Over the last 20 years, public opinion has shifted in favour of decriminalizing marijuana. In fact, a 2015 Forum Research poll found that a whopping 68% of Canadians are in favour of relaxing regulations.
In the 2015 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada recognized that the current prohibition approach to marijuana is not working and committed to legalizing, regulating and restricting access by April 2017. In June 2016, the long-awaited task force, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, was announced, with a mandate to design a new framework for legalization and regulation. The report will be delivered in November 2016 and legislation is slated to be introduced in the spring of 2017.
Provinces and territories across Canada are starting to publicly reveal their proposed legislation regarding how, and to whom, marijuana is sold and regulated.
Although Alberta is recommending the minimum age coincide with the existing legal drinking age of 18, who will be able to sell it is still very much up in the air, and there are mixed reactions from both the public and private sectors. The good part? They’re asking Albertans to weigh in to help make final decisions.
As the date for marijuana legalization looms closer, some post-secondary institutions are looking to better equip young entrepreneurs who are looking to set up shop in the industry.
Niagara College in Southern Ontario will offer a program launching in the fall of 2018, while a community college in New Brunswick already offers a horticultural course that teaches students the skills they’ll need to work in the unchartered trade of commercial cannabis.
With next year’s pending legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada, and the myriad of still unanswered questions surrounding it, some local growers in the Kootenays worry about their long-standing businesses that account for approximately 40% of Canada’s weed supply.
Green Room Society’s president and CEO, Frederick Pels, weighs in on the possible implications of privatizing the industry.
With the onset of legalized marijuana use in Canada on the horizon, you’d need more than binoculars right now to see it for all the unanswered questions still standing in its way. Inquiring minds, and private dispensaries like Green Room, want to know, “whose responsibility is it anyway?”
As you can see from the table above, there are many aspects of legalization to consider, and many levels of government to get involved. The federal government, for example, will focus on the “bigger picture” facets, such as establishing possession limits, advertising and packaging, production and age requirements.
Provincial governments will be tasked with establishing workplace safety rules, retail models and regulations around distribution and wholesaling, while working in tandem with the federal government on laws around impaired driving, public health, education and taxation.
Working with MADD CEO Andrew Murie, Green Room is helping determine how to effectively track the offense of impaired driving and discussing potential risks before they become a safety concern for its clients, and the public at large.
Municipal governments will also have a say in education and taxation, and will cover retail locations and rules, laws around public consumption of cannabis and cannabis products and land use/zoning laws for production facilities and dispensaries.
Green Room has already taken measures to ensure the safety of their customers, and their staff. They are currently developing their own code of conduct, comprehensive training manual, child-resistant packaging and processes for mandatory criminal record checks to correspond with all levels of government.
While the Government of Canada moves forward with its legislation to legalize marijuana in 2018, there are still discussions and popular debate about what the effects might be. But for fun, let’s look at some celebrities who’ve offered an opinion on this subject. From Barbra Streisand to the Dalai Lama, read about their, and other prominent folks’, personal reasons why they say “yes” to legalization.