Marijuana Canada: Here’s The Naked Truth

Before Reading: Marijuana Canada, is sold to you right here on MJN Express.

It’s been slightly over a year since weed was legalized in Canada, marking the end of the prohibition era. This was a watershed moment as Canada became the first G7 nation to make the bold move. 

The journey has been anything but a walk in the park, in fact, it’s been one of failed promises and crushed hopes. But the marijuana Canada community has shown enduring resilience and determination to overcome the growing pains, in the spirit of “stick-to-it-iveness.” Anyway, Canadians are not known to give up easily, especially not in the full glare of a global audience that’s eager to pour out scathing ridicule.

This is how it all began.

1.0       Marijuana Legalization: Where It All Began

The 1800s were good for cannabis enthusiasts in Canada as this was the pre-prohibition era. At this time, however, there was only a pocketful of people using the herb for recreational use. It was not until 1923 that cannabis was outlawed in Canada.

In 1969 the Le Dain Commission was formed and in 1972 the commission decriminalized cannabis cultivation and possession for personal use. The 1980s were not friendly for the cannabis community as there was a public outcry against the popularization of the marijuana lifestyle. However, the use of cannabis persisted into the 1990s with statistics indicating that teen use of the drug in Ontario increased by 28% from 1996 to 2000.

The 21st century birthed the legalization of medicinal cannabis in Canada. In 2001 the Canadian Medical Marijuana Access Regulations granted legal access to cannabis for patients with palliative conditions such as AIDS. Patients were divided into two categories:

Category 1 includes all palliative patients requiring end-of-life-care while category 2 includes patients with debilitating conditions.

2.0       When Will Marijuana Be Legal In Canada?

October 17th, 2018 was a big day, not just for Canadians but for the whole world as well. The legalization of weed drew the attention of the whole world, even countries that were yet to break-ice on the cannabis discussion were drawn to the moment. This was a great nation saying yes to pot, boldly and openly.

The marijuana Canada legalization was a moment that has been anticipated; several events were a build-up to the D-Day.

In April 2017, a bill to legalize cannabis was introduced to Parliament. The bill would allow for the use and possession of cannabis by adults in Canada. The bill was passed in June 2018 and was effected on October 17, 2018, making Canada the second nation after Uruguay to legalize recreational cannabis.

3.0 Legal Weed: What It Means For Canadians

The cannabis Act meant several things for Canadians. There are general rules that apply across all nine provinces and three territories. However, each province is allowed to set its by-laws and procedures on how marijuana Canada legalization will be rolled-out within its borders. Legal weed Canada has a history. Here is a breakdown:

The cannabis Act meant several things for Canadians. There are general rules that apply across all nine provinces and three territories. However, each province is allowed to set its by-laws and procedures on how marijuana Canada legalization will be rolled-out within its borders. Here is a breakdown:

·    Age limit: 19 is the age limit in all the provinces but Alberta. Quebec may raise the age limit to 21.

  • Possession limits: Adults are allowed to possess a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis at any given time. Adults can also make cannabis-infused foods and beverages so long as they do not use organic solvents in the process.  
  • Growing: Adults are allowed to grow a maximum of 4 plants per residence from licensed seeds or seedlings. However, this does not apply to residents of Quebec and Manitoba.

This is it for Canadians, in a nutshell. For those with a business inkling, each province or territory sets laws for licensing and the regulatory framework under which cannabis businesses may be operated. For now, the space is still fluid as marijuana legalization Canada takes shape. General rules for getting licensed include having a clean criminal and financial record and having an appropriate site. You can use this resource for more information.

The ride has been bumpy, to say the least, for cannabis enthusiasts and investors as well. At the start, the problem was a short supply of cannabis, this was “over addressed” and cultivators soon found themselves staring at mounds of cannabis lying idle on the farms.  Hiccups in the market led to cannabis stocks flaming out and most recently the vaping crisis in the US has dealt another blow to this nascent industry. The Canadian-next-door has good reason to feel short-changed. But again, the resilient spirit will carry the day eventually.

3.1 Revenue Canada: What It Means For the Government

Cannabis has been a growth driver for the Canadian government in the last one year. The industry added $8.26B to Canada’s GDP in 2018. Additionally, the industry had created 9,200 jobs by August 2019; it’s not been all loss.

Marijuana Canada legalization has opened doors for funds to be channeled to cannabis research. This will be of benefit to the global health sector as medicinal cannabis is poised to be a game-changer.

Most importantly, legalizing cannabis gave the government the leeway to shut black market cannabis. This means collecting full revenues from cannabis sales, ensuring safety standards in cannabis products, and restricting teen use of the drug.

This is all good on paper; unfortunately what’s currently on the ground is a stark contrast.

