Cannabis in Canada: how did we get here?

Andrew Cummings
October 19, 2018

Canada became the first industrialized nation to legalize recreational cannabis on Wednesday, but a lawful buzz will be hard to come by in its biggest cities like Toronto and Vancouver, where stores are not yet open.

Canadian ministers are considering a measure that would allow Canadians convicted of "minor pot" offenses - like simple possession - to request an official pardon from the Canadian government now that marijuana is legal across the country.

It is hoped legalising the drug will raise C$400m a year in tax revenue.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made legalising the drug a 2015 election promise in a bid to take the market away from organised crime. Pot-infused edible products will become legal in another year.

"Seeing cannabis shoppers wait in lines as opposed to take the traditional easy illegal supply route is refreshing and bodes well for the recreational market in Canada", he said. Peterson took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal this week urging President Donald Trump to help ease prohibition and eliminate hurdles for the US pot industry before Canada leaves it even farther behind. US immigration agents may even choose to ban Canadians from entering the country if they admit to smoking pot, even if they are entering states where it is legal, such as Washington. But because the country uses US dollars, its legal marijuana sellers can not tap into USA -regulated financial systems such as USA banks or the major credit card networks, which are forbidden from handling drug money.


That offers other countries a model somewhere between the more strictly regulated system in Uruguay, the only other country with legal sales, and the more commercial version in some of the nine US states that have approved recreational marijuana.

A recent report on the sales of cannabis-infused food and drink products, jointly published by two of the sector's research firms Arcview and BDS Analytics, found that the industry has great potential for growth.

You can now purchase, possess, and consume marijuana produced and sold by licensed growers and retailers, a change that brings an end to Canada's 95-year prohibition on pot through government regulations and restrictions.

Ontario, home to Canada's most populous city, Toronto, will have no stores until April 2019 due to a change in the province's retail model by a new provincial government.

Six marijuana stores were open on the first day of legalization October 17, of 51 locations with permits.


One in five Canadian teens and almost one in three young adults reported using cannabis in 2015, "some of the highest rates in the world", the Canadian government said.

For now, cannabis can only be purchased through the government-run online portal, and Fedeli noted that any orders placed through the site would not yet have been delivered.

The shipping fee will be $10 and the online orders will be shipped from the LDB's distribution centre within 48 business hours of the order being placed. Canadians are only allowed four marijuana plants per residence. We just made history.

To give you an idea of how much items will cost here's a comparison of the three different strains offered (Indica, Sativa, Hybrid) and organized them by price from lowest to highest.

Cam Battley, chief corporate officer of Aurora Cannabis, also one of Canada's largest cannabis companies, said it's not every day you get to be involved in the start of a new industry.


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