Canada’s Controversial Legal Weed Task Force Submits Its Report

News

The task force charged with leading the country’s efforts in legalizing recreational cannabis submitted the framework of the legal market might look.

Stephen Calabria
Dec 5, 2016
Task Force

The Canadian task force charged with leading the country’s efforts in legalizing recreational cannabis submitted to the government on Wednesday a report a framework of how such a system would be designed and implemented.

The cannabis Task Force

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Anne McLellan, a former cabinet minister in Canada’s Liberal party and leader of its cannabis task force, submitted the report, which includes interviews with various academic, medical and legal officials.

The report is in the process of being translated into French before it is released to the general public in mid-December.

McLellan and other members of the Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation issued a press release Wednesday, thanking those who had contributed to its authorship and looking forward to the weeks and months ahead:

It has been an honour for us, along with the other members of the Task Force, to have had the opportunity to engage with Canadians across the country who generously shared their expertise and perspectives on how the government should approach the legalization and regulation of cannabis.

The task force’s findings will reportedly include provisions on limiting cannabis’ sale and use among minors, regulating its use and sale for medical purposes, and determining the specifics of how and where the substance may be grown in homes.

According to fiscal analyses, the legalization of recreational cannabis could create a $4.5 billion industry in the next five years.

Background

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Canada’s health minister, Jane Philpott, announced in April at a three-day United Nations summit that the country intended to legalize the cultivation and use of recreational cannabis, aiming for the spring of 2017.

The task force was created several months later, on June 30, by a body of government officials called the Ministers of Justice Health and Public Safety. In a press release issued the same day, the ministers announced their plans to introduce “effective, evidence-based legislation”:

The Task Force will seek the best advice on how to legalize, strictly regulate and restrict access to marijuana in order to keep it out of the hands of youth and to keep profits out of the hands of criminals. We will also provide opportunities for Canadians to give us their views through an online portal and through written submissions.

Fast forward several months and the task force has been reliant upon roundtable discussions with experts, questionnaires, and visits to various cannabis facilities – including those in Colorado and Washington – to gain a deeper understanding of the cannabis industry.

In its press release issued this past Wednesday, the task force noted that their work had also been informed by a discussion paper titled, “Toward the Legalization, Regulation and Restriction of Access to Marijuana.” The paper provides guidance on the establishment of a legal recreational cannabis regime, particularly in the areas of public safety and health.

Stephen Calabria
Dec 5, 2016