Canada has had a bumpy history when it comes to marijuana policy. Canada has long been home to one of the best marijuana scenes on the planet. I don’t know that I have consumed any Canadian marijuana in recent years, but in the 1990’s and early 2000’s it was the marijuana of choice for a lot of people living in the Pacific Northwest. Policy shifts in America, and big raids like Operation Frozen Timber changed consumer habits in the Pacific Northwest, and across America, resulting in less Canadian marijuana making its way South of the border, at least based off of what I have seen in the last decade or so.
But with the slowdown of demand for Canadian marijuana in parts of America has come a rise in the industry in Canada. Right now, only a small list of licensed producers and retailers are legally allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana. Patients are allowed to grow their own, but for those wishing to purchase medical marijuana legally, options are limited, and from what I have heard, the options leave a bit to be desired.
Dispensaries and stores have popped up all over Canada, despite the current laws. Ontario has been home to many dispensaries and stores that have been raided this year. A lot of them have remained open in an act of defiance and/or compassion. Ontario’s Chamber of Commerce appears to have seen the writing on the wall, and has endorsed legalizing recreational marijuana stores in Ontario and allow government business licenses to be issued. Per The Star:
The influential Ontario Chamber of Commerce is urging Premier Kathleen Wynne to allow recreational marijuana to be sold by government-licensed private retailers as long as local municipalities approve.
In a letter being released Wednesday, the chamber’s president urges Wynne “to immediately begin a robust consultative process aimed at developing a regulatory framework for the distribution of recreational marijuana.”
“We believe that a private-sector, licensing-based, and locally-oriented approach is one worth seriously considering,” writes Allan O’Dette, the 60,000-member chamber’s president and CEO.
Marijuana is not going anywhere in Ontario, or throughout Canada for that matter. Why not license stores, generate some tax dollars and other revenue from fees, and make everything legitimate? Why keep the sales off the books and/or in the shadows? Legalization and regulation works. There are many states in America that are proving it right now. Canada can be a global leader in the marijuana industry, with Ontario being a big part of that. Listen to Ontario’s Chamber of Commerce!