Now that we have received the new recommendations from the federal Task force on cannabis in Canada it’s time to see how these changes/recommendations will affect the average cannabis smoker in Canada. The first recommendation is that:
Sales should be restricted to those 18 and older, with a personal possession limit of 30 grams.
Now this was a big surprise to me because most U.S. states have set legal age at 21 years old. The Canadian Medical Association has recommended setting the age at 21, with strict limits on quantity and potency until 25. Clearly the task force did not agree with this recommendation. They believe that it will push those under the age of 21 to purchase cannabis by illegal means.
Personal I started smoking cannabis at age 18 so it seems very reasonable and fair. Most people start trying or experimenting with cannabis around this age. The only issue I have with the age is that cannabis now days is a lot more potent than the cannabis I started smoking. There will need to be regulations on potency and levels of THC to protect the new generation of cannabis smokers.
The task force has also recommended that:
While it says cannabis consumption for personal purposes should be legalized, the task force recommends criminal penalties for illicit production and for those trafficking the drug to youth and international markets.
The task force agrees that cannabis should be legalized for personal purposes but a recent Quote from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau states, his government will not decriminalize marijuana before moving to fully legalize the drug.
That will mean that many Canadians who smoke cannabis will end up with a criminal record in the meantime. Clearly this is a step in the wrong direction and can be seen by the waste of resources used to raid the dispensaries across the GTA. Most charges have been withdrawn and the owners have walked away with no charges. This failed policy by the liberal government is worrying and a bad start for the legalization of cannabis in Canada.
Further recommendations are that:
Cannabis should be sold in storefront locations, the report said, but it recommends a ban of co-locating cannabis with alcohol and tobacco products, a blow to some provinces, like Ontario, which had hoped to sell marijuana in government-owned liquor stores.
The report also suggests limits on the density of cannabis storefront operations and regulations to keep them away from schools, community centres and public parks.
I do like the idea that it will not be sold in any LCBO’s or with tobacco products. I think the LCBO already has a monopoly on the sale of alcohol in Ontario, the last thing we want is the LCBO dealing with cannabis sales. But with this move will anyone be able to set up a storefront location? Or will it be restricted to government approved stores. I do believe that it will be government regulated and run. I do not think they are going to support mom and pop shops selling cannabis.
This will leave the doorway open for large corporations and those with large sums of investment capital to take the market over in Canada and push out the smaller business looking to start up.
One of the recommendations that I think will please most is:
Personal cultivation should also be maintained, the report recommended, but with a limit on four plants per home, and a height restriction of 100 centimetres to reduce fire risks.
When it comes to growing your own cannabis I’m pretty happy to hear that the task force has agreed that personal cultivation is recommended. I believe this will put a major dent in illegal sales and let people grow their own cannabis that is special to them. There will be those who try to profit from cultivation but in the end, most will play by the rules and enjoy their own personal stash.
Task force did not recommend a set price for cannabis, but suggested higher taxes on cannabis with elevated levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Now this is one recommendation that screams revenue grab. Clearly, they want to profit from the sale of cannabis and what better way than to tax!!! Taxing based on levels of (THC) is ridiculous and just another way that the government will squeeze the taxes out of the legalization of cannabis.
All in all, the recommendations sound pretty good on paper but will they work in the real world? The task force has set out some really interesting and promising recommendations but will the liberal government follow through with these changes or follow their own agenda? The next year will be an interesting year for all cannabis smokers in Canada!!!
Refences & Quotes;
Please check the following link for full recommendations from the Task Force: