Just in time for 420, we’ve got an update on the new Canadian legislation – 

The government of Canada proposed legislation that would regulate and restrict access to cannabis proposing the Cannabis Act.

I’ll go over the highlights of the legislation promising to go into effect in July 2018, and address the concerns of what this legislation means to those potentially working in the cannabis industry.

 

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The Cannabis Act proposal would regulate and restrict access to cannabis. 

The big considerations for the proposed legislation include:

  • Age restrictions – to keep it out of youths hands – 18 years of age or older – seeing a 14 year conviction if you sell to a minor 
  • Amount – possession up to 30 grams worth
  • Cultivate – grow up to 4 small plants per dwelling
  • Canada only – no import/export of cannabis out of Canada
  • Safety – no driving while impaired by cannabis

Product branding is prohibited to reduce youth interest.

From an advertising perspective there are limitations including:

  • prevent product branding
  • prevent products to  that are labelled and packed to appeal to youth
  • promoting cannabis only where youths can’t see it, within dispensaries or mobile wallet passes.
  • no self serve or vendor machines to dispense cannabis
  • no misleading or false advertising of any kind with enticing the young to use cannabis

Penalties and fines of $5 million or 3 years in jail – if you mix cannabis and minors. 

 

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What does the proposed Cannabis Act mean – when it comes out of prohibition? 

The first impression is that the Government is starting with a strong law enforcement policy to make it clear that they want to keep it out of the hands of youths and there will be big penalties for sales to minors. 

There will be a four plant limit for home growing, and those growing for medicinal purposes may already be in violation when legalization begins.  Landlord groups, especially in BC, are calling for a ban on cultivating in rental dwellings by tenants. 

Landlords are concerned that the high voltage lights and additional power requirements are outside the usual electrical wiring of apartment buildings, and some are concerned with mold or fire risk, as well as associating it with cigarette smoking bans. 

Interestingly, two points of concession that the legislation does not offer is a way to keep the plant away from harmful chemical or toxins when cultivating it. The other is plant tracking, there’s no mention of ways to track the use of the cannabis plant, similar to ways that are in place in states such as Washington. 

The latest report gives provinces the power to determine the regulation of sales and consumption of cannabis. 

The provinces are taking different approaches to looming legalization.

As cannabis is still in prohibition, Ontario law enforcement is closing dispensaries in Toronto, London and Kitchener. Many people are aware of the recent arrests of Marc and Jodie Emery at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and continued raiding of Cannabis Cultures in nationwide.

In British Columbia, mostly dispensaries are non-targeted, while  its leaders are not saying much leaving it to the federal level. BC’s liberal leader Christy Clark is tight lipped about it. Meanwhile, the BC agricultural economy will see proven benefits by legally growing cannabis, taking it out of a criminal element.

This means that BC wants to hold more power than other provinces in the growing of cannabis.

What is the cannabis industry scoop on it?  

That its a start with a long way to go while questioning raids targeting cannabis advocates ahead of prohibition. 

That Trudeau is putting a licensed producer system, already in place to have former liberal members be part of the windfall its certain to be.

Once the legal market is developed, wholesale prices could fall way down like it has in recreational states as Washington & Colorado are finding the price drops – even as demand grows.

There are many questions that Canada’s Cannabis Act faces before July 2018 rolls around. Its sure to be heavily regulated and an uphill fight during the prohibition. 

Until the legalization measures are ready to go and on the books, it’s time to get your ducks in a row and prepare to market your successful cannabiz, which is where we come in!