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New Canadian Prime Minister promises to legalise marijuana

by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 10:38 am


Despite Conservative scaremongering, Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party have won a landslide victory.

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 20 Oct 2015

Canada has a new government with the Liberal Party taking 184 seats in the parliamentary election, representing 54% of the vote. The outgoing Conservative Party has come in second with 99 seats.
The Prime Minister-designate is Justin Trudeau, the oldest son of former PM Pierre Trudeau who in the '70s was a sort of prototype Bill Clinton and Margaret Trudeau who had an affair with Ted Kennedy and hung out with the Rolling Stones.

These were both contributing factors to the couple eventually divorcing in 1984.

One of their son's election pledges was to legalise marijuana "right away."

"That's something we look forward to taking up, but from the federal side of it, moving it to a place where it is controlled and regulated is something we will start doing immediately," said Trudeau who's admitted smoking cannabis "maybe five or six times."

"The current hyper-controlled approach around medical marijuana that actually removes from individuals the capacity to grow their own is not going in the right direction, in either respect to freedom or the kind of care that people need," he expanded in another interview. "We don't yet know exactly what rate we're going to be taxing it, how we're going to control it, or whether it will happen in the first months, within the first year, or whether it's going to take a year or two to kick in. We haven't released a time... We want to get the best ideas from various places and construct a Canadian model."

His Conservative opponent, Stephen Harper, responded to Trudeau's pro-legalisation stance by claiming that "marijuana is infinitely worse than tobacco and it's something that we don't want to encourage."

A Conservative mailer was sent out claiming "Trudeau's agenda would make it easier for kids to get and smoke marijuana", but it hasn't stopped him and the Liberals scoring a landslide victory.

In a coming issue Hot Press will be talking to Anna Marie D'Angelo, Senior Media Relations Officer with Vancouver Coastal Health who operate the city's Insite safe injecting centre.
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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:17 am

The Guardian

Justin Trudeau’s Canada victory is also a win for the nation’s marijuana industry

Shares in all of Canada’s major listed cannabis companies surged on Tuesday, as the market reacted to Trudeau’s pledge to legalise recreational use

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Among the biggest corporate winners from Justin Trudeau’s surprise victory in the Canadian election is the nation’s cannabis industry.

Shares in all of Canada’s major listed cannabis companies surged on Tuesday, as the market reacted to Trudeau’s pledge to legalise recreational cannabis use.

Canopy Growth Corp, the country’s biggest producer, saw its shares spike as high as 21% when the markets opened the morning after the Liberal’s victory party. Shares in the company, which owns medical marijuana brands Tweed and Bedrocan, had already risen by 29% in the past week.

Bruce Linton, chief executive of Canopy Growth, which claims to provide to 20% of Canada’s medical cannabis users, said: “I think what you’ll see perhaps, after this election … is a recognition that there is an opportunity to collect taxes on something that is already being sold into the market illegally or illicitly.”

Shares in the other big players in Canada’s cannabis industry Aphria Inc and Mettrum Health rose by 8.4% and 7.1%, respectively. Some other smaller weed companies’ shares rose by as much as 40%.

Aaron Salz, an analyst at Dundee Capital Markets, said: “Trudeau’s vow to legalise and regulate marijuana the ‘right way’ has set in motion the single most important catalyst for the marijuana space.”

Legalising cannabis had been a key plank of Trudeau’s campaign and he had promised to work towards legalising it “right away”. “We don’t yet know exactly what rate we’re going to be taxing it, how we’re going to control it, or whether it will happen in the first months, within the first year, or whether it’s going to take a year or two to kick in,” he said in the run-up to Monday night’s vote.

Trudeau said legalising and regulating cannabis – in a similar way to how it is controlled in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and DC – would actually make it easier to prevent children from accessing the drug and give tax revenues a big boost. He said current laws were “making marijuana too easy to access for our kids, and at the same time funding street crime, organised gangs and gun runners”.

The Liberal party’s official position on cannabis states: “We will legalise, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana. Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

“To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalise, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.”

If Trudeau follows through on his pledge, Canada would become the first big country to fully legalise the cultivation, sale and recreational use of cannabis. The only country to have made cannabis fully legal is Uruguay, but the 2014 law has yet to be fully implemented. Other countries, like the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, have very relaxed enforcement on cannabis but its use is not fully legalised.
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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:37 pm

The Globe and Mail

With legalization on the horizon, pot entrepreneurs are keen to turn Canada into a marijuana leader

Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

On Monday, Canada traded a leader who recently claimed that marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco for one that has publicly announced intentions to legalize the drug for recreational use, a transition that has far-reaching implications for Canada’s pot entrepreneurs.

