Canada Rolls Out a ‘$1 Billion’ Privatized Medical Marijuana Industry
Analysts fear shortages could result as imports struggle to keep up with demand. Yet south of the 49th parallel, the United States is facing a condensate glut. In the Texas Eagle Ford, condensate production accounts for as much as 30% of output.With forecasters projecting Eagle Ford production to exceed one million barrels per day by next year, much of that will be condensate. But here’s the problem. Nearby Gulf coast refineries aren’t well equipped to handle the super light oil bubbling out of the Texas shale. Over the last decade, refineries spent billions of dollars outfitting their plants to process heavy sour blends. Additionally, refining condensate isn’t profitable. The light oil doesn’t produce the higher value distillates used to make diesel or jet fuel. So with an unexpected surge in condensate production and low demand from refineries, you have a recipe for low prices. In general, Gulf coast refineries have been paying $15 per barrel less for condensate than light oil varieties. That’s great for downstream marketers. But that discount is coming right out of the pockets of shale producers. Canada needs condensate. The U.S. has too much of the stuff. The challenge is moving it. Who’s poised to profit At the moment, the only way to export condensate to Canada is through theEnbridge (NYSE: ENB ) Southern Lights pipeline which transports 180,000 bpd from Illinois to Alberta. The problem is shipping condensate from Texas to Patoka, Illinois where the line begins. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP ) is trying to position itself as the leading condensate shipper. The company built a condensate pipeline that can move 300,000 bpd from the shale basin to the Houston area. From Houston, condensate can be shipped through a third-party Explorer pipeline to Hammond, Illinois. Admittedly Illinois is still on long way from northern Alberta.
Cutler,Guest blogger / October 4, 2013 Pipelines carrying steam to wellheads and heavy oil back to the processing plant line the roads and boreal forest at a project 74 miles south of Fort McMurray, Alberta, in Canada. Todd Korol/Reuters/File Enlarge Asian countries continue to line up for Canadian energy to which the United States is unable to commit. This week Japan ‘s prime minister Shinzo Abe met with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper to discuss the potential for shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. Although no firm agreement was announced, Japanese newspapers speculated that the first Canadian exports might reach Japan as early as 2018 and no later than 2020. OilPrice.com offers extensive coverage of all energy sectors from crude oil and natural gas to solar energy and environmental issues. To see more opinion pieces and news analysis that cover energy technology, finance and trading, geopolitics, and sector news, please visit Oilprice.com . Recent posts The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition This reflects, among other things, the greater difficulty that Canada has had in developing LNG export terminals. Low prices for gas from western Canada is another problem, and although there is reason to believe in a secular rise towards higher prices, U.S. producers are less affected by the current levels. On the other hand, as prices rise, there are fears in Canada of a typical bust-to-boom scenario; and for this, there is fear that Canada’s gas producers are and will continue to be ill-prepared, not even able to take advantage of the anticipated boom. (Related article: Despite Shale, OPEC Still Matters ) RECOMMENDED: US energy in five maps (infographics) Nevertheless, India is also getting in line for Canadian oil as well as gas. India’s High Commissioner Nirmal Verma was also in Ottawa this week to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement allowing uranium from Canada to be sold to India as reactor fuel. India seeks to triple in electricity production in the next decade, in part by building as many as a dozen new reactors. Agreement was actually reached three years ago, but the additional time is required in order to establish a process for independent verification that the fuel is used for peaceful purposes. In 1974, India used a reactor supplied by Canada to create the fuel for a nuclear bomb test. India is even willing to consider investment in the Energy East Pipeline, even as TransCanada has had to delay its filing of an application to the National Energy Board from this year until next year. Environmental concerns that need to be addressed during the regulatory process are partly responsible for the delay, but also it is now foreseen that the original estimate of 850,000 barrels per day (bpd) is low and should be increased to 1.1 million bpd. (Related article: Canada to Drill for Offshore North Atlantic Oil ) Energy talks between the two countries were elevated to the ministerial level last year when our visit India, and India’s energy minister will be visiting Ottawa later this month to continue the discussions. The oil-sands are doing slightly better, as the first crude-by-rail unit train terminal is set to start transporting 50,000 bpd to the U.S. market next month. This amount will rise at least tenfold by the end of next year. Meanwhile, an official from Enbridge says that his company expects a decision from the federal government ought is Northern Gateway pipeline by mid-2014 and an in-service date four years later.
But even as the new system privatizes distribution, critics fear regulation under the conservative-led government will make it harder for patients to get access to the drug. In Canada, medical marijuana has been legal but highly regulated for more than a decade. Patients with doctor approval could grow or have someone else grow small quantities or request limited amounts from Health Canada, the national healthcare department. But the conservative-led government voted earlier this year to effectively scrap that system in favor of a privatebut also strictly regulatedsystem, targeting the flow of legal marijuana into the black market and shedding Health Canadas role in marijuana production. Health Canada will phase out the current system, under which it sells registered users marijuana grown by Prairie Plant Systems , by the end of March. Instead, starting Tuesday, medical marijuana users, or aspiring users, can send in an application directly to sanctioned corporate producers , along with a doctors note (or in some cases, a nurses note). If approved, they can place an order, pay the market price (the black market price is about $10 a gram; officials say the medical marijuana price will drop below that within a year), and wait for the secure courier to deliver their weed. (MORE: Majority of Americans Support Legalization of Marijuana ) There are nearly 40,000 people registered to use the drug under the current system in a country with a tenth the population of the U.S., and the government expects that number to balloonup to 450,000 by 2024and fuel what could become a $1.3 billion domestic pot industry. But the government expects that the privatized system, with only heavily-vetted producers (so far there are two licensed distributors, of at least 156 applications), will help ensure a higher level of oversight. Were fairly confident that well have a healthy commercial industry in time, Sophie Galarneau, a senior official with Health Canada, told the Canadian Press. Its a whole other ball game. The new regulations have failed to win over advocates for legalized marijuana, who have faced strong resistance from the conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In November, even as two states in the United States voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the Harper government passed strict minimum penalties for people who grow as few as six marijuana plants. They treat pot like its plutonium, says Blair Longley, head of the single-issue Marijuana Party that fielded five candidates in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Speaking to TIME, Longley says hes concerned the market-based system, whichnixes the right to cheaply grow marijuana at home, will make marijuana less affordable for patients.
TD Canada Trust celebrates grand opening of new branch in Saskatoon with a donation to Confederation Park Community School
As part of TD Canada Trust’s extended hours the branch is open Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm ; Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ; Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm ; and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm . The new branch is wheelchair accessible and features a full-service Green Machine ATM and drive-through ATM available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The $5,000 donation to Confederation Park Community School outdoor garden and outdoor classroom project is part of TD’s strong commitment to the environment and the community. Funds will be used to maintain the gardens and the purchase of seeds, plants and equipment. About TD Canada Trust TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: www.tdcanadatrust.com . TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America . About TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Since 1990, TD FEF has provided more than $60 million in funding to more than 21,000 environmental projects across Canada . In 2012, TD FEF provided more than $4.8 million in support of 1,089 projects. Thousands of donors give to TD FEF on a monthly basis and TD Bank Group contributes in excess of $1 million annually.