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Report on Business Cannabis Professional Around the industry: Dec. 19 – Organigram; Namaste; Cannabis at Work; Manitoba cannabis fee

Manitoba premier says he will enforce fee on Indigenous retailers

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says his government will enforce a cannabis retailers’ fee on First Nations store owners in the new year, setting up another potential clash with Indigenous leaders.

The Progressive Conservative government is requiring all cannabis retailers to pay what it calls a social responsibility fee. The levy amounts to six per cent of each retailer’s total annual revenues, starting in 2019. The annual fee is to be paid within six months after the year ends.

Stores on reserves will not be exempt, Mr. Pallister said.

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“Every Manitoban has a social responsibility,” Mr. Pallister said in a year-end interview with The Canadian Press.

“And any company in Manitoba that wants to market cannabis – whether it’s on-reserve, off-reserve, on urban reserves, I do not care – shares that social responsibility.”

Among the dozen or so private retail outlets that have opened so far across the province, two run in partnership with the Long Plain First Nation on urban reserves in Winnipeg and Portage La Prairie.

Long Plain Chief Dennis Meeches said the fee should not be applied on reserve land and he is considering legal action. Mr. Meeches said the levy appears to be much like the provincial sales tax, which does not apply to sales to First Nations consumers on reserves.

“We’re just examining our options to see whether or not this is an attempt by the premier to skirt the PST (exemption),” Mr. Meeches said.

Cannabis should be treated like tobacco, Mr. Meeches said. Through a rebate system, the province exempts tobacco sales on reserves to people with Indian status from its tobacco tax.

“If this is allowed to go unchallenged, what else may come down the pike?” Mr. Meeches said.

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Mr. Pallister said the province has the right to impose a fee on businesses, whether on or off reserve.

“We have the ability to establish a social responsibility levy.”

Under a section of the federal Indian Act, any personal property of a First Nations member situated on a reserve is exempt from taxation. But taxes aimed at businesses are often applied.

For example, Manitoba’s Health and Education Levy – a tax on companies with payrolls exceeding $1.25-million a year – applies on reserves as long as the company is incorporated and not that of a sole proprietor or band council.

–Canadian Press

Cannabis At Work, Global Governance Advisors to combine for 2019 compensation survey

Cannabis At Work and Global Governance Advisors announced a strategic partnership on Wednesday that will offer an expanded and enhanced cannabis industry compensation survey for 2019.

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Cannabis at work has previously released two industry remuneration surveys.

The 2019 report will examine a variety of roles, including executive level positions, production and cultivation, processing, compliance and regulatory, facilities management, and corporate services. The survey will include data on base salaries, benefits, short and long-term incentives, and executive compensation. The survey is designed to assist both private and public companies in compensation planning.

The survey is anticipated to launch in early 2019. Companies operating in the cannabis sector, including licensed producers, are encouraged to participate. To learn more or to participate in the survey, contact hello@cannabisatwork.com.

–Staff

Organigram announces appointments to board of directors

Organigram Holdings Inc. said Wednesday that shareholders voted to elect all seven of management’s nominees to the board of directors at the company’s annual and special meeting of shareholders.

The seven are: Peter Amirault; Derrick West; Michel Bourque; Dr. Kenneth Mitton; and Greg Engel; as well as new management nominees Dexter John and Sherry Porter. All directors are “independent” as defined under securities laws, except for Mr. Engel, who is Organigram’s CEO. Mr. Amirault was re-appointed as chairman of the board.

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Shareholders of the Moncton, N.B.-based LP also announced the reappointment of Deloitte LLP as the company’s auditors; said the company will continue the 10-per-cent “rolling” share option; and will continue the company’s equity incentive plan.

–Staff

Kothari become chief legal officer at Namaste

Vancouver-based Namaste Technologies Inc. said Wednesday that Neil Kothari has joined the company as chief legal offier. The company says Mr. Kothari has held senior positions at established and international law firms as well as major technology companies and financial institutions. He is a barrister and solicitor of Ontario, a solicitor of England & Wales and a chartered professional accountant.

The company also said that Fern Glowinsky has resigned from the board of directors and will be replaced by current chief financial officer Kenneth Ngo, and that Meni Morim has agreed to act as the company’s first chief product officer, subject to board approval.

–Staff

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