Ottawa: Past pot conviction won’t automatically prevent entry to cannabis industry

Canadian officials say individuals with past convictions for possession or even trafficking of cannabis will not automatically be excluded from participating in the burgeoning pot industry. (File image via Canadian Press)
Canadian officials say individuals with past convictions for possession or even trafficking of cannabis will not automatically be excluded from participating in the burgeoning pot industry. (File image via Canadian Press)

OTTAWA — The federal government is imposing strict regulations aimed at ensuring organized crime doesn’t infiltrate the recreational marijuana market once cannabis becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

But officials say that doesn’t mean individuals with past convictions for possession or even trafficking of cannabis will automatically be excluded from participating in the burgeoning pot industry.

Key personnel involved in a company that applies for a Health Canada licence to grow, process or distribute cannabis will have to receive security clearances.

Officials say each case will be assessed individually to determine if a person has any connection to organized crime or otherwise poses a risk to public security but a past pot conviction, in itself, won’t necessarily disqualify someone.

The regulations, unveiled today, include a tracking and licensing system aimed at monitoring the movement of cannabis from producers to retailers to ensure that none is diverted to the black market.

And they spell out detailed requirements for selling marijuana in plain, child-proof packages that carry mandatory health warnings, information about potency and a symbol intended to alert consumers that the product contains cannabis.

The Canadian Press

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