While legalization will not happen overnight, much did change for small-business owners in the medicinal-marijuana industry.

“Marijuana entrepreneurs are all smiling because the future will now, hopefully, be accelerated,” said Robert Josephson, president of WeedMD, a Toronto-based medicinal-marijuana grower whose facility in Aylmer, Ont., is waiting on final inspection from Health Canada. “The election results are only positive for the industry, and good for all the entrepreneurs toughing it out.”

Although it may take years before prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau makes good on his promise to move forward on recreational marijuana in Canada, Monday night’s victory sent marijuana stocks surging, and paved the way for more research and education into medicinal marijuana.

According to Mr. Josephson, Canadian doctors have been a bottleneck in the medical-marijuana industry in recent years. Under the Conservative government’s watch, Health Canada has historically discouraged doctors from prescribing medicinal marijuana, citing a lack of clinical trials.

Mr. Josephson believes that the change in the ruling political party will lead to increased investment in marijuana and its medicinal applications by Canadian health-care professionals. “It’s all about the doctors’ willingness to prescribe in our program in Canada,” he said. “Just the election results alone will open people’s eyes. The stigma has been greatly reduced, and I think it will be further reduced.”

Canada is currently home to 50,000 licensed medical-marijuana users and 26 licensed producers, all of whom are regulated by Health Canada. Now that the Liberal Party has secured a majority government, Hugo Alves, the head of the marijuana industry team at Toronto-based law firm Bennett Jones, expects those numbers to grow.

“The fact that there’s a majority government, you’re going to have some stability in terms of the length of time that the party is going to be in office. Entrepreneurs know that this government will be there for four years,” he said. “In terms of whether or not there’s more licences, I think now that the election’s over, there will be a period of time where there’s a shuffle of cabinet, so I expect there to be some disruption.”

Canada’s existing marijuana industry could be further disrupted depending on how the Liberal Party might structure a recreational-marijuana industry, Mr. Alves said.

“They can keep it federal and build off the existing platform they have now. They can build on the existing system to allow for retail dispensaries – but those dispensaries need to purchase from licensed producers as opposed to the black market. They can go all the way to decriminalization, which is eliminating marijuana from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,” he said.

Mr. Alves added that the country is already well positioned to transition to a quality-controlled, mass-market production system, thanks to a recent change in policy by the Harper government.

When the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) were rolled out in 2001, they allowed registered patients the right to grow their own medicine or designate a grower to do so on their behalf. Last April, however, the MMAR were replaced with the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), which require patients to purchase only from licensed producers, who must adhere to Health Canada’s strict quality-control guidelines.

“The main focus in transitioning from MMAR to MMPR was taking the production and putting it in the hands of parties capable of producing a safe product,” said Roger Ferreira, chief executive officer of First Access Medical Inc., a licensed medicinal-marijuana producer.

The transition was championed by a Conservative government concerned with medicinal products winding up in the black market, but the move from homegrown to a consistent, quality-controlled and regulated mass-production system may have unintentionally laid the foundation for a recreational-marijuana industry.

“By transitioning from small mom-and-pop operations to the megafacilities we see today, it is likely that [the Conservative government] inadvertently created the infrastructure that would greatly benefit from legalization,” added Bojan Krasic, First Access Medical’s chief financial officer.

It’s not just the licensed producers that stand to gain from a change in medical marijuana policy.

Leigh Coulter, president and co-owner of GGS Structures, which builds greenhouses for marijuana operations and other agricultural products, anticipates major growth for her small business after last night’s election. “This is an extension and a chance to let the world know Canada will be a leader,” she said. “We will develop the technologies to ensure that this is a crop of great revenue potential.”

Mr. Alves anticipates a number of other small-business sectors benefiting from a more marijuana-friendly Canada as well.

“You just have to look south of the border to see the types of businesses that have sprung up – everything from marijuana-focused marketing and promotions to technology platforms and delivery systems,” he said. “There’s also a real opportunity for some of the businesses that currently exist in an unregulated market to really become a mainstream businesses; they can develop and scale as opposed to remaining in the shadows of a grey market.”

