Cannabis is now Legalized in Canada
Canada has made the leap of legalizing recreational cannabis across the country. They are the first country in the G7 to legalize marijuana nationwide, and the second country in the world to do so, following in Uruguay’s footsteps. The Canada Cannabis Act went live this October.
Part of the rationale behind legalizing cannabis has been to regulate and tax it, and “get it out of our children’s hands,” according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who recently stated how “the war on drugs is not working.” This indicates that far from making Canada an open playing field for easy cannabis use and access, the move has been made in an effort to regulate the circulation of the drug, reduce risks associated with negligent use and transactions which occur outside of the government’s periphery.
More control also means more quality control, and this has translated to a plethora of cannabis-related products which are now flooding the market to appeal to a more discerning marijuana clientele – from cannabis-infused sauvignon to coffee. Legalization could open up massive opportunities for investors in these plant products, and commercial demands for cannabis has already spiked. Trudeau has also hinted at the possibility of removing the federal ban on interstate trade.
Legalizing cannabis is also hoped to reduce the number of drug-related crimes. Meanwhile, in countries where cannabis is not legalized, death rates are also high as a result of skunk marijuana being consumed and sold on the market, in Britain especially. Canada is now set to offer over 100 legal cannabis shops nationwide to its 37 million inhabitants, although stores in Ontario and Toronto aren’t set to open until next spring 2019. In the meantime, Canadians can order cannabis products online and even enjoy delivery to their doorsteps.
However, all businesses and individuals who wish to sell or provide cannabis products must apply for a license to do so. The government website provides all the steps and information necessary, and reaffirms that “Health Canada is now accepting applications from those who want to become a cannabis license holder under the Act.” Consumers also must be careful when taking their legally bought cannabis products across the border into the US, and to pay particular attention when crossing the border at Vermont. A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection reminds the public that marijuana remains an illegal substance under US federal laws, and that
“Crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and arrest.”
Meanwhile, Canadians don’t look as if they are rushing anywhere with their newly legalized treasure, as the country is already experiencing shortages following the recent change in legislation. The demand and popularity is good news for cannabis farmers and those who have dreamed of opening up legal stores in their home country. CNBC is carrying out reports on the most popular marijuana stocks, in anticipation of a continued rise in interest in this booming industry which is now reaching the traders on Wall Street.