For the past several weeks we have been updating you on the plans of our neighbors to the north when it comes to cannabis legalization. These plans were reaffirmed during the recent “Speech from the Throne” in Canada, which is similar to the State of the Union Address in the US.
“The government will introduce legislation that will provide greater support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; that will get handguns and assault weapons off our streets; and that will legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana,” Gov. Gen. David Johnston (representing the newly-in-power Liberal party) said in the speech.
Of course, as we’ve pointed out before, the legalization and regulation of marijuana can come in many forms. The addition of the word “restrict” signals that the new Canadian government is going to make it a point to include regulations that will attempt to keep cannabis out of the hands of kids, something legalization and regulation already does. Penalties for selling to minors and heavy fines/loss of retail cannabis license are some of the things that could be included in this area.
If the Liberals in Canada are true to form, the legalization plan will probably be heavy on regulation. And while legalization with excessive regulation is preferable to the current black market system, too much regulation can do serious damage to an industry.
It will be interesting to follow this story and see how cannabis legalization takes shape on a nationwide scale, as opposed to the state-by-state approach the US is taking. It will also be interesting to see what Canada does that can be applied to legalization plans in states that haven’t accomplished legalization yet. Canada’s legalization will provide a new perspective on how to tackle the problems that come with bringing the marijuana black market out of the shadows.