Canadian government launches cannabis legalization review

Four years after the legalization of cannabis at the federal level, the Canadian government this week announced plans for a formal review of its cannabis program and the resulting domestic industry, CTV National News reports.

The legislative review is long overdue – it was originally scheduled almost 12 months ago – and aims to investigate the effects of cannabis legalization on the health of Canadian citizens and to analyze its effects on the economy and the illicit cannabis market, which continued to flourish. The review will pay particular attention to the effects of cannabis on young Canadians, according to Health Canada.

Participants in the Canadian cannabis industry have consistently called for change in an environment of high tax rates and strict regulations, which they believe helps to facilitate strong competition in the unregulated market.

George Smitherman, president of the Cannabis Council of Canada, said in the report that the “level playing field” between legal cannabis companies and unlicensed operators is “far from level”, especially given the popularity of retail stores and unregulated delivery services.

“There is a huge body of regulation, but there are not enough laws in place to stop the obvious illegal operators and no one is doing anything about it.” — Smitherman, via CTV National News

Canada legalized adult cannabis at the federal level in October 2018 and was only the second country in the world to enact the reforms at the national level.

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