Canada legalized recreational marijuana October 2018, bringing Canada in line with four US states.
Now that the Harper government’s tough stance has been defeated, is Canada getting back on track?
According to The Washington Post, “legalization was an important, and largely symbolic, victory for supporters of legalizing marijuana, even though legalization may not have had any effect on reducing drug consumption.” “Now, it’s time to get back to the hard work of figuring out how to ensure the drug’s legalization is done responsibly and can succeed in protecting public health,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project.
On January 1st, 2018, the number of Canadians who use marijuana will surpass the number of adults aged 18 to 24.
According to Statistics Canada, between 2014 and 2015, “nearly three-quarters of Canadians aged 15 to 44 used marijuana at some time in the year.” The number of young adults who use marijuana in Canada is almost four times greater than among Canadians aged 45 to 64 years old.
The next steps to marijuana legalization will involve state-by-state legalization with varying degrees of federal involvement. But for the most part, the federal government will continue to control marijuana legalization and it will also continue to have a role in promoting healthy, active living. In 2017, a full-on commercial marijuana industry is expected to hit the market and bring hundreds of millions of dollars into Canadian coffers.
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“The new state-based system provides a level of stability and control that current efforts at developing and implementing a medical marijuana regime cannot. It will also help to meet the international obligations to eliminate the criminal market in marijuana,” stated Jonathan Page, executive director of the Canadian Institute for Health Information. “Although the federal government will still play a significant role in controlling the market, we are confident that the state-based system will be a more comprehensive solution,” added Page. Although most Americans will be able to buy marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana shop more than a dozen states, including Canada, have legalized the substance not all Americans will be able to legally grow and buy marijuana. Only eight states have legalized recreational use of marijuana in the other 25, there is a federal ban.
The federally licensed marijuana stores will be located in states where the drug is legal, although Washington state will be the first to have pot shops open for business on Jan. 1. Those in Colorado, Oregon and Alaska will start serving customers by July 1, 2014.
“There’s a lot of growing and we’ll be ready to roll in the fall,” said Mike Elliott, CEO of Denver-based Dixie Elixirs & Edibles.
Most people in the United States will not be able to legally grow their own cannabis plants, meaning some people who might have wanted to grow their own marijuana will have to go to a retail shop that will buy it from them, which is not a problem, because there will be plenty of options to choose from. If you want to learn everything about this topic, there’s information available from i49.net.
“It’s all very similar to alcohol except we’re not selling it to minors,” said Elliott. Retailers will not have to be licensed as alcohol producers, because they will not be selling to individuals under 21 years old. The first dispensary to open in Colorado on Jan. 1 was the Launch Cannabis Dispensary in Denver, whose business model is based on being the first to open. The Denver Post reported that Launch sold out of its first batch of marijuana by the middle of January, and the store was selling more than 100 pounds per day