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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:45 pm

Business in Vancouver

Liberals’ legal pot promise will shake up black market, medical cannabis industry: experts

The federal Liberals’ campaign promise to legalize recreational pot will likely shake up the economics of both the black market and medical cannabis industries, say ...

By Tyler Orton
Oct. 20, 2015

The federal Liberals’ campaign promise to legalize recreational pot will likely shake up the economics of both the black market and medical cannabis industries, say experts.

But B.C. marijuana advocacy lawyer Kirk Tousaw said the new government will first have to look to other jurisdictions if it wants to be successful at regulating recreational cannabis.

“We can learn from Washington (state) overregulation can be just as problematic as under-regulating an industry and maybe even more problematic,” he told Business in Vancouver October 20, the day after the Liberals won the majority of seats in the House of Commons.

Tousaw pointed to state governments in Oregon and Colorado, which he said have struck the right regulatory balance.

While the recreational use and possession of marijuana remains a criminal offence in Canada, the federal government regulates the use and production of medical marijuana.

But critics have complained Health Canada regulates that side of the industry is too tightly. The government agency has issued just 26 licences over the past two years after receiving more than 1,200 applications under the new Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).

Tousaw said Health Canada’s “serious error” in over-regulating has set up most medical marijuana producers to fail.

“They’re not able to succeed because they’re competing against a well-entrenched and long-standing black market in cannabis that delivers high-quality products for a relatively low price, safely and effectively, quite frankly,” he said.

Nanaimo-based medical marijuana producer Tilray had to lay off more than 60 of its nearly 200 employees in June, with CEO Greg Engel citing the need to serve patients more efficiently in the “MMPR market as it exists today."

But if done correctly, Tousaw said the Liberals have the chance to wipe out the illegal trade of cannabis. Canadians just can’t expect it to happen instantaneously.

“If we implement a legalization policy that allows individuals to produce for themselves on a non-commercial basis so that it’s not illegal to grow this plant as long as you’re doing it properly, that’s step 1,” he said.

According to the Liberal party platform, the new majority government plans to form a federal-provincial taskforce that includes input from experts in public health and law enforcement to “design a new system of strict marijuana sales and distribution, with appropriate federal and provincial excise taxes applied.”

Engel told BIV the taskforce should also include representatives of the country’s regulated medical cannabis industry.

“Growing and producing at the scale and the level that we’re doing has not really been done under this type of regulated environment before,” the Tilray CEO said.

“So the companies that have operated to date have key learnings (the Liberals) can build off of.”

Engel said he also expects a regulated recreational system to be a boon to the existing medical industry as opposed to a potential for more competition.

“We can look at the various U.S. states that have parallel systems. We’ve seen significant growth in the medical cannabis industry when adult recreational use has come into play,” he said.

“There’s a socialization or normalization within the population.”

A Leger poll conducted on behalf of Tilray revealed last week 86% of Canadians support regulated access to medical cannabis. The online poll sampled from 1,555 Canadians from September 14-17 with a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Engel said Tilray is staying focused on the medical side of the industry and he would first need to see what the new regulations would look like before the company considers expanding into the recreational market.

“I think the biggest thing is that Canada’s really well positioned to be a global leader in not only RnD (research and development) and regulation surrounding cannabis but in terms of the first G20 country to look at adult recreation use federally,” Engel said.

“We’ve learned a lot from our federally regulated medical system.”

Aurora Cannabis, which is headquartered in B.C. and has built its medical marijuana production facility in Alberta, has already begun exploring entry into the recreational pot industry in Washington state.

CEO Terry Booth told BIV in May that the U.S. market dwarfs Canada’s market, which is why the company has been eager to build a facility just across the border in Bellingham, Wash.

Aurora did not respond immediately to interview requests from BIV to find out if the medical marijuana producer is considering entering Canada’s recreational market.

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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:57 pm

Huffington Post Canada

Canadian Marijuana Stocks Leap On Trudeau Victory

The Huffington Post Canada | By Daniel Tencer

Posted: 10/20/2015

Incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vow to start legalizing marijuana “right away” hasn’t gone unnoticed by the markets. Canadian marijuana stocks leaped Tuesday morning after Trudeau’s decisive victory over Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Shares in medical marijuana company Aphria were up 6.26 per cent as of mid-day Tuesday, to $1 per share, while shares in Canopy Growth -- until recently known as Tweed Inc. -- were up 5.82 per cent, to $1.78.

