Legal Weed in Canada has lately seemed like it’s just around the corner, it’s on the news, shows up in your social media feeds, and if you listen to talk radio there a good chance it’s popping up there too. There can be some confusion about what’s really going on and how we got here, it didn’t happen overnight, it’s been a long battle for some people. But before we did into that battle the short answer to the burning question “is weed legal in Canada?” the answer is “kinda”. To be clear, medical marijuana is legal, recreational is not… yet. Legalization is scheduled for the summer of 2018, just a year away at the time of this article. Plus if you have a valid medical condition that taking marijuana might help with even just a little, you can get a prescription for it and it doesn’t need to be a serious condition. So if you really need it there is a way but right now it’s not very convenient, depending on where you live in the country it may not even be an option. I can be hard to get access to a doctor that isn’t biased against its use. Legal Weed will do away with that uncertainty if it’s done right and right now that’s up to the individual Provinces to decide. But how did we even get here? Why was it even illegal in the first place and why are we finally looking at an end to outright prohibition?
The demonization of weed and the beginnings of drug prohibition
Drug Prohibition began with the banning of Opium smoking due an increase of use and trouble associated with it in Vancouver and in 1911 the Opium and Drug Act was passed, partly due international pressure as the US and China had already gone ahead with similar law. It wasn’t until 1923 that Marijuana was added to list of banned substances and it wasn’t until 1937 that an actual seizure of Marijuana was carried out by law enforcement.
Fast forward to the 1960’s and this is where Weed actually became popular, prior to this there was little interest and almost no issue with the drug. Laws were mainly enacted to follow suit with our allies and not to address any issues with weed domestically. In about the mid 1960’s weed had entered the collages and suburbs of Canada and the drug known as Reefer at the time was in the minds of the average citizen. Popularity swelled around the anti-war movements against the Vietnam War and counter culture movements, penalties for possession increased as well. So much so that in 1969 the government commissioned the Le Dain Commission to investigate the increase is use and incarceration of Canadian Citizen for its use. The commission returned its findings in 1972 and actually recommended removing criminal charges for possession but those findings were ignored and never enacted.
By the 1980 Cannabis use had tapered off, most likely due to the hard anti-drug and tough on crime stance politicians took in that era. But by the 1990’s it started to climb back up and ever since then there’s been a battle in the court of public opinion for the heart and soul of weed.
Medical Marijuana and the beginnings of Legal Weed in Canada
In 2001 the outright fear of Marijuana lost out to general scientific reasoning and Canada adopted the regulation on access to cannabis for medical purposes, established by Health Canada. This allowed doctors to prescribe Cannabis to patients that were deemed to benefit from its use for conditions such as; Seizures from epilepsy, severe pain from arthritis and spinal cord injuries, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer or HIV/AIDS infection. The act also allowed for doctors to prescribe Cannabis to their patients for conditions not listed in the act so long as it was supported by a licensed medical practitioner.
In 2014 this act was replaced by the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations act or MMPR. This new act would allow valid medical patients access to medical marijuana from Licensed Producers of cannabis as long as they obtained a valid prescription from a Doctor. Patients would be allowed to hold up to 150 grams of dried cannabis product, a court case challenged this in 2015 and further extended the allowance to include edibles and oils not just dried flowers.
The beginnings on Cannabis legalization in Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada adopted a stance in favour of legalization of Cannabis in 2012 and it became a major point in Justin Trudeau’s 2015 election campaign. After forming a task force and using models for legalization from Colorado and Uruguay the government of Canada in April of 2017 put forth their bill C-45 the Cannabis Act to legalize Cannabis in Canada. Under the act Canadians over the age of 18 will be allowed to grow up to 4 plants in their home and possess a maximum of 30 grams of dried flowers. Sales would be limited to locations out of sight of minors and packaging can be branded but must avoid anything that would appeal to children such as animals and cartoon characters. The act noticeably left the distribution and retail sales portions up to the induvial provinces as they saw fit. This has led to patchwork implementation across the provinces and a less than stellar reception from the cannabis community across Canada.
Provinces like Ontario and Quebec have put forth proposals that effective monopolize the sale of Cannabis in the governments favour. Controlling both the distribution and retail side of the equation which only leaves room for the Licensed Producers to grow and brand their products. These producers will be forced to sell their product to the government as they are the only game in town. This can have some negative effects as all monopolies can, for example if the government mandates a maximum price on cannabis per gram. A maximum price will eventually lead to growers racing to the bottom to produce cannabis as cheaply as possible and with what we know on what it takes to grow high quality cannabis this will lead to the consumers suffering with inferior product. On top of all that, one the clearly stated goals of the Liberal Government is to cut the black market out and reduce organized crime. If you can’t compete with the black market in terms of quality and potency due to regulation then the black market will continue to thrive and these regulations will really just be about the money.
Primo is the best legal weed source in Canada
With Primo’s existing network of Licensed Producers and Cannabis brands it’s positioned to have the best legal weed in Canada when recreational Cannabis becomes legal next year. We’ve spent the last 2 years cultivating relationships with some of the best growers to insure that all products available on Primo are of the highest quality. With our open competitive marketplace combined with live customer feedback that goes directly to the LP’s we will insure that prices remain low and quality is king.