As per current legislation, people in Canada are allowed to possess, consume or grow cannabis for medicinal purposes — given certain conditions issued by Health Canada are met. However, recreational use of marijuana is still prohibited (and punishable) by law.
Nonetheless, many experts believe that legalization of cannabis for recreational use could come in 2017, especially after the country’s marijuana legalization task force published a document with 80 recommendations for a future legal cannabis regime.
Time and time again, our readers have asked when Canada will legalize weed, and, although we cannot predict what is going to happen, we did reach out to some experts and asked about the issue.
One Of 2 Options
“I believe Canada’s politicians are going to do one of two things. Either they are going to try and push it through this term— [or Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau can essentially keep it as a feather in his cap, because they have this task force document making recommendations on how to establish a legal market,” Viridian Capital Advisors analyst Harrison Phillips said.
“Trudeau could push for it and continue to support it, but essentially back off and say, ‘Look, we want to do this right. If you want this, vote for me again and I’ll be sure to pass it on my next term.’ So, it’s going to come down to what they want to do politically within the country,” he added.
“I think Canada will go legal, which will help to validate a lot of the investment that's been happening there in 2016. And then, I also think that we are going to see movement in other places around the world, moving in this direction as well,” Troy Dayton, CEO of ArcView Group and famed legalization advocate, continued.
For his part, 420 Investor’s Alan Brochstein said, “The biggest story beyond federal cannabis policy this year is likely to be the attention on Canada's move towards legalization. Parliament will receive the proposed legislation in the Spring (maybe on 4/20?), and it's likely that the finalized legislation along with a timeline for implementation will take place by the end of the year.”
Finally, international law expert Zameer Qureshi voiced, “Canada has traditionally been quite progressive in regards to cannabis. They have taken what many regard as a common sense approach that it is not as harmful as other substances. I think that will continue to be reflected in Canadian legislation. But in regards to specific timelines and the measures, unfortunately, I cannot comment.”
Canada Vs. United States
Jay Czarkowski, founding partner at Canna Advisors, explicated the difference between Canada and the United States. “[There are] two differences between Canada and the U.S. Canada has a new prime minister, a younger guy who realizes that cannabis is harmless, safe— So you have a guy at the top that's pushing it, that's great. In the U.S., you have a lot of old politicians— Maybe they are stubborn, maybe they are set in their ways— Some of them are legitimately ignorant to the fact that cannabis should be made legal. But, slowly, those people are coming around, learning— It's just going to take some time. But, clearly, at some point in the future, cannabis will be legal on a federal level, it's just a matter of time.”
Luba Kay, chief financial officer at CannaSOS Corp, a social media site for “everything in the marijuana industry,” noted that, “full legalization in Canada [...] would create huge growth in the already booming cannabis industry. When the Canadian government legalizes marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, they will most likely make it easier for entrepreneurs to get a license to grow marijuana. Therefore, [we’ll see] more marijuana businesses in Canada and more money going into the Canadian economy. This will increase the size of the Cannabis industry in North America, and will further encourage more entrepreneurs to open marijuana-related businesses.”
“I also see Toronto becoming the official marijuana capital of Canada,” she supplemented.
“Internationally, it would be very interesting, because there’s the U.N. single convention on narcotics,” Viridian’s Phillips explained. “So, there’s some belief that Canada will not be able to nationally legalize due to this convention, but there’s also talk that Canada could approach the U.N. and essentially ask for an exemption, so long as they set up a properly regulated system within their country that’s sponsored by the state. So, it’s going to come down to what the U.N. really wants to say, but I see that as less of a deal than what is going to happen internally, with the various political parties and what Trudeau is doing.
“Because Canada is a G-7 nation, the implications are profound regarding the United Nations. Canada's move, along with the likely German national medical cannabis program being created — investors are likely to appreciate the truly global nature of cannabis legalization,” Brochstein enhanced.
“Trudeau is really going to affect the timing, and the U.N. — I think — is going to be more of a political formality,” Phillips concluded, summarizing many of the views expressed to Benzinga.
Plays In Canada
A few weeks ago, Brochstein shared a few Canadian marijuana stocks he’s keeping an eye on. Among them were AURORA CANNABIS IN COM NPV (OTC: ACBFF), CANOPY GROWTH CORP COM NPV (OTC: TWMJF) and APHRIA INC COM NPV (OTC: APHQF). Check out the article linked above for his in-depth comments.
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