Publicly-traded marijuana companies are a new phenomenon in Canada, the result of a change in Health Canada’s court-mandated medical marijuana program. Starting in 2014, Health Canada began licensing private companies to produce pot for Canada’s medical marijuana users.

Some of those companies have gone public since then, but uncertainty over the fate of the medical marijuana industry means they remain “penny stocks” for the moment.

Medical marijuana growers are hoping that a Liberal government will mean reforms to the system. Health Canada has been criticized for running a costly approval process that has licensed few companies since the program’s launch last year.

“The Canadian marijuana space could be set for another revolution following the Liberal Party victory,” Dundee Capital Markets analyst Aaron Salz said, as quoted at the Globe and Mail.

He said Trudeau’s vow to legalize and regulate marijuana “the right way” could spur Canada’s fledgling industry forward.

Legalization and regulation of marijuana would significantly increase the markets available to licensed marijuana growers. There are currently fewer than 40,000 licensed medical marijuana users in Canada, but estimates suggest there are some 2.3 million Canadians who smoke marijuana.

There are no reliable estimates for what a legalized marijuana industry could be worth to Canada’s economy, and the Liberal Party’s plan does not assume any marijuana revenue as part of its budget projections.

But a back-of-the-envelope calculation, based on weed revenue in Colorado, suggests Canada’s government could collect $411 million a year in taxes from marijuana. That’s assuming similar weed consumption rates, and assuming Colorado’s relatively low taxes.

One estimate from ArcView Group last year said the U.S.'s legal marijuana industry is set to skyrocket, from $1.8 billion in wholesale and retail trade in 2013 to $10.2 billion by 2018.

Retail marijuana is now legal in five U.S. jurisdictions — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and Washington, D.C. Possession has been at least partly decriminalized in 15 other states.
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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:44 pm

October 20, 2015

Legalization of marijuana in B.C. is a federal issue, says premier

By Amy Judd
Online News Producer Global News


Reaction to Justin Trudeau’s win has been coming in throughout the day.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon, thanking Stephen Harper and all the outgoing MPs for their service.

She also congratulated Trudeau on his victory, expressing confidence he will be open to working closely with the B.C. government.

Touching on a number of points including the legalization of marijuana, Clark said “it’s a federal issue and we will work with the government in whatever moves they make on this front.”

“It’s a criminal code provision, the criminal code is a federal responsibility, so if and when they make changes, we will work with them to make sure that changes can be effective in B.C.”

Clark said she knows her government and Trudeau’s government are aligned on one issue for sure: funding infrastructure.

“We are spending more on infrastructure in British Columbia now than we have ever in the history of the province,” said Clark. “Just BC Hydro, is spending $2.5 billion every year for the next 10 years, and that’s just one part of what we’re doing. I believe in infrastructure spending as a way to create jobs, as a way to create economic growth, as a way we can make sure our goods get to market overseas and I know that Prime Minister Trudeau agrees with that and I think that’s something we’re really going to work productively on.”

Clark also shot down a rumour she is going to run to be the next leader of the federal Conservatives.

“I have a big job here in British Columbia and I have always seen my role as to fight for B.C.,” she said. “Fight for jobs here, fight for people here, and I intend to keep giving this 100 per cent of my attention.

“I welcome those who have decided to dedicate their lives to the national stage. British Columbia needs fighters too and I’m going to stick around here and make sure I do that for the people that live here.”
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by papapuff » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:48 pm

The Province

B.C. pot advocates say legalization should come ‘pretty quickly’ after Trudeau victory




B.C.’s pot advocates are urging legalization sooner rather than later, now that a Liberal majority government is in place and medical marijuana stocks have already begun to surge.

“I think it’s going to have to move pretty quickly,” said Sensible B.C.’s Dana Larsen. “There’s no real reason to delay things.”

Medical marijuana stocks surged Tuesday following the election victory of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party, with Canopy Growth Corp. up more than 10 per cent in morning trading to $2.40.

Shares of Canopy, a combined company formed by Tweed Marijuana Inc. and Bedrocan Cannabis Corp., have soared more than 40 per cent over the past five days, while Mettrum Health Corp. saw its shares shoot up eight per cent, or 15 cents, to $1.99.

Larsen isn’t surprised by those numbers.

“I think a lot of people are anticipating those who are licensed to sell medical marijuana are going to be the first ones into the broader recreational market,” he said, noting the cannabis community doesn’t want “to see this turn into a corporate monopoly.”“That’s not the legalization we want to see,” he said, suggesting recreational marijuana should use a model similar to the way wine is produced and regulated.

