Tag: Canada

Industry Experts Say Canada’s Legalization Will Start With Online Sales

Cannabis industry experts in Canada are saying that provinces will more than likely not be ready for retail sales come legalization day. Instead, Canadians may only be able to buy their legal weed online and have it shipped or mailed to their place of residence.

Trina Fraser is a lawyer who specializes in cannabis business law, she recently outlined the significant regulatory work that still needs to be accomplished before stores can stock marijuana and its related products. “There’s an impression by the public that we’ll just flip a switch, and suddenly all these products that were previously illegal are going to be legal,” said Fraser.

Fraser corroborated this statement by alluding to the tight timeline that already exists in Parliament, just to legalize in the first place. Bill C-45 has passed its second reading and will now be examined by the Standing Committee on Health this coming fall.

The bill must pass both the House and Senate before provinces can finalize their own rules around distribution, retail, age limits, and various other details.

“To say that in the course of eight or nine months, [the provinces] are going to introduce and pass legislation, and regulations, and implement an entirely new industry that doesn’t exist today, I just don’t see how that will happen,” said Fraser.

Fraser and other industry insiders believe that online sales will be easier to implement right away because medical cannabis growers are already selling their products within that system.

Internet-based cannabis sales were something Prime Minister Trudeau also stated would be available if any province was not ready, or even unwilling, to set up some sort of retail distribution method on the ground.

“If they decide they don’t want to bring legislation forward, we will make [marijuana]available through a federal system, probably on the internet,” the Prime Minister told VICE News. “Our system will be accessible for all who do not have a system in their province.”

Vic Neufeld is the CEO of Ontario-based licensed producer (LP) Aphria; Neufeld agrees with his industry colleagues. “This journey, with three levels of government, is so complex, and there is no template they can steal from. They have to start from scratch,” he said. Neufeld predicts that the rollout of retail stores will happen gradually over time.

The Standing Committee on Health passed a motion last week to begin discussing Bill C-45 the week of September 11-15, one week before the House returns from summer break.

 

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Rebel With a Cause: The One Conservative Who Voted For Legal Pot

The legalization of marijuana in Canada has brought about many questions throughout the process. What will the final age limit be? Where will marijuana be sold? And will there be restrictions on advertising for pot companies?

The only aspect of this enigmatic experience that we have been able to predict is where the political party lines have been drawn on the issue.

The Liberals, of course, want to pass their bill and make marijuana legal for all adults. The New Democrats (NDP) want to do the same, but also eliminate arrests and convictions for possession immediately. The Conservative Party has been historically predictable, not wanting to legalize at all.

That goes for all Conservatives except one.

During the second reading of Bill C-45, Conservative MP Scott Reid was the only outlier among the group, voting in favour of legalization. This change is a refreshing outlook amongst a sea of unsurprising dissension from Reid’s party on the issue.

“We have a policy as a party that possession of marijuana should be a ticket offense,” said Reid in an interview with Marijuana.com. “There’s what the party supports, and there are my own views, which are two separate things.”

Reid goes on to explain that he has been of the mind for quite some time that marijuana should be legal for adults. “I’ve been an advocate of marijuana legalization since before the beginning of my political career. My own view is based on being a libertarian and believing that we should not have victimless crimes. Also, having a safe supply and ending the existence of revenue sources for organized crime is a good thing.”

Regardless of Reid’s difference in opinion with his party, he has never received any pressure from them to change his mind and join their ranks on the issue. “This is not new for me, I published a paper in 2001. Within a year of my first election, it was widely known that I was an advocate of marijuana legalization. Not decriminalization but of full legalization. People have respectfully disagreed, but [other than that] it has never been a problem.”

Now that the bill has passed the second reading with the help of Reid, he will be developing a questionnaire for his constituents to ask how they feel he should vote in what will be the third and final reading of the bill. “In the third reading, you have the bill in its final form. That is the appropriate point at which to say to your constituents, is it what you want, is it good enough?”

Even before posing the question to the citizens Reid represents, he is already unsatisfied with some points of the bill. “Right now the contemplative legislation proposes the age of 18 as the age at which it will be legal to consume cannabis. Others have proposed a higher age, including myself. I’ve proposed 21 as being preferable.” Reid added that he also feels that liquor and cannabis should not be sold together, which was an option that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne supported. “They are not products that should be sold [together]for public health reasons.”

Despite the challenges Reid has with the bill, the Conservative Member voted for C-45 because he believes in the bigger picture. Seemingly, the most challenging part for Reid was not voting for what he believed in, but being applauded by the Liberals when doing so. “Having voted against my party on a number of occasions, I never enjoy [applause from the opposition],” he said. “I’ve talked to people from multiple parties who have voted against party lines and it is always an uncomfortable feeling when it happens, just because of the partisan nature of the House.”

As the Trudeau government steamrolls forward with its plan to change the history of prohibition, it’s clear that the issue of pot legalization creates strange bedfellows. But amongst the exciting and chaotic times we Canadian pot lovers live in, one thing is clear. Marijuana is going to be legal in Canada thanks to the powers that be and people like MP Scott Reid, who stood up in a sea of Conservatives and voted against their collective mindset.

Well done Scott Reid, well done.

Cover Image Courtesy of CBC

 

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Legal Cannabis Took Another Big Step Forward in Canada This Week

Yesterday, the famed Bill C-45 took another step forward in Canada’s Parliament by successfully completing its second reading in the debate process. This legislation, which will usher in a whole new era of cannabis reform for Canadians, passed with a 200-76 vote. The bill will now be sent to Canada’s Standing Committee on Health (HESA), […]

 

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