by April Viente

Our neighbors to the north are making major money moves when it comes to cannabis. Although the United States is progressive in many ways, our drug policies are outdated. In 2018, Canada will join the short list of countries with complete marijuana legalization. I am talking about every city and province…full countrywide legalization. Uruguay is the other country to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In the United States, there are currently 29 states and the District of Columbia that have laws legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational use.

Marijuana legalization and its prospects in Canada

Legalizing marijuana is going to have an impact on the Canadian economy. Whether the impact will be positive or negative, is still up for debate. One thing is for sure, there will be no argument among supporters or critics when Canadian employment rates, tourism, and GDP increase because of marijuana legalization. As an American “pothead”, it will be interesting to see the impact Canada’s legislation has on the United States.

From a financial standpoint, marijuana legalization allows Canadians to approach the USA market to satisfy their demand. Keep in mind, although nearly 30 states have legalized marijuana, the drug is regulated under the state law and cannot be legally transported from one state into another. Canada and United States have the potential to turn green to gold.

What you need to know about the proposed Cannabis Act

The proposed Cannabis Act would create a legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada.

The Act seeks to:

  • Restrict youth access to cannabis;
  • Protect young people from promotion or enticements to use cannabis;
  • Deter and reduce criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those breaking the law, especially those who import, export or provide cannabis to youth;
  • Protect public health through strict product safety and quality requirements;
  • Reduce the burden on the criminal justice system;
  • Provide for the legal production of cannabis to reduce illegal activities;
  • Allow adults to possess and access regulated, quality controlled legal cannabis; and
  • Enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis.

If the Cannabis Act becomes law, adults who are 18 years or older would be able to legally:

  • Possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or equivalent in non-dried form;
  • Share up to 30 grams of cannabis with other adults;
    • Purchase dried or fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer (In those provinces that have not yet or choose not to put in place a regulated retail framework, individuals would be able to purchase cannabis online from a federally-licensed producer);
  • Grow up to 4 cannabis plants, up to a maximum height of 100cm, per residence for personal use from licensed seed or seedlings; and
  • Make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home provided that organic solvents are not used.

Other products, such as edibles, would be made available for purchase once appropriate rules for their production and sale are developed. As with any new legislation there will be pros and cons.  However, the beauty of going through the process of marijuana legalization is, we can be high while we wait.

Remember folks, this article is not intended to be legal or medical advice. Please consult your state officials or medical practitioner for more information. Until next time, stay irie friends!

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