It’s official. Canada has become the second country ever to legalize marijuana, and the first among the G7 countries to do so.
On June 19th, the Canadian Senate passed the bill for legalized recreational marijuana with a vote of 52 to 29. Legal cannabis market will be open and operating in 8 to 12 weeks.
What does this bill mean for Canadians? In a nutshell, we will be able to do the following legally:
- purchase fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants and seeds from a provincial or territorial retailer
- possess up to 30 g of dried cannabis or equivalent in public
- share up to 30 g of legal cannabis with other adults
- cultivate up to 4 plants in their own residence
- alter cannabis into varying types of products (e.g. edibles)
Where will Saugans be able to purchase cannabis? Well, the outgoing Ontario Liberal government planned to roll out 150 standalone LCBO-run cannabis stores by the end of 2020, with 40 scheduled to open this year, but the June provincial election may change this plan.
Doug Ford, Ontario’s incoming premier, said he wants to consult further with municipalities, stakeholders and his caucus before deciding whether to keep the Liberal plan. During his campaign, Ford did suggest he would be open to greater privatization of marijuana sales.
Still, whether government-run or privatized, the cannabis market is promising to be, well, very promising! Witness the crowds at the second O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo at the International Centre in Mississauga during the June 9th weekend. Organizers said the event doubled its size from last year with more than 200 exhibitors and 130 speakers.
The exhibitors came from all corners of the cannabis market. There were companies selling lab equipment, oil dispensing machines, security, insuring crops, pipes, bongs, transporting cannabis, graphic design cannabis companies, hydroponic companies, manufacturers and farmers. And those who came to check out all there is to know about canna-biz came from all walks of life: young and old, professionals and entrepreneurs.
Judging by the en masse turnout of entrepreneurs and investors at Mississauga’s O’Cannabiz Conference, “reefer madness” is gripping the business world.
And no wonder. According to The Parliamentary Budget Officer’s projections, the cannabis market stands to generate between $4.2-$6.2 billion in retail sales on a national level, with $2.1 to $2.3 billion of that in Ontario alone.