Legalization of cannabis in Canada

Cannabis is not only popular in present times, but instead, it was known to people during ancient times also. In history, it was being consumed by humans with archaeological evidence. In other words, the cannabis was existing in that historical period also. During that period, the cannabis plant has been valued for its use for fiber and ropes, as food and medicine, and moreover for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Earlier it was restricted in most of the spheres of the world but with the beginning of the 21st century, few nations started legalizing cannabis and its consumption. In 2018, cannabis got legalized in Canada following some other countries. So, since 2018 cannabis is being legalized to be purchased and consumed in whole Canada. Both physical setups and online medical stores are dealing with Cannabis consumables. In October 2018, it was declared that recreational or medical cannabis would no longer violate criminal laws. In this way, Cannabis consumption got legalized with some rules and regulations. On breach of these regulations, the doers may get punished as per the law.

Legalization of cannabis in Canada

According to the legalization policy, cannabis will be grown and sold in a controlled environment by authorized people or companies. The laws are totally strict in case of sales to minors, driving while impaired and sales through channels not particularly authorized to do so. The main agenda of this legalization process was to ensure the proper and safe use of recreational cannabis and to prevent criminal activities.

As part of legalization, few guidelines were also released related to cannabis consumption. Like people aged 18 years or more can possess 30 grams of dried or equivalent non-dried form in public areas. Adults are also permitted to make cannabis-infused food and drinks, as long as organic solvents are not used to create such concentrated edibles. Each household is also allowed to grow cannabis plants but only up to four in numbers from licensed seeds or seedlings. Different procedures have been set in individual provinces for retail stores and these may vary as to ownership or retails shops (either by the provincial government or private enterprise) but all include another option of online sales. The Task Force commented that Our mandate was to consult and provide advice on the design of a new legislative and regulatory framework for legal access to cannabis and its products, consistent with the Government’s commitment to “legalize, regulate, and restrict access”.

In order to fulfill their mandate, they got engaged with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, experts, patients, advocates, Indigenous governments and representative organizations, employers and industry. They had discussions with several alternative Canadians additionally, including many young people, who participated in an online public consultation that generated nearly 30,000 submissions from individuals and organizations. The Task Force looked internationally (e.g., Colorado, Washington State, Uruguay) to learn from jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis for non-medical purposes, and they brought about lessons from the way governments in North American nation have regulated tobacco and alcohol, and cannabis for medical purposes.

A Discussion Report was prepared by the Government, entitled as “Toward the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marijuana,” informed the Task Force’s work and helped to focus the input of many of the people from whom they discussed. The Discussion Report identified nine public policy objectives in the context of cannabis legalization. Chief among these is keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth and keeping profits out of the hands of organized crime. The Task Force framed out guiding principles as the foundation of our advice to Ministers: protection of public health and safety, compassion, fairness, collaboration, a commitment to evidence-informed policy and flexibility.

While considering the experience of other jurisdictions and the views of experts, stakeholders and the public, the committee sought to strike a balance between implementing appropriate restrictions, in order to minimize the harms related to cannabis use, and providing adult access to a regulated supply of cannabis while reducing the scope and scale of the illicit market and its social harms. Their recommendations reflect a public health approach to reduce harm and promote health. They also took a precautionary approach to minimize unintended consequences, given that the relevant evidence is often incomplete or inconclusive.

Purpose of Legalization – Minimizing the harms of use

Keeping a public health approach into consideration while setting regulations for cannabis, the Task Force proposed several measures that will maintain and improve the health of Canadians by minimizing the harms associated with cannabis use. Few guidelines were issued to balance chemical proportions in medical and recreational cannabis products. So that it could not harm any human being and give relaxing effects after consumption.

This approach considers the risks associated with cannabis consumption, including the risks of developmental harms to youth; the risks associated with patterns of consumption, including frequent use and co-use of cannabis with alcohol and tobacco; the risks to vulnerable populations; and also the risks associated with interactions with the illicit market. In addition to considering scientific evidence, the Task Force examined how other jurisdictions have tried to minimize harmful after effects. They examined a variety of protecting measures, as well as a minimum age of use, promotion and advertising restrictions, and packaging and labeling needs for a cannabis product to shield dirty merchandising and consumption.

Few recommendations laid by the federation to minimize the harms:

  1. Setting the ideal age of purchase and consumption i.e., 18 years
  2. Regulating promotion and advertising strategy like in the case of tobacco
  3. Encouraging plain packaging with some basic information like Company Name, Strain Name, Price, amount of THC and CBD used in that product, warning, and other mandatory legal details.
  4. Preventing it to be appealed by children like in case candies, chocolates, etc. In other words, packaging, color schemes and pictures should not attract kids.
  5. In the case of edibles, it is recommended to have details about the level of THC or CBD on packets and recommended dosage for consuming for recreational purposes.
  6. Design a tax scheme based on THC potency to discourage the purchase of high-potency products

Cannabis as an Artefact

At present, only authorized growers are allowed to cultivate marijuana as per the rules. The authorized growers are the people or companies possessing a license issued by Health Canada. By the end of 2016, there were only 36 authorized producers across Canada’s coastline in Health Canada’s list. At that time, sales were allowed only by mail order, but by late 2017, some major retailers had applied for a change in the rules to allow them to also sell the product. Therefore, by December 2017, 82 licenses had been issued under the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations), but not all of the producers had been licensed to begin selling medical marijuana. Till that time, no licenses had been issued yet for producing recreational cannabis; the producers already licensed were expecting to be added to that list after it was created. Between 1 February and early April 2018, some 89 additional applicants were approved by Health Canada as cannabis growers; at that time, the agency was considering the merits of another 244 applications.

As per the report issued by the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation had recommended that recreational cannabis growers should be licensed at a federal level, independently from the producers of medical marijuana. The expert panel also recommended that the process safeguards competition by licensing both large and small producers. While licensing should be federal, each of the provinces should be allowed to determine the mode of selling and the areas where the product will be sold.

When the agenda for legalization became well-publicized, industrial studies reported that some of the producers who had been licensed for medical marijuana were already increased the capacity of their operations for future sales to the distributors of recreational cannabis. Under the Cannabis Act passed in 2018, only licensed producers are permitted to cultivate cannabis following proper guidelines and government instructions. These licensed cultivators were counted as 117.

Apart from the cultivations and selling license, there were few other rules regarding packaging, promotion and advertising were also passed. So, every cannabis dealer or seller has to follow the guidelines like it is not allowed to advertise cannabis products through TV commercials, hoardings, billboards or glossy magazines. Other than this, cannabis consumables can only be sold in packages of single color containing brand name and legal warning only.

On the conclusion node, we hereby acknowledge that we are running one of the numerous authorized cannabis online dispensary serving in Canada. At the Green God Cannabis, we deal in all licensed cannabis products complying with all other guidelines issued by the government in terms of packaging, promotion, and content to be printed on packets. Thus, you can rely on our products and their ingredients used in them to cure your medical or recreational needs.

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