How Recreational Cannabis will work in Canada
Canada is not too far away from voting on Cannabis legalization for recreational use. A task force was set in motion, consisting of half women, half men on the panel to advise the government how best to let this happen. The task force literally talked to everyone over a broad spectrum from provincial to municipal government, indigenous people, the youth, patients, representatives from other countries related to the cannabis industry and health experts to form an opinion.
Now, 2017, the time has come. Soon Canadians can vote and here are a few factors that can speed up the process:
With the successful legalization in states in the neighboring U.S., Canada has a model to follow that would make it slightly easier to legalize for recreational purposes.
Voting is to be scheduled for as early as spring of this year, 2017.
There is a great support for people who want to smoke cannabis legally. After Forum Polls were run, and estimate 900 000 Canadians said they would smoke Cannabis when it is legal for recreational use. This is apart from those already smoking or using for medicinal purposes.
The Prime Minister, Trudeau, believes that legalization and regulation will keep the youth safe. He believes decriminalization is not the answer as it would make the lives of drug offenders just easier.
What can be expected after legalization?
You will have to be 18 years old to be able to use cannabis for recreational purposes. This coincides with the legal age for drinking alcohol. Just like for tobacco, Cannabis advertising will only be allowed to be promoted to adults. Cannabis packaging should also be plain and descriptive without misleading information encouraging overuse.
Advertising for therapeutic cannabis should be accurate within the Canadian law. No cannabis products should be appealing to children and packaging should always be childproof or child-resistant.
Cannabis can also under no circumstances be mixed with other substances. This means that there can be no cannabis-caffeine, alcohol-cannabis or tobacco-cannabis products.
There will be no error margin for illicit production risks. There will be strategies to keep consumption of potent marijuana products (high in THC) lower by selling them at higher prices.
The usual tax and price schedules will be intact and inter-province-and-territory communication systems will be in place. Cannabis monitoring and research programs will be running and there will also be workplace impairment policies.
What other perks are expected?
Canadians will only be able to grow four marijuana plants per household. There is also a restriction on the height; cannot be higher than 100 cm. The plants have to be kept in a secure place where easy access is not possible to prevent stealing the plants. Children should also not have easy access to the plants. Local law enforcement will also have the authority to oversee growth in need be.
A person of legal age would be able to carry 30 grams of dried cannabis with him/her.
Cannabis and alcohol will not be able to be sold in the same retail area.
Where will recreational Cannabis be sold?
There is still uncertainty in where exactly recreational cannabis will be sold once it is legalized. It is left up to the provinces and there is only vague response up until now. It can’t be sold in liquor stores, and it is unclear if it would be able to be sold in government-run stores, private stores of pharmacies.
Some suggest independent storefronts and the Federal panel suggests that it could be sold through the mail as well, more so for those far away in rural areas to also have access.
What is the overall expectation for business?
Everyone sees the great opportunity that recreational cannabis will spark. A whole new business industry is ready to take off and an estimate of $22.6 billion could be earned. It is possible that recreational cannabis could overshadow the liquor and tobacco industry combined in the first year already.
To satisfy the recreational cannabis market, a whole lot more weed than currently is grown for medicinal purposes will have to be produced. A great number of business opportunities will be available on all fronts, including retail. This could benefit the private and government sector both in an enormous way.
Where in Canada cannabis legalization falls under federal jurisdiction, the government has a different viewpoint on legalization than the government of the USA. The Canadian government believes it better to legalize cannabis for recreational use as it costs the government too much spending on arrests for minor crimes like possession. They also believe that the current system of prohibition failed and legalization would be more beneficial.
With this mindset, legalization is just a formality and soon to happen. Canada is also a key player in the international cannabis scene, seeing that this will be one of the first “First world countries” to embrace full legalization. This could be the domino that sparks an international shift.
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