Cannabis Legalisation in Canada: 2 Years Later
Marijuana for recreational use has been legal in Canada for two years. Two years later, cannabis is a popular recreation enjoyed by many Canadians and a developing industry for entrepreneurs. It was not an easy road to legalizing cannabis.
The Path to Cannabis Legalization
The path to legalizing cannabis is an ongoing process, and Canada is paving the way for established global markets. Decriminalizing marijuana for market and recreational purposes on a national level makes Canada the second country after Uruguay.
In the legalization process, three primary outcomes were the focus:
- Protection/education of public health
- Protection of youth
- Reduction of illegal market-related crime
Many small cannabis dispensaries stopped working because they did not have the list that was supposed to be standardized by the government before selling it legally.
How have Legalization Changed Things?
Legalizing cannabis has empowered people to either grow their own plant or purchase from a Canadian online dispensary or brick and mortar store that sells it.
- Teenagers – with the legalization of cannabis, people expected positive change to occur, but not much has changed in two years. Especially with teenagers, consumption is actually down or the same among younger age groups. Some studies report that approximately six percent of Canadians utilize cannabis every day, but that number hasn’t changed since cannabis has been legalized.
- Research on this Plant – the majority of cannabis retailers that have managed to obtain a license are trying to educate numerous people as they can. After the legalization of cannabis, many scientists, laboratories, doctors, and universities conducted different studies to comprehend its scientific and medical advantages.
- Economy and Business – a report sent to the UN states that the legalization of cannabis led to a decrease of thirty percent in felony crimes. Many people thought with the legalization of cannabis, there would be a significant increase in consumption, but that did not happen. A large number of people perceive cannabis as a useful tool to treat many health-related issues, and there is less stigma around those who use it for these purposes.
- Cannabis Culture – many people, started trying marijuana for the first time with the right resources and knowledge. This is trailblazing a new era of cannabis culture in Canada. Today, there are hundreds of local licensed retails that operate as a unique and dynamic legal market. Comfort, wellness, and enjoyment have become the aesthetic for the cannabis culture.
- Reducing Criminal Activity – In 2017, almost 48,000 cannabis-related drug offenses were reported by police. The majority of these charges were possession offenses. Criminal records, even for minor possession charges, have severe implications for the person charged. With the legalization of cannabis, the Cannabis Act helps keep those who use cannabis out of the criminal justice system. With the legalization of marijuana, the government also passed Bill C-93, introducing new legislation for expediting pardons. Those charged with minor possession could expedit their pardon at no cost and help their criminal record.
- Ongoing Research – legal cannabis retailers are part of the system for educating people on the numerous marijuana products and their effects. With the legalization of cannabis, many doctors, laboratories, and universities are researching marijuana and understanding its medical and scientific benefits.
- Role Model for other Countries – Canada can be a role model of cannabis legalization for other countries around the world. The legalization process in Canada has been a model approach and empowers other countries to speak globally about how to interact with marijuana in the future.
Room for Improvement
There’s always room for improvement. At the beginning of the legalization process, only those who had enough capital were able to be the prominent participants in the cannabis market. Moving forward, the smaller players should be enabled to join the market. A positive change about the legalization of cannabis is the growth in micro-growers in the industry.
The past two years have shown the ups and downs for the country with legalizing cannabis, and it’s done an excellent job considering there weren’t many role models when it comes to this. The industry is evolving, which means products, storefronts, laws, and regulations will grow as well.