A Year in Review of Cannabis In Canada 2019
December 17, 2019
by Ma Raim
This last year was a great year for cannabis, especially here in Canada. October 17th 2018 saw Bill C-45 come into effect and with that, cannabis was legalized across the country. Other nations around the world also took steps to reform laws surrounding marijuana as did several states throughout the United States. As you probably know, this October has seen additional changes to the Cannabis laws. If you can’t already checked out our last blog about the subject, we talked about the C-45 Bill in ‘Edible Laws and Cannabis Regulations in Canada”
As the cold weather comes, we would like to take a moment to look back at some of the biggest things that changed in cannabis this year now we’re a year in, and what changes we’ll likely see in the future.
Canada Became the First G7 Nation to Legalize Marijuana
While there were some bumps along the way including the licenced retailers running out of marijuana, it was definitely a positive step forward to full access to cannabis. Significant product shortages were experienced nationwide leaving some dispensaries with no other choice than to shut their doors just hours after opening on the first day. Eventually, the government got its act together (sort of) and sales were running smoother, if at a significantly marked up price.
Also, a lot of the legally produced cannabis hasn’t struck anyone as particularly good. Even with all those problems, within the first two weeks of legalization, Canadian adults bought more than 43 million dollars’ worth of cannabis products.
Unfortunately, access to cannabis is left mostly up to the political whims of whichever government happens to be in power. The Conservatives, for example, are threatening to shut down cannabis sales altogether. Ontario’s sales plans seem perpetually subject to change.
This was entirely predictable, which doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying or frustrating, only we knew it was going to happen. The effects of legalization don’t disappear overnight as the government is trying to desperately find its footing. This, of course, will take time.
Thankfully, overall, legalization is still a pretty good deal because against the background of a coming federal election, messed up provincial politics and a global climate problem, we’d all very much like to have some good marijuana.
The revisions to Bill C-45 that will come into effect Oct 17, 2019 include significant measures around child-resistant packaging and plain labelling. The government will also release regulations regarding cannabis edibles and sells are expected to begin this year. This, of course, is huge news.
To be able to sell edibles, creams, and extracts, licensed producers must submit proposed products for approval two months before anything can be put into production. The government will then either approve or deny the application. It seems mid-December is likely the earliest any of these items will appear for sale in-store or online.
Lastly, when it comes to cannabis extracts, the government says it will prohibit certain flavours that are appealing to young people; however, it’s unclear what flavours specifically will be targeted.
Canada will continually be seen as a leader in the cannabis field. When we normalize cannabis, it’s not so stigmatized, organized crime around weed goes down, and lastly – and perhaps most importantly – people who use cannabis for health reasons can finally the help they need. While the new laws will be most likely be as messy, they continually move forward in the right direction.
For something a little more up to date, check out our article on the 10 best and most popular weed strains in Canada in 2022.