Canada makes final preparations before Marijuana Legalisation

Derivative products such as edibles, cosmetics and e-cigarette products containing pot will not be allowed until 2019.

Published: 12th October 2018 11:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2018 11:30 AM   |  A+A-

In this Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, photo, a clerk reaches for a container of marijuana buds for a customer at Utopia Gardens, a medical marijuana dispensary, in Detroit. (Photo | AP)

By AFP

MONTREAL: Canada on Friday will become the second country in the world to legalize cannabis -- with the provinces left to work out the details of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's landmark measure.

From October 17, Canadians will be allowed to grow, possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes -- five years after Uruguay passed pioneering legislation on the issue.

Derivative products such as edibles, cosmetics and e-cigarette products containing pot will not be allowed until 2019.

But nonetheless, legalization is expected to boost the Canadian economy, generating $816 million to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter -- without taking into account the black market, which is expected to account for a quarter of all joints smoked in Canada, according to Statistics Canada.

A $400 million tax revenue windfall is forecast as a result -- with the provinces, municipalities and federal government all getting a slice.

In total, Statistics Canada says 5.4 million Canadians will buy cannabis in legal dispensaries in 2018 -- about 15 percent of the population. 4.9 million already smoke.

In this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, bottles of maple syrup and olive oil infused with CBD marijuana extract are displayed for sale at the Village Bloomery medical cannabis dispensary in Vancouver, British Columbia. On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. (Photo | AP)

And the world will be watching how Canada gets on.

"There is a lot of interest from our allies in what we're doing," Trudeau, who has admitted to smoking cannabis himself a handful of times, told AFP in May.

"They recognize that Canada is being daring... and recognize that the current regime (of prohibition) does not work, that it's not preventing young people from having easy access to cannabis."

Provinces decide

Preparations are underway ahead of the reform, promised by Trudeau's Liberal Party, with businesses and local authorities forced to review their rules and regulations.

n this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, marijuana plants are shown growing in a massive tomato greenhouse being renovated to grow pot in Delta, British Columbia, that is operated by Pure Sunfarms, a joint venture between tomato grower Village Farms International, and a licensed medical marijuana producer, Emerald Health Therapeutics. On Oct. 17, 2018 (Photo | AP)

That's because even though the cannabis ban, in force since 1923, was overturned by the federal government, how legalization plays out in practice has been left to Canada's 10 provinces and three territories to decide.

Several have already said they will not fully implement the law. 

ALSO READ | Investors crave Marijuana stocks month before Canada legalises weed

For example, even though federal law will permit each household to grow up to four cannabis plants, central Manitoba and Quebec in the east say they will ban it -- and go all the way to the Supreme Court over the matter.

Like with alcohol and tobacco, the question of legal age also falls to the provinces. Nineteen seems to be the standard, but it is 18 in Alberta -- while Quebec, whose new government will enter office the day after legalization, wants to raise the age to 21.

With regards to sales, some provinces such as Quebec will implement a public monopoly -- while others, including Ontario and Nova Scotia, have decided to trust the market to the private sector.

As for law enforcement, federal police will be ordered to abstain for 28 days before working, as will police in Toronto. 

Officers in Montreal, however, are simply asked to not show up to work high.

Another issue for the provinces to mull over is open consumption, with Montreal deciding to impose the same rules as those for tobacco -- while people in other provinces will have to light up at home.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp