Those counting on help from cannabis sales to balance the provincial budget are in for a disappointment. As far as Statistics Canada can tell, cannabis prices in this country have been dropping for the past three years, perhaps the past dozen years. Since weed-market watchers in the United States have found roughly the same thing, it’s probably true.
Sometime in August, or maybe September, or, who knows, maybe even later (but definitely for sure before the next federal election), Canadians will be able to legally buy cannabis for recreational use. Everything is in hand, we are told.
One of the first things medical students are taught is some version of the precept, “first do no harm.” It’s a good maxim for life in general, and, more specifically, for any policy maker looking to make significant changes to the existing order of things.
Recreational marijuana is set to be legalized in Canada by the summer but one medical marijuana shop owner is concerned that could paradoxically mean less cannabis is available for the first few months.
Sure, we may be inching closer towards legalization day, but long-term investors need to realize that a nasty “sell-on-news” scenario could end up playing out. The FOMO (fear of missing out) mindset of speculators has been driving shares parabolically higher over the past year. I think we’ve reached a point where positive developments simply aren’t enough to propel stocks higher.
In the 1960s, legendary comedian Lenny Bruce made this prediction. “Marijuana will be legal some day, because the many law students who now smoke pot will some day become Congressmen and legalize it in order to protect themselves.”
It might seem the best way to protect Canadians from the evils of marijuana is to restrict supply and discourage advertising. But new research indicates such an intuitive approach may actually have the opposite effect, including making the drug more accessible to kids and diverting supply from people who need it to treat pain or seizures.
Last Monday, Health Canada unveiled its proposed guidance on how cannabis should be regulated, marketed and sold once it is fully legalized in later this year, likely in July or August. While the rules incorporate important and necessary standards, the restrictions on branding and logos, as well as the exhaustive warning requirements are, quite literally, an eyesore.
The government deadline for the legalization of cannabis is fast approaching, with legalized pot set to be available to Canadians sometime this summer. At the same time, potential problems with the legislation are coming into much sharper focus. Now is the time for the Senate to live up to its role as the chamber of sober second thought and give greater consideration to issues overlooked or disregarded in the House of Commons.
Canadians can’t be sure when marijuana will be legalized — is it August, September or some other date? — but uncertainty around the timing hasn’t stopped the hype about the legalization of weed. That hype includes the people projecting how much related revenue the Nova Scotia government will bring in from the sale of legalized pot in the coming year.