How the Canadian Cannabis Task Force Memo Could Affect the Market

Jackie Tortello

January 11th, 2017

Policy, Top News

A recent report from the Canadian Cannabis Task Force announced how the Canada recreational legalization could impact society, shape Canadian economy and influence the views of parents, children and medical researchers.

The Canadian Cannabis Task Force made 80 recommendations to the government. Some of those recommendations suggested that marijuana should be sold in public spaces like dispensaries and that it should be legal to smoke at indoor marijuana lounges and tasting rooms, according to a statement from Vice. The task force also mentioned that the legal smoking age should be 18-years-old and that Canadians should be allowed to possess a maximum of 30 grams of weed at any given time.

While the list of recommendations makes it easier for residents to obtain and consume marijuana, the decriminalization of marijuana has not been overlooked. The task force suggests that illegal production, trafficking, and selling to minors will still be punishable under the law. However, other offenses like possession will be decriminalized under the new regulations.  

The new rules also impacts how medical marijuana is cultivated for personal use in Canada. The task force acknowledges that banning at-home cultivation altogether would lead to increased criminalization and contribute to a market that could not be taxed. To further outline their plan, the task force looked at Alaska and Colorado, two states that recognize the necessity and demand of at-home cultivation. Instead of banning at-home cultivation altogether, some Canadians believe that charging a small licensing fee will help regulate at-home growers.

“Home cultivation should likely only be permitted for personal use when medical access to marijuana is required. Retail sale should likely not be permitted with home cultivation. Strict federal regulations will need to be implemented on the number of plants permitted per person and per household to ensure that large grow operations do not become prevalent,” according to a statement from the task force.

The task force also strives to minimize the risks associated with marijuana by acknowledging how it impacts public health. In order to minimize marijuana’s harm to society, the task force urges the Canadian government to prohibit marijuana from being marketed to children through advertisements. The task force also prohibits the creation of marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages and requires that all products with CBD and THC be labeled as such.

The new ruling also impacts how the existing medical marijuana framework in Canada as well as the people who are involved in the medical marijuana business. Only producers who are authorized to produce and sell to the public may sell or provide dried marijuana, fresh marijuana, cannabis oil, or starting materials to eligible persons, according to a statement from Health Canada. There are currently 37 facilities that are licensed to sell marijuana and marijuana-related products.

The existing medical marijuana framework outlined by the task force also affects existing licensed producers or those seeking a license. The first hurdle prospective producers must face is the application process. This process entails designating a person in charge, committing to a list of regulations and ensuring that the sale and consumption of marijuana will be regulated to authorized individuals only. This process often costs producers, or those seeking a license extensive amounts of time, effort and money.

“The raids need to stop,” said Abi Roach, the owner of Roach-O-Rama and Hot Box Cafe. “If they’re going to give licenses out to small business, why not start now… and let the city start getting ready.”

While the regulation and sale of marijuana in Canada still faces a number of hurdles, the regulations outlined by the task force represent a major step forward. Without regulation, it’s highly unlikely that the substance would ever be recognized as safe for public use. To learn more about Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry, sign-up for our free newsletter using the form to the right.

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