Monday April 3, 2017
You may have heard in the news recently that Canada is quite the hot topic when it comes to cannabis. Marijuana in Canada has a rich history, but not without its battles with the law. Even though discussion of legalization is in the air, there are still raids being conducted and marijuana industry owners and employees being put behind bars. With an unpredictable approach to cannabis, it is evident that something has got to give. So what can we expect to see from our neighbors to the north in regards to marijuana legalization in Canada? Hopefully nothing but positives.
On the heels of several raids and arrests, most notably Marc Emery and his Cannabis Culture pot shops, there is hope for marijuana enthusiasts in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has expressed his interest in creating regulated and restricted access to marijuana to keep it out of hands of children and criminals, but until the regulations and laws are finalized he has stated that the current rules and laws are in full effect. This explains the raids and scrutiny towards cannabis businesses across the country.
Canadian Marijuana, Legal?
While current laws remain in effect, recent announcements have brought light to a Liberal Government plan to legalize marijuana once and for all. The legalization of recreational marijuana would mark a historic moment for the cannabis industry, as Canada would become the largest nation to end marijuana on a nationwide scale. According to an anonymous senior government official, the legalization could take place as early as July 2018.
Although unofficial at this moment, Prime Minister Trudeau and the Liberal Government are expected to make an official announcement concerning the legalization in early April. The announcement is believed to have been spurred on by the Canadian marijuana task force, which recently recommended that legalization occur nationwide.
In regard to proposed Canadian marijuana possession limits, the task force recommended that adults should be allowed to possess and carry up to 30 grams of cannabis and cultivate up to four plants.
In addition to the possession limits, the task force has also made recommendations for higher taxes on products with heightened potency and cannabis lounges or clubs for adults to safely consume their cannabis.
What to Expect Moving Forward
When discussing legalization efforts for Canadian marijuana, patience is of the essence. Establishing rules and regulations for a legal market can be challenging (as evidenced by some states in the U.S.) and take several years to implement. Even though an announcement may be made later this month confirming the plan to legalize marijuana in Canada, it is hard to put much faith behind a July 2018 rollout. Don’t get us wrong, we want to believe it more that anyone, but we don’t want anyone to get high hopes only to be let down, either.
We do know one thing, however. Canada has an existing infrastructure of cannabis dispensaries and businesses, which may make the transition and implementation much easier. Additionally, there is a medical market in Canada as well, which will help lawmakers make decisions based on reference and comparison. They may also take a page from America’s book and consider some of the aspects of the U.S. cannabis industry. Needless to say, there are a lot of resources out there for the Canadian government to turn to. One thing is for certain, legal marijuana would make Canada quite the travel destination for tourists from across the globe. Until then, it’s all eyes on our northern neighbors to see what type of recreational marijuana rollout Canada has in store.