The Liberals under Justin Trudeau have promised to “legalize, regulate, and restrict access” to marijuana, noting the country’s current system leaves much to be desired.

Trudeau has criticized the Conservatives’ stance on pot, noting how the current system benefits organized crime but does little to prevent kids from using marijuana.

“Trudeau’s vow to legalize and regulate marijuana the ‘right way’ has set in motion the single most important catalyst for the marijuana space,” Dundee Capital Markets analyst Aaron Salz said in a Tuesday note to clients.

Now, following a Liberal majority win, licensed producers are preparing for the likelihood the new government will permit recreational access to the drug as promised.

It’s a move that would fuel rapid growth in Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

“One of the keys will be learning from the experience we’ve had over the last 18 months in providing medicine to patients ... and looking at what can be translated into adult recreational use,” said Greg Engel, the CEO of B.C.-based Tilray.

Engel said the potential growth in the cannabis industry if a recreational program were implemented is difficult to quantify, adding that the medical program alone is expected to see significant expansion.

Larsen suggested Trudeau’s government move quickly to green light recreational pot, as the rules surrounding such an industry would fall on provincial law makers who will need time to draft the legislation.

“There’s going to be growing pains and challenges and you want to have those early in your mandate,” Larsen said.

“But really, he’s got to get it out of the way.”
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by papapuff » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:45 am

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Marijuana advocates 'cautiously optimistic' about Grits' pot promises


With a Liberal government headed to Ottawa, advocates of legalizing marijuana are optimistic it will soon be legal for anyone to fire up a joint in Canada.

"I think it really signals a change across Canada," said Ken Sailor, a longtime marijuana advocate in Saskatoon. Justin Trudeau, the country's new prime ministerdesignate, has not yet outlined a specific plan for the legalization of the popular recreational drug, but he ran on a campaign promising to legalize it.

The fact that a pledge to legalize weed didn't sink Trudeau's campaign means Canadians are ready for more fair drug laws, Sailor said.

"The idea that we are protecting anybody by making drugs illegal is just crazy. There is no evidence to support that." Others are more cautious in their optimism. "All we're going on is one man's word. Whether or not he actually delivers, we won't know that until after his first 100 days in office," said Jeff Lundstrom, owner of Skunk Funk Smokers' Emporium, a head shop in Saskatoon.

Despite Lundstrom's admitted distrust of politicians and political promises, he said he hopes Trudeau's campaign rhetoric turns into solid action. In the meantime, he hopes law enforcement takes notice. "I hope the police take a step back and stop arresting people and searching people for marijuana because they know the platform of legalization is coming," he said.

Canada's top police chief said the laws as they are will continue to be enforced until Trudeau changes them.

"Until we hear anything further from federal prosecutions or new legislation, it will be business as usual for the enforcement of our marijuana laws," said Clive Weighill, Saskatoon's police chief and president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP).

Weighill and the CACP have already called on the government to reduce simple marijuana possession to a ticketable offence rather than a criminal charge. He said handing out tickets to people who are caught with small amounts of pot rather than arresting them will reduce the burden on police officers and the court system.

That doesn't mean the association favours legalization, however. "We are not saying we want to see it legalized per se, but we are saying we can handle it in a different manner," Weighill said.

One man who's been watching the marijuana debate closely is Mark Hauk, head of the Saskatchewan Compassion Club, the province's first medical marijuana dispensary. While he's careful to keep discussions about medical marijuana and recreational legalization separate, he said he is breathing easier knowing the Liberals are in power.

"The difference for us today is feeling a lot less pressure, because we have a government in power that wants to move forward with sensible regulations as opposed to prohibition," Hauk said.

Users and people in the industry need to understand that legalization is not a free-for-all, he added.

"People are rejoicing in the cannabis community, thinking it's going to be a free-for-all, and the reality is we're probably going to end up with more regulations than we had before."

Sailor noted working models already exist in jurisdictions like Colorado, where pot is legal. He hopes Canada follows a similar model and reaps the tax dollars in return, he said.

"We have to provide a way of legal growing, legal distribution, legal selling."

Sailor said legalization will likely reduce the number of young people using the drug and make it safer because people won't have to turn to the black market to access marijuana.

