Update: Since this post was originally published, there have been major developments in cannabis legislation in Canada. In October 2018, both recreational and medicinal marijuana became legal throughout the nation of Canada. For more information, see the specific cannabis laws and regulations here.
Things in Canada recently got a lot greener when the people elected new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A liberal backing the legalization of marijuana, Trudeau promised during his campaign that legalizing marijuana in Canada for recreational use would be one of the first things on his agenda when he took office. Well, folks, that time is here and many Canadians are wondering just what the future of legal marijuana is going to look like once implemented into action.
When legalization finally does actually go through, Canada will become the first developed nation to fully legalize marijuana for recreational use. So how’s it going to work and what should Canadians expect to see in the future of legal weed? The liberal party behind Trudeau is looking to figure out a “Canadian model” for legalization and will more than likely look towards Colorado and Washington to figure out how to make things work.
Some things Canadians are hoping to see as these changes come to fruition and they can buy pot legally? Here are five things Canadian cannabis culture is eager to see when marijuana is legal across the nation:
1. Permit Weed Dispensaries to Open Around the Country
Canada has a funky history of the way it deals with marijuana dispensaries. Currently, there are only around 100 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver, the only city in the entire country of Canada that’s been approved to do so. When marijuana is legalized, recreational dispensaries should be permitted to open across the country and regulated fairly. The existing network of dispensaries should also be able to operate freely and not be forced under the new laws to shut their doors.
2. Allow More Producers to Grow and Sell
Let’s get real here. There are only around 20 licensed producers in the entire country that are permitted to provide medical marijuana to some 40,000 licensed patients. If marijuana is indeed legal there will not only be a much greater demand than two dozen providers can manage, but anyone who wishes should be able to legitimately open a business that produces marijuana. Those who already do produce cannabis should be able to continue to do so both medically and recreationally.
3. Keep Taxes Low
If a government is truly intent on eliminating marijuana’s black market, they need to do everything they can to keep taxes low. Higher taxes on weed will drive consumers right back to the black market, where weed is often much cheaper to purchase. If taxes are high, which is tempting for a government that can make a lot of money off the plant, it’s going to keep people away from the legal market. Why buy an ounce at $350 in a dispensary when you can buy it on the street for $150? If Canada can’t compete with street prices, the black market is going to continue to flourish and legalization efforts will be in vain.
4. Let People Grow Their Own
There’s nothing more satisfying than smoking your own stash. If Trudeau really wants to see success with the legalization of marijuana, he needs to allow the citizens of his country to grow their own cannabis at home. In Colorado, residents of this pioneering state are allowed to grow up to six plants at home, either indoors under lights or outside as long as it’s not visible and secured in a fence or gate that locks. Canada could really use to follow in Colorado’s footsteps on this one, and by doing so will give all citizens the ability to have access to legal marijuana.
5. Pardon Prior Marijuana Convictions
It’s estimated that almost 600,000 citizens in Canada have a criminal record for something related to cannabis. If marijuana does become legal across the land, all prior marijuana convictions should be pardoned and taken off people’s records. It’s no secret that prohibition of pot has caused a lot of problems and given many otherwise upstanding citizens a criminal record. If it’s legalized, those who faced a guilty verdict in the past should be considered not guilty and relieved of any past marijuana “crime.”
If Canada can implement these changes, they’re likely to see great success with the legalization of recreational weed. If not, there’s no doubt Canadians are going to continue to fight the system until legal weed is, in fact, legal weed.
Update: Now that weed is in fact legal nationwide in Canada, you can buy weed online today at the lowest prices in the nation.
- Cannabis laws and regulations
- Canada just legalized recreational pot: Here’s what you need to know
- Liberals committed to legalizing marijuana