How will Legalization of Marijuana in Canada Affect You?

Everyone knows that legalization of Marijuana in Canada for recreational use is coming in 2018. But what will the general landscape look like across the country and how will it affect you? No one knows for sure as it is a complex situation. Here is what is certain:
  • Provinces have a big say in how business is conducted
  • Federal, Provincial & Municipal Governments will share in the Tax Revenue

The Provinces Will be in Control

Each Province has the right to regulate how marijuana will be grown, distributed and sold within its borders. This includes licensing. For some recent estimates on Province by Province details, see the link at the end of this blog. We try to keep each WBUD blog to around 600 words.

Federal Government

On November 27, 2017, the House of Commons passed Bill C-45 by a whopping vote of 200 to 82. Afterwards, Prime Minister Trudeau, bless his soul, tweeted: “We’re one step closer to legalizing & regulating marijuana. #BillC45 means less money for organized crime and harder access for our kids” No disrespect intended, but how well has this approach worked with cigarettes and alcohol? Not very well. Underage youths seem to be able to get their hands on those products despite regulation and scrutiny. The good news is a StatsCan study released 18 December, 2017 found that Marijuana use has increased with older Canadians and gone down with minors. Less than 6% of Marijuana consumers are 15-17 years old. (Note: WBUD does not support sales of Marijuana products to minors.)

Insights from Colorado

Colorado may offer some insight into what to expect. Despite having a strictly controlled seed-to-shelf State Government program for recreational Marijuana, the old black market system still exists. In fact, it is estimated to have doubled in size since Colorado legalization occurred. What does this mean? It shows that regardless of what the government has done (and it has been strict) many growers, sellers and buyers decided not to be part of the controlled system. At the same time, it appears that many people that were too afraid of getting busted or judged by their peers in the past started buying cannabis products from the licensed stores. And the increase in press for the medicinal benefits of cannabis has certainly played a part in the acceptance. Meanwhile, many others are buying from their old sources for personal use or sales distribution in and out of Colorado – despite harsh penalties if busted.

So what does this mean for Canada?

WBUD expects that a similar situation may occur in Canada. Personal and financial freedom drives the mentality of old school growers and distributors. If the new imposed system affects their livelihood and way of life, they will ignore it and continue as before. After all, they functioned and profited quite well despite going against the laws in place for many decades. Buyers are driven by trust and quality. Any limitations on what people strongly desire and are used to buying will just fuel the black market. Part of the government bandwagon for legalization is most likely based on getting tax dollars. According to Deloitte Canada, the Canadian Cannabis Market estimate could be $12.7 – $22 Billion after legislation. Recently, the Federal Government offered the Provinces 75% of the tax revenue. And the Federal Government’s share will be capped at $100 million for the first two years. Looks like a good deal for the Provinces. For now, it is a wait and see situation on how it all will unfold.   For additional information on Province by Province plans for legal pot, check out: © 2017

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