"This can only be good for our children by taking the black market out of their world," he said.
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by papapuff » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:49 am

The Globe and Mail

Storefront pot shops still uncertain even with Liberals’ legalization push

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015

One of the incoming Liberal government’s more high-profile campaign planks is its plan to legalize recreational marijuana use, which raises the spectre that Vancouver’s ubiquitous – and, at least for now, illegal – pot shops could soon bloom across the country.

But long-time MP and recent Liberal health critic Hedy Fry said any move to allow storefront sales of cannabis – whether at retail shops or pharmacies, or both – would need approval from an upcoming task force comprising municipal, provincial and federal politicians, law enforcement, and public health and addiction experts.

The outgoing Conservative government was vehemently opposed to both medical and recreational use of pot, and only created the new federal mail-order system for cannabis patients at the beginning of last year after losses in the Supreme Court of Canada. It also used the issue to repeatedly attack Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau during the federal election campaign.

Mr. Trudeau, the prime-minister-designate, has not said precisely what marijuana legalization will look like under the new Liberal government or how it will be taxed. His costed platform did not include revenue from marijuana taxes.

One thing is clear, said Ms. Fry, who is also a medical doctor: The incoming Liberal government will use “evidence-based policy-making” to guide its marijuana policies, including research that better explains when, why and how it should be prescribed as a medical drug.

“Industry could do some of the work, but I think, always, we’ve had government funding good research that would come about with good clinical guidelines [for use of the drug],” Ms. Fry said.

Canadian physicians are the gatekeepers to the current medical cannabis regime, but most resist prescribing the drug because of a dearth of clinical evidence and fears over improper dosing.

About two dozen commercial producers are now licensed under the new federal system. Presumably, those same producers could be first in line to enter a legalized recreational market. Three commercial growers that are publicly traded saw their stock prices shoot up significantly as the markets opened on Tuesday, the morning after the election.

Bruce Linton, chief executive officer of Canopy Growth Corp., one of the largest licensed growers, said he could envision a hybrid regulatory system in which his brand, Tweed, sells recreational pot through a shop akin to a government-run liquor store, and Bedrocan, the other owned by Canopy Growth, continues mailing medicine directly to patients.

Adding to the complexity is an ongoing Federal Court case involving a group of patients fighting for the right to continue growing marijuana at home, which was banned under the new federal system. The Liberals have not said whether they would attempt to maintain the ban on home growing, but Ms. Fry said continuing to fight such court cases is a waste of public money.

In Vancouver, more than 100 illegal marijuana dispensaries have opened in recent years. The city didn’t shut them down, but responded by introducing new rules to hand out business licences. Victoria is considering similar measures.

The federal government has estimated the number of medical marijuana users in Canada could swell to as many as 450,000 people in the next decade. Analysts have estimated the regulation and taxation of recreational sales could bring in anywhere from $1-billion to $6-billion in government revenue.

Chuck Rifici, who volunteers as the federal Liberal Party’s chief financial officer and founded Tweed before resigning last year, said, “Everything’s potentially on the table,” adding he expects the Liberals to eventually allow retail sales in some form.

“There aren’t a lot of industries where you’re forced to provide product by mail order,” said Mr. Rifici, who still owns stock in Tweed’s parent company and said he will not be involved in crafting any legislation. “In Vancouver, clearly, there’s a large demand: Cannabis users want to be able” to see the product in advance.

On Tuesday, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson welcomed “the opportunity to harmonize” his city’s ground-breaking regulatory approach with any new rules the Liberal government comes up with.

In the meantime, he said, he expected the city would continue weeding out suitable dispensary and compassion club locations from a pool of 176 applications aspiring to be licensed under a pot shop bylaw enacted in June.

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by papapuff » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:56 am

MetroNews Canada

Edmonton marijuana advocate hoping Liberals will 'listen to the cannabis community'

MACROS president Aaron Bott says dispensaries have been left out of the country's marijuana regulatory models for too long.

By: Braeden Jones Metro Published on Tue Oct 20 2015

The manager of Edmonton’s only cannabis dispensary is “cautiously optimistic” Canada’s new government will include businesses like his in its eventual plan to legalize marijuana.

“The only problem or issue I have with the Liberal’s (discussion) of legalization is they say one thing but we don’t know if or how they are actually going to go through with it,” said Aaron Bott, president of Mobile Access Compassionate Resources Organization Society.

MACROS provided medical marijuana card holders with information about the medicine and connected members with licensed growers for 11 years before being raided in July.

