Canada Just Legalized Cannabis

Canada just legalized cannabis this week and here’s all you need to know all about it.

How did Canada get here?
Canada first legalized medical cannabis in 2001. Since then, the industry has transformed in a very lowkey way. Growers produced their crops in huge warehouses and directly sent the medicine to patients by mail or courier service. Medical cannabis companies raise funds by going public in the stock market, just like normal companies. Dispensaries are still against the law in Canada, though they’ve been allowed in some areas.

What’s going to be legal?
In the U.S., legalization has attributed to a boom of brands and products including edibles, vape oils and a variety of hash-like concentrates usually preferred by experienced users. Canada has nothing like that. For now, edibles are off limits, but that is expected to change. The rules governing concentrates are not as clear, but licensed producers have not committed the same focus to product development as their American counterparts. For example, CO2 oils are not widely available through legal channels.

Will U.S. citizens be able to consume Canadian weed legally?
With such a tightly controlled market up north, don’t expect legalization in Canada to have too much impact on the U.S. market. While Americans will be able to buy marijuana in Canada  – expect to see Amsterdam style “coffeeshops” in the future – Canada’s federal government has decided to allow the individual provinces to create their own rules as far as public consumption goes.

Canada’s proposed bill doesn’t offer any insight. The provinces will have to come up with their own rules, so tourists’ ability to enjoy cannabis on their own will has not yet been decided. A few AirBnB’s in legal U.S. states and Canada already advertise themselves as 420 friendly and there will most definitely be more opportunities in Canada.

Will this affect the cannabusiness in the U.S.?
In the business arena the disparity in how the two countries operate has created exciting opportunities. Canadian companies are better capitalized than their American counterparts and know how to efficiently grow cannabis on a large scale. Ultimately, national legalization gives Canada the edge. Federal prohibition is a “cloud” over the U.S. industry.

Could this mean federal legalization for the U.S. is close behind?
In the U.S., though 29 states have some sort of legalization program, cannabis is still federally illegal, including for medical use. Due to this asinine restriction, America’s legal cannabis industry has grown into a patchwork Frankenstein monster: each state has to determine for itself whether legalization is right and how the industry should be governed.