CANNABIS CULTURE- As the Liberal’s promised legalization date of July 1, 2018 nears, Canadian Premiers have demanded an extension. The question now is, will Trudeau go forward as planned, or will the Liberal party’s federal timeline be another failure on their record?
For their part, the Premiers formed a working group on cannabis at this year’s annual summer meeting of provincial and territorial leaders. The group has detailed their concerns on five crucial issues that the federal government needs to solve. On the list of concerns were road safety, distribution, taxation, public education /supply and demand and how the new rules will affect the black market.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Alberta counterpart Premier Rachel Notley stated the federal government has not provided the necessary support to their respective governments and that they would prefer a more manageable date of July 2019.
Trudeau has previously made it clear that he’s aiming for the set date of 2018.
Photo courtesy Canadian Press: Canadian Premiers say the Feds have yet to provide any support for legalization.
It’s been more than two years since Trudeau announced the “strict framework” to be finalized in June 2018.. During his initial announcement, he stated the feds plan gives each Province, Territory, and Municipality the power to set their own licensing, distribution, and retail sales rules, as well as establish provincial zoning rules for cannabis business and provincial traffic safety laws above and beyond the federal statute.
Trudeau has said his government plans to work with each Province to create individual rules and regulations.
The federal government hasn’t come to final formula to split the unit taxes, sales taxes. The Premiers have proposed tax revenue from cannabis sales be used to cover, costs associated with land use, licensing applications for businesses, and law enforcement. And yet, Justin Trudeau maintains unrestricted tax dollars generated by cannabis would go towards addiction treatments, mental-health support, and educational programs. Liberals declarations have dictated legalization of marijuana, and any windfall cash, should be treated as a public health and safety issue.
What about all that cash?
At present, Canada’s has 45 licensed producers with an estimated of 400 more waiting for a green-light to produce in 2018, the question asked by many is, will supply be able to meet demand?
Current licensed producers have begun to plan expansion of their facilities to meet the recreational cannabis users demands. With the huge spike of registered users and a 10 percent growths every month, all current licensed producers are anticipating huge demand increases after July 2018.
How will cannabis be distributed at the retail level?
If we were to have establishments such as the LCBO as the supplier, its potential risk of higher intoxication levels and fear of one mixing both substances could lead to incidents or casualties. Premiers have stated they’d prefer government controlled storefront retailers and pharmacies being designated as the only point-of-sale. Pharmacies dispense medicinal drugs daily to the public with the reassurance of safety and store fronts, would only be a designated establishment to obtain cannabis. Still, this model demands staff be trained on proper use of cannabis products. In essence, the market would be starting at zero, rather than incorporating the already flourishing cannabis market that exists.
Zero-Tolerance Budget Baiting
On the enforcement side, the talk seems to revolve around the old prohibition models. Many have been arrested since Trudeau announced the Liberals legalization model. And still more will be, under the harsh impaired driving laws and regulatory standards that are being rolled out.
Law enforcement has implemented training officers into becoming drug recognition experts. With the familiarization on how to conduct a drug sobriety test, determine physical movements of drug impairment and prevention strategies, law enforcement agencies hope to receive funding and a portion of the tax- revenue generated throughout Canada, maintaining prohibition budgets through additional penalties for regulatory infraction enforcement.
“Public awareness campaigns” stress the dangers of driving impaired, penalties faced and their zero-tolerance regulation. As of now, the maximum penalties in place will include an additional “two years less a day on summary conviction (up from 18 months), and to 10 years on indictment (up from 5 years)”. These penalties now are now able to convict an impaired driver as a dangerous offender based on the suitable circumstance. Trafficking is an activity that could be increased so the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency and local police are working together to uphold laws surrounding the potential illegal movements of cannabis.
So, the countdown continues with 44 weeks, 6days, 3hours, 37minutes and 19 seconds left until the Liberals promised to have their shit together. The Provinces and Territories say they have yet to receive the support they need to proceed, and the Cannabis Community nationwide continues to be subject to arrest and imprisonment, for breaking a law that won’t be a law less than a year from now…(at least that’s what they told us when they wanted our votes.)