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has a softer stance on marijuana than Stephen Harper, who once claimed it was “infinitely worse” than tobacco.

“We have been watching Mr. Trudeau very closely since he mentioned legalization,” Bott said, adding he likes what he hears but doesn’t see it reflected in the Liberal plan.

Trudeau discussed benefits to legalizing cannabis — including insulating Canadians from criminals and protecting children — during the long federal campaign.

Since Monday, he’s explained the timeline to legalize, tax and manage an idea that was prominent in his campaign isn’t settled yet.

Bott said he hopes medical pot users don’t get “snowed under” by concerns of accommodating recreational users.

He explained dispensaries should be included in whatever legalization model Trudeau goes with, so people can “open up dispensaries for patients to access the best quality medicine available.”

He also said it’s important to make sure the government allows people to grow their own plants as medicine, and tests all of the marijuana for quality control.

“Hopefully (the new government) will listen to the cannabis community and people who have been in the industry for over a decade… and hopefully they look at the best model for the people.”
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by papapuff » Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Digital Journal

WeedMeme Launches in Canada to Support Marijuana Legalization and Cannabis Industry Regulation

Vancouver, Canada - October 21, 2015 - (

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by papapuff » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:30 pm

How legalized marijuana could change Canadian cities

Advocates hopeful prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau will act on vow to make pot legal

By Benjamin Shingler, Jaela Bernstien, CBC News Posted: Oct 21, 2015

For more than two decades, Marc-Boris St-Maurice has been fighting for the legalization of marijuana.

Now, that dream appears closer than ever to becoming a reality, with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau making a promise to legalize and regulate pot a key tenet in his party platform.

"I think we've come a long way," said St-Maurice, the founder of the Bloc Pot, a Quebec pro-marijuana party, and a card-carrying Liberal for the past ten years.

"The tipping point has been reached. We've now reached those so-called winning conditions."

Exactly how and when the changes will be put into place, however, remains unclear. St-Maurice said he's "cautiously optimistic" the incoming Liberal government will follow through on its promise.

What would pot stores look like?

Trudeau has already said he's not comfortable with marijuana being sold at local corner stores, stressing that any changes would need to make it more difficult for minors to get their hands on the drug.

He insists legalization would make it tougher for minors to buy pot and would also keep the profits away from organized crime.

Adam Greenblatt, co-founder of Santé Cannabis, Quebec's first medical marijuana clinic, envisions a future with regulated outlets set up around Montreal where adults can go in, show ID and "buy any kind of marijuana product they want."

"I think that selling it in stores and dépanneurs actually kind of cheapens what cannabis is," he said.

"Cannabis is a really diverse and important drug with many benefits."

Provinces to play a role

Greenblatt said many of the changes will likely vary from province to province, just like the legal drinking age.

Similarly, it will likely be up to the provinces to determine whether the sale of marijuana will be done through a provincial Crown corporation, as is the case for wine and spirits in Quebec, or through private businesses, as is the case for alcohol in Alberta, he said.

Some jurisdictions may even choose to ban the sale of marijuana outright, he said.

One thing is for certain — there will be an added sales tax on marijuana.

"It comes down fundamentally to tax collection," Greenblatt said.

The trick, he said, will be to keep the tax low enough so that marijuana users don't turn to the black market.

Some of the revenue, he suggested, could be used to raise awareness among teens about some of the risks of using marijuana.

The Colorado model

The Liberals have said Colorado, which last year became the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, could be used as a model for legislation here in Canada.

In Colorado, an individual over the age of 21 is allowed to possess up to about 28 grams of marijuana for personal use.

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has been pushing since 2013 for officers to have the ability to ticket people found with 30 grams of marijuana or less.

Mario Hamel, the association's vice-president and the chief of the Gatineau police, said legalizing marijuana could free up officers to address other issues. But his association has other concerns.

"Organized crime is there to make money," he said.

"The opportunity could shift to other drugs — maybe cheaper drugs, chemical drugs."
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by TraLaLogz » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:55 am

re: the above linked article ( - I think it's interesting that Canada is potentially using Colorado as a model for legalization. It's not so much surprising that they would choose to use Colorado as an example but just that it made me consider that a lot of the Western world is probably looking to Colorado for guidance on legalization, not just the United States as I'd always imagined.
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by papapuff » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:22 am

MTL Blog

What Montreal Will Look Like When Justin Trudeau Legalizes Marijuana

There will be more change than just a cloud of smoke over the city.

by Michael D'Alimonte · October 22, 2015

Let’s be real here people, one of the most appealing aspects of Justin Trudeau/the Liberal Party’s platform for a lot of us youths (at least the stoner ones) was the promise to legalize marijuana. During Harper’s reign, the idea of legal marijuana in Canada was but a fantasy, but now that Trudeau is in the house (of Commons) we may actually see a nation where marijuana use is no longer against the law.

