legal cannabiz sector. Whether anybody is listening is something else. But it's important work that needs to be done from the get-go. Bravo! Read @ NCV 

GREEN MARKETING

Cannabis Market Crash: The Canadian Cannabis Index lost half it's value in 2018. There's still dark storm clouds on the horizon. What could go wrong in the year ahead? @ MT

Pot Wars: In all fairness, Canada's seemingly hapless LP's [Licensed Producers] are often being sent in battle with both hands tied behind their back. Until they can compete with supply, quality and pricing, the unregulated, underground cannabiz sector will continue to kick their ass @ MT

Stock Ticker: Cannabis stock promoters continue to prey on investors and operators who are not really "in the know". Beware @ NCV

Canopy Growth Grows: They've hooked up with one of our lucky Ford Pot Lottery winners. Now HMV music's former flagship store on the downtown Yonge strip is reopening as a Tokyo Smoke cannabis dispensary. Whoda guessed? All those years ago? When we use to go shopping there for CD's, and DVD's? Then, had to step back out into the Toronto night, looking for a lil' boo to go with the movies and tunes .... @ TStar

HIGHER LEARNING



A Mental Case: A recent UK/ Euro study suggests that cannabis puts us at risk of mental psychosis. That's always possible, if one is already so predisposed, of course. However, as NORML stresses, the research lacks any scientific proof of a direct causal relationship between cannabis and mental disorder. It's strictly based upon observational data. That's suspect at best. Other variables could also be responsible and at play. For example, did those tested also drink? Use any other drugs or intoxicants? Without proper, objective research, such alarming and unsubstantiated reefer madness claims are suspect and misleading at best @ NORML

Oil's Well? Vaping cannabis oil is pretty kool. I much prefer it indoors during our long cold Canadian winters. However, it might have some health risks. Now that cannabis is being legalized, proper testing and research can begin in earnest. New research is seeking alternatives to the possibly harmful substances including thinning liquids commonly used in making it @ Leafly

HIGH TIMES



Ontario Pot Place: Our local Hotbox Cafe is partnering up with the Toronto Craft Beer Fest. They're opening Canada's first legal "Potio", where you can toke weed. It's a test run of sorts, at Ontario Place from June 21 to 23rd. Two daze eh?  Well, it's a start. Otherwise, there are still no legal licensed facilities anywhere in Canada's most populated province @ BlogTO

Spring Weed Break: Winter's over! There's a thaw in the air. Many tokers are starting  to kick back a bit. Want to relax, but still need a little energy to get us through to the summer holidaze. Which strains work best? Consider Chocolate Fondue, Ultra Sour, Go, Super Silver Haze. More @ Leafly



All A' Twitter: Please note -I often tweet lots and lots more news and stoner links for your information and entertainment. Follow me @ @davidchiarelli

COMMENTS

Monday, 4 March 2019

Santiago de Cuba A Go Go!


Here we are on the beach at the "Brisas Sierra Mar"; The "breeze". The "mountains". The "sea". The sizzling hot sun beats down relentlessly. I turn up my headphones. Adjust my sunglasses. Roll over on my lounger. A slight sea breeze tickling my toes.

We're back at our favourite Santiago de Cuba resort. It's an hour outside Cuba's second largest city and birthplace of the 1959 revolution. It's nestled among the foothills of the towering Sierra mountains. On the coast of the Caribbean. Ninety miles north of Jamaica. On a gorgeous, dark, fine sand, volcanic beach. With a breathtaking coral reef stretching on endlessly down the coast.

My sister Maryanne, wife Janet and I are on a beach holiday. We do this every year. Back home in Canada, it's dead of winter. A deep freeze. Non stop blizzards mixed with freezing rain. Endless daze of dirty snow banks, black ice and grey skies. The numbing cold of big city life.

We booked a cheap all inclusive deal to the Brisas from Toronto. Even in high season, 2 rooms at the all inclusive Breezes will rarely cost more than a $1000 Canadian each, including airfare, taxes and Maryanne's single supplement. 



That's easily half what we'd pay anywhere else for a Caribbean resort holiday. But there's nothing fancy here. The Brisas has a dumfy three star charm. The service very friendly but spotty. At times even maddeningly inept. The menu is limited. The pool loud, packed and very busy. The drinks flow free and plentiful but hope you like lots of rum, wine and beer. One elevator works. The rooms are very simple. Have seen better days. But most include a drop dead gorgeous ocean view, framed by huge ferns and sprawling palm trees. On the ground floor, the sea is but steps from your patio door.

Cannabis? A toke? A lil' boo? Forget it. Pack some prescription cannabinoid's in your med bag to tide you over. 

The guests? Mostly our fellow Canucks, from Ontario and Quebec. Some Russians. Germans. Latinos. The odd Yankee on the lam. A smattering of discount latin Lothario's, gigolo's and jinetera's. Plus on the weekends, a fair number of resort Cubano's, a virtual who's who of Santiago de Cuba; those who can afford a $29 day pass.

Sadly, there was a lot of very, unseemly pushing, and shoving at the airport in both Canada and Cuba. Also on the risky hotel elevator. Don't get caught in the doors! Also beware! There was lotsa very trite, white trash. More than a few loud, obnoxious drunks. Bratty kids running amok while mom and dad get totally shellacked. Someone might even try to steal your beach chair, or squeeze in on your shade, should you look the other way. Sigh. Alas. Typical resort fare! The Brisas Sierra Mar has become a victim of it's own success!




The view from our room ...

Better to come off season. We often visit the Breezes throughout the year. Usually all but have the resort to ourselves, when the sea water is warmest and most refreshing, from Spring through Fall. Plus you'll save a couple of hundred dollars more! 

Whenever we choose to visit, the Cubans are always very glad to see us. Unlike other tourist destinations, in Cuba the resorts are mostly built, staffed and supplied locally, with the profits pumped back into the local economy rather than being siphoned off abroad to line somebodies pockets. As a result, nobody resents us here despite the great "First Word/ Developing World" economic divide. We can put our feet up, and relax. Take some small satisfaction in helping Cuba build "sustainable socialism". Rather than aid and abet the ruthless, capitalist exploitation that fuels tourism, throughout much of the troubled region! 

So. We had a great week on the beach. Our Cuban friends came out to stay with us for the weekend. We wiled away the lazy daze with much laughter, relaxation and reminisces. It was a nice, romantic getaway for Janet and I. A chance for Maryanne and I to touch base. 

We'd take long, endless walks down the beach, way past the resort, undisturbed and alone with the sea, sand, sun and thundering surf. Swim out to the coral reef, about 10 to 20 minutes off the coast. Diving down to check out the brightly coloured coral and huge schools of tropical fish. Then float bobbing up and down on the huge breakers out at sea. Gazing at the mountains stretching from horizon to horizon. The endless, hazy blue line where the sky meets the sea. Pure nirvana. In my minds eye, I am still there. While back in Toronto, it snows and snows and snows .....




With our Cuban teacher friends ...

SOME LINKS: 

Brisas Sierra Mar: Check out videos of the beach @  HERE! and snorkelling @ THERE!

Here are some more of my Brisas Sierra Mar reviews, should you wish to go @ HERE! @ HERE! @ THERE!

Or visit the Breezes Jibicoa half way between Habana and Varadero! Here's another el cheapo Cuban low star resort with a great coral reef and lotsa dumfy charm @ HERE!  @ HERE! @ THERE!




Back 2 Toronto ...

COMMENTS:

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!