What Does The Legalization Of Marijuana Mean For The Citizens Of Canada?

On October 17, 2018, Canada changed the rules for drug offences to no longer include marijuana as a controlled substance. Having a cannabis store in Winnipeg is no longer illegal. The only country to legalize marijuana before Canada is Uruguay. Some states in the United States have legalized marijuana, but the United States has not legalized marijuana on a federal level. The states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington have legalized marijuana.

Distribution Of Marijuana At A Provincial Level

The legalization of marijuana rapidly demonstrated that there were singular benefits for the economy of such a country. This means that some of the most successful marijuana-based businesses are now situated in Canada. Financial experts speculated that there will be various financial benefits for the country before the legalization of marijuana occurred in Canada. This anticipation became a reality for the country.

Even as marijuana was legalized on a national level in Canada, the 13 provinces still maintained a level of autonomy. This affected where marijuana consumers could legally purchase marijuana. Ontario, the most highly populated province in Canada, allows privately-operated cannabis stores to begin a business from April 1, 2019. In the beginning, there was only one government-run store in Kamloops in British Columbia, and now there are more than 200 privately operated stores in British Columbia.

Residents of Quebec had to purchase marijuana from government-run dispensaries. The Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) still runs a monopoly in Quebec for the supply of marijuana. The legal age for possession of marijuana in Quebec is 21 while it is 19 in all of the other provinces except Alberta where it is 18. Saskatchewan permitted 51 privately operated stores to commercialize cannabis from the beginning of legalization.

Another concern is that smoking marijuana in public is still banned in most provinces. Some provinces allow users to smoke marijuana in places where smoking is allowed.

Previous Legal Concerns With Marijuana

Once marijuana usage became legal, it became perplexing for those already convicted with marijuana-related offenses, how the rules would affect their previous records. The government denied records of possession from being completely wiped clean from a person’s records. The government decided to pardon almost 250,000 Canadians who had records of possession of marijuana through a process called “record suspension”. Canadians did not have to wait or pay any charges to get the pardon from the government.

A Variety Of Cannabis-Related Products

There were very few cannabis-related products that were easily available for consumers when the legalization of marijuana took place. Some of the first products which were easily available in the market were just marijuana seeds, flowers, plants, and oils. As the market grew, marijuana concentrates and edibles became available in the market in Canada in 2019. Today there are multiple cannabis-related products in the market which were not available before marijuana was legalized in Canada. There has also been an expansion of many other cannabis-related products in the market in Canada.