Cannabis review coming to Canada

The federal government has finally announced its plans for a long-overdue review of the Cannabis Act and some in BC say they hope it’ll address the black market.

The review comes nearly four years after marijuana was legalized in Canada and will look at the economic, social and environmental impacts of cannabis.

All Canadians are urged to weigh in through an online questionnaire.

The Liberal government admits there are flaws in the current regulations.

“We have been in many ways as Canadians were leaders in advancing sensible drug policy and the legalization regulