On October 17th 2018 Canada became the first developed nation to legalize recreational cannabis use. Decades prior to this marijuana was vilified and condemned by law enforcement and politicians as a gateway drug. Anyone who is a casual consumer of weed understands that marijuana is not a gateway to harsher drugs. Cannabis criminalization in the 20th and 21st century’s was akin to the alcohol prohibition era in the United States.
In recent times cannabis has been recognized for its vast medicinal benefits and applications. Dozens of countries around the world have now decriminalized and legalized cannabis for medical use. Canadian cannabis laws in 2020 must still be acknowledged.
Pots contribution to Canada’s GDP
Last October when recreational cannabis was legalized, the cannabis sector contributed $8.26 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product as of July. StatsCan figures has shown that Canada’s legal cannabis industry has grown by 185 percent since legalization.
The legalization of pot by the government has nothing to do with saving the youth. Making marijuana legal has to do with collecting tax revenue. The Canadian government wanted a piece of the lucrative cannabis black market.
Possession limits for cannabis use
The Cannabis Act outlines guidelines for the possession of dried cannabis in Canada.
One (1) gram of dried cannabis is equal to:
- 5 grams of fresh cannabis
- 15 grams of edible product
- 70 grams of liquid product
- 0.25 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
- 1 cannabis plant seed
- 30 grams of dried cannabis (weed/flower)
No person under the age of 18 shall be in possession or sold cannabis. Giving or selling cannabis to young people is punishable with a maximum of 14 years in jail. The legal age in most provinces is 18 although this may change in Quebec for 2020. Currently users 18 and older are legally able to purchase cannabis.
Canadian Cannabis Laws in 2020 and the Black Market
Federal, provincial and territorial governments are responsible for regulating the cannabis industry.
- strict requirements for producers who grow and manufacture cannabis
- types of cannabis products available for sale
- packaging and labelling requirements for products
- standardized serving sizes and potency
- prohibitions on the use of certain ingredients
- good production practices
- tracking requirements of cannabis from seed to sale to keep it out of the illegal market
- restrictions on promotional activities
Pot lotteries can’t keep up with demand
The legal pot industry in Canada has encountered several barriers when it comes to supply and demand. Consumers typically prefer the higher concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) dried flower products available from the black market.
Black market dispensary’s
An application to open a recreational cannabis retail shop requires extensive background checks and licensing fees. When you factor in retail rent space and staff overhead the end consumer ends up paying more for product.
The federal and provincial governments firm cap on the number of retail locations has not benefited the customer when it comes to product availability and pricing. The black market still has the best inventory selection and prices for the end consumer.