24 Nov Marijuana Legalization in Canada
Everything You Need to Know
When Canada first made weed illegal back in 1923, they were one of the first countries in the world to ban cannabis production, sales, and consumption. In the 94 years since this decision much debate has centred on changing this outdated law.
With the recent introduction of the Liberals into Federal Government, they campaigned heavily to introduce the legalization of marijuana in Canada. Looking at their website they are still on track to deliver this promise and we can expect formal legalization by Spring 2017 according to Canada’s Health Minister Jane Philpott.
The Liberals have slipped some suggestions to the media but there is still vast amounts of speculation surrounding the current proposals for the new Marijuana Act. So what can we expect and how will this new legislation affect Canadian cannabis culture?
Distribution in Canada
The biggest issue surrounding Marijuana legalization is where it will be sold and who is going to maintain and secure the distribution channels. The media has picked up a lot of institutional momentum for the creation of networks similar to the LCBO in Canada. They are unsure if you will be able to buy your pot and liquor in the same place but you can be certain the government will regulate this market in the same way as alcohol.
There is too much money to be lost if the government doesn’t control the supply channels themselves. Allowing private distribution through Mom and Pop shops doesn’t make sense for the government because it will be harder for them to monitor and tax the sales. Therefore, you can expect to see the MCBO opening Summer 2017.
Who Are The Big Cannabis Companies?
Weed Stocks haven’t been soaring for nothing in Canada. Investors and market traders are very adept when it comes to predicting future market trends. The current black market in Canada for Cannabis is valued around $7,000,000,000 (7 Billion) and investment firms have been buying up tons of guaranteed stocks from current weed companies like Aphria (APH) and Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC). You can anticipate these companies to be the new Molson’s of the Marijuana world. Check out some of their strains and brands below.
How much is legal weed going to cost?
If we look at the current tax on beer we can gauge a similar outlook on marijuana tax. We currently pay about 60-80 cents/L of beer depending on the volume purchased. Let’s assume they tax 1g of weed comparable to 1L of beer. At the current base rate of $10 per gram from Aphria, we could expect 60-80cents per gram in marijuana tax but this would not include your HST.
Therefore, buying one gram of pot from the MCBO would cost $12.42 with HST. This doesn’t seem too unreasonable considering the marijuana will be regulated and you can buy the exact strain you want. Also with government regulation it would be nice to see reliable organic and pesticide free brands, because smoking all those pesticides is going to catch up with us soon.
UOttawa forecasts that Canadians consume 770,700Kg of marijuana per year. For $2.42/g that is 1,865,094,000 (1.86 Billion) in government revenue from marijuana tax annually. Hopefully this is enough to keep our politicians in Ottawa happy because anything over $15/gram is going to push a large percentage of people back to the black market.
Weed and Driving
One of the biggest sticking points for many politicians and anti-marijuana advocates is policing the roads for high drivers. How this will be implemented is uncertain but many new technologies for roadside THC testing are appearing all over Canada and the United States. Check the links below for some of these products. How they will work, what amount of THC will be legal and penalties still remain in a grey area.
These technologies test for THC up to 12 hours previous to testing so if you smoke a joint the night before work you could be dinged with a DUI in the morning. This is still speculative of the technology in place but expect them to be more harsh then lenient. Buying all this new technology for every police force in Canada will not come cheap so the fines will help them balance their books.
Growing Your Own Pot
Currently medical marijuana patients are able to grow their own pot for personal consumption. I would expect heavy taxation on marijuana seeds and tight regulation on the amount of plants you can personally grow. With the flood of applications to Health Canada to become a legal weed producer it’s unlikely that you will be able to turnkey commercial production from your own home. Just sell around your neighbourhood 😉
If you have any comments or insights on the current marijuana process in Canada please comment below or tag us in a post on Instagram or Facebook. Weed The North!