Scratch that, we better get an entire nation where marijuana is legal, as Justin promised he would get on the task “right away,” though no specified timeline was given. Still, we have a pretty good idea of what Montreal and other Canadian cities could like look when the Liberals get to the legalization of marijuana.

First, to all the haters: there’s next to no chance marijuana is just going to be sold in dépanneurs and corrupt the youth. Speaking the truth like a boss, Adam Greenblatt, co-founder of Quebec’s first medical marijuana clinic Santé Cannabis, told CBC that selling marijuana in deps would “cheapen what cannabis is.”

Greenblatt delved further into the possible setup for legalized weed in Canada, commenting how he would like to see a Montreal where “regulated outlets” are in place, allowing anyone of age with a proper ID to go in and buy a cannabis product of their choosing, from edibles to particular strains.

Provinces will also need to determine whether or not there will be Crown corporation that will regulate the sales of marijuana, like the SAQ does for liquor in Quebec. But no matter what, you can rest assured that there will be sales tax on cannabis, as Greenblatt notes, which is the real driving force for the government’s desire to legalize marijuana.

The Liberal Party has made a point to say in the past that Canada could follow the “Colorado model” when it comes to marijuana legalization. We’re really hoping so, because the American state has a really solid system when it comes to cannabis.

In Colorado, anyone over the age of 21 is legally allowed to have 28g (or one ounce) of marijuana on their person at any time, no matter if they’re a Colorado-resident or not. You don’t even need a special ID or card. Actually, the law states you can have 28g’s of “THC,” making edibles and oils permissible under the law, too.

Growing marijuana is even a-okay under the Colorado model, just so long as you’re growing in an enclosed space. Any adult can grow up to 6 plants, though you can’t have more than three flowering at the same time. There’s also a limit to the number of total plants per house, which is set at 12, no matter how many people live there.

Being able to freely hold an ounce of marijuana and grow your own plants is a pretty great setup, one we hope the Liberals bring on over to Canada. Not everything is sunshine in the Colorado model, though, as you still can’t smoke cannabis in public areas like a cigarette, nor drive with even a minute amount of THC in your system or with an open cannabis container.

We’re still willing to take the good with the bad, as long as the Liberals stay good on their promise. Your move Justin, your move.
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by papapuff » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:24 pm

B.C. senator passes marijuana advice to PM Justin Trudeau

We should look to Colorado on how to legalize pot, says Senator Larry Campbell

By The Early Edition, CBC News Posted: Oct 22, 2015


B.C. Senator Larry Campbell says prime minister-delegate Justin Trudeau should give it a year to 18 months before legalizing marijuana — to make sure it is done right.

Trudeau promised to legalize marijuana across Canada 'right away', but hasn't committed to a timeline for legalization.

Campbell — the former mayor of Vancouver — said there needs to be communication across all three levels of government for the proper roll-out of pot legalization.

"I don't think it is going to be made in isolation, unlike the previous government there will be a lots of meetings between everybody," said Campbell, who firmly believes in legalization and not decriminalization.

"Decriminalization sends all the wrong messages, says to our young people that this is a minor traffic ticket" he said.

Colorado leads the way

Campbell believes Canada should look to Colorado as an example, which started with years of the regulation of medical marijuana.

"They had it well regulated and when change-over came it was virtually seamless," he said.

He also believes governments should only play a regulatory role.

"Make sure that government enforces the laws around marijuana but lets the private industry handle the growing and marketing of it," he said.

Canada's current laws are unnecessary and costly, Campbell said.

"The way we are doing business, sending people to jail and giving them criminal records is simply unnecessary and extremely costly and the human toll is enormous," he said.

"Go to jail for six months for six plants and I don't know anyone who thinks that is reasonable," he said.

While Campbell notes, there are challenges ahead, it is not something Canada should shy away from.

"We shouldn't be afraid of this," he said, "It's a given that there will be some flaws in the system, nothing is perfect."
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