2018 is a huge year for weed legalization advocates. The latest victory came from Oklahoma — one of the most conservative states in the US that legalized medical marijuana. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also approved its first cannabis drug to help treat severe epilepsy.
Canada has taken the lead by becoming the second country in the world to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The movement could spell success, especially for wholesale marijuana dispensaries that want to boost their sales.
Legalizing recreational weed stems from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign pledge to keep marijuana away from underage users and to curb drug-related crime rates.
Overcoming the Last Hurdle in Cannabis Legalization
Some argue that Canada’s move to legalize marijuana is not big news. After all, Health Canada, a government department responsible for national public health, granted Canadians access to legal medical cannabis in 2001.
The Senate passage of the Cannabis act was the last hurdle in the fight for the legalization of marijuana. While the Canadian government plans to implement the new law, provinces and territories will need about eight to 12 weeks to transition to the new framework.
Improving Canada’s System of Marijuana Prohibition
Supporters of the new legislation describe it as a “historic milestone in progressive policy in Canada.” The Senate believes that the bill protects the youth from the risks of weed, just like how similar restrictions prevent people from smoking.
Once the bill has been formally approved, adults can share and carry up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public. Canadians will also be able to cultivate up to four plants in their backyard and prepare their personal marijuana-based products.
Challenging the Existing Global Drug Policy?
The benefits of the legislation, however, may come at a price. Protecting young Canadians and preventing drug-related crimes come at the cost of Canada potentially violating the international drug treaties. These treaties uphold the availability of narcotic drugs for medical purposes and prevent their distribution across illicit channels.
Canada’s recent move, therefore, sends a high-profile signal: the current regime driving the drug policy may need reforms. As cannabis becomes legal in more places, international treaties may need to adapt to the changing times, too.
The New Pot Economy
Experts forecast a market boom following Canada’s legalization of weed. Reports suggest that the move could generate sales of up to $4.3 billion in its first year. Users willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug could lead to an influx of sales in the industry. Marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corp. and Aurora Cannabis Inc., have become the center of investor frenzy, in fact.
Legalization creates a brave new economy. Apart from boosting stock market earnings and generating new jobs, it presents an opportunity for start-up entrepreneurs. Start-up business owners can enter the market and boost creativity. By thinking of new ways to make an impact on the industry, it could give the Canadian economy a global advantage.