04.10.2017
policy

Canada Is About To Be Legally Lit

Recreational weed might be legal sooner than previously thought.

The Canadian marijuana industry has surely seen its share of ups and downs. Despite the ongoing shuttering of Toronto dispensaries and police raids on the Great White North’s pot shops, the government’s plan to legalize recreational weed use and sales will reportedly be unveiled on Thursday.

According to CBC News:

“A senior government source says the initial target of July 1, 2018 as the implementation date will be changed to ‘on or before July 1, 2018.’ . . The change reflects some internal concerns over legalizing a recreational drug on the country's birthday. Bill Blair, the Liberal government's point man on pot, told the Canadian Press he wanted the focus of Canada Day to be Canada—not cannabis.”

Canada already allows medical marijuana, and more than 100,000 patients currently use it, per the Canadian National Medical Marijuana Association. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to fulfill his campaign promise of legalizing recreational use of the drug. The move to an earlier date should be seen as good news by aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs and businesses already operating within the Canadian weed world.

“Our hope for the industry is that it becomes more inclusive and engaged between consumers and companies,” Ian Rapsey, Chief Creative Officer of cannabis-focused investment fund Nesta Co., previously told KINDLAND.

"Canadians have access to their medicine, brands are emerging and innovations are happening. However, the current landscape feels a bit like a hallway lined with doors: You know there are interesting things happening behind them, but you need to be invited in to find out what,” Rapsey said.

And through one of these doors is New Brunswick. Interestingly, the province––home to a mostly aging or elderly population demographic and waning economy––has preemptively embraced the cannabis industry and is betting big on the marijuana market’s cultivation sector as a major jobs creator.

“We’re very optimistic that we’ll see significant investments and significant jobs created in the province because of [legal cannabis],” Brian Gallant, the Liberal premier of New Brunswick said to The Guardian.

The provincial government has reportedly invested in a few marijuana-related startups––bets that could potentially pay out in large sums as early as next summer.

Age limits, retail regulations, and licensing requirements are all to be included in Thursday’s announcement.

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