3.2      Legal Weed: What It Means For The Black Market

Black market cannabis sales are still rife and vibrant possibly due to significantly lower costs. Reports from Statistics Canada indicate that while a gram of cannabis in the legal market costs 9.7 Canadian dollars, a commensurate amount in the black market goes for 6.5 Canadian dollars. This is a 39.5% difference.

Lower prices in the black market have contributed to the slower-than-expected uptake of legal cannabis products.

Statistics Canada reported that black market sales accounted for 65% of the total cannabis sales in the last quarter of 2018. Even as of October 2019, legal sales of cannabis were still millions of dollars behind illegal sales. This is quite disturbing and the government needs to act speedily to change things from what they are.

4.0       Where To Buy Legal Weed In Canada

Rolling out a national cannabis system in a vast country with separate provincial governments is, at best, exacting. Planning and executing the nitty-gritty of where to buy legal weed in Canada has not been without its upheavals. Things are much better now and it appears that we could be out of the woods.

There are two options available when it comes to buying weed in Canada, legal of course. You could either buy from a brick-and-mortar store or make an order online.

Here are a few options:

All Provinces: Buy Weed Online, from MJN Express

Alberta: You can buy weed online or purchase from brick-and-mortar stores

British Columbia: You can buy weed online or purchase from a mix of government- and privately-run weed shops.

Manitoba: You can buy weed online from privately run websites or purchase from privately run weed shops.

New Brunswick: You can buy weed online or purchase from the government-run brick-and-mortar weed store.

Newfoundland and Labrador: You can buy weed online from privately run websites or purchase from privately run weed shops

Nova Scotia: You can buy weed online or from government-run weed shops.

Every Canadian province has a website that outlines where one can legally buy weed. The rules outline:

  • How cannabis can be sold
  • Where it can be sold
  • How cannabis stores must be operated
  • Who can sell cannabis

4.1 Where To Buy Weed In Ontario

In Ontario, you can buy weed online from the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS.ca) or alternatively from a privately run authorized retailer.

The first brick-and-mortar stores opened doors in Ontario in April 2019. Now it is possible to buy weed legally from different sources apart from OCS.

However, all weed stores must be licensed and can only be supplied by the OCS.

The AGCO regulates retail sales of cannabis in Ontario. The regulatory framework ensures that public safety is maintained at all costs.

4.2 Liquor Control Board Ontario (LCBO)

Initially, the LCBO was to be the only vendor of recreational cannabis to the public in Ontario. However, this was changed in 2018 to allow brick and mortar stores to be operated privately.  

The OCS is no longer under the LCBO but is now under the Ministry of Finance’s jurisdiction.

5.0 Marijuana Canada: Challenges

The journey of marijuana legalization in Canada has not been without challenges. Many Canadians had expected a smooth rollout, but this did not happen.

Challenges have included demand and supply imbalances, poor prices, unfavorable laws and regulations for vendors, and a largely unregulated market.

Cannabis banking is still a thorny issue and so is financing for cannabis businesses.

A lack of adequate public education is yet another issue.

As a result, skepticism abounds and the prices of cannabis stocks keep dwindling.

6.0 Marijuana Canada: What’s Ahead?

The journey has been long and tiresome. All the same, there’s a reason to remain optimistic. Who would have imagined that such a day (as of October, 17th 2018) would ever be a reality?

But since the day was witnessed by all and sundry, the growing pain of the marijuana industry in Canada will soon be a thing of the past.

6.1 Marijuana News Globally

The latest news has had to do with the vaping crisis. Cannabis was implicated in this, but not entirely held liable. Some reliable sources have cited a contaminant added to black-market weed to be the trigger for the vaping crisis. The jury is still out on this; unfortunately, this did a number on the marijuana industry on a global scale.

6.2 Marijuana News Canada

There appears to be a silver lining on the horizon as the country recently legalized higher margin cannabis products. This includes cannabis-infused edibles, beverages, and extracts.

More weed stores are set to open throughout the country and this will hopefully boost cannabis sales, revenue collection and create massive job opportunities in the country.  

 Sources

1.   Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_Canada

2.   Government of Canad. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medication/cannabis/laws-regulations/provinces-territories.html

3.   CNN Business. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/08/investing/cannabis-stocks/index.html

4.   CNN Health. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/03/health/vaping-illness-1000-bn/index.html

5.   OCS. Retrieved from https://ocs.ca/

6.   AGCO. Retrieved from https://www.agco.ca/content/registrars-standards-cannabis-retail-stores

7.   BNN Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/hash-hot-drinks-candy-the-17-pot-products-canadians-could-buy-when-edibles-become-legal-1.1249339

8.   CNN Health. Retrieved from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/08/health/vaping-injury-vitamin-e-thc-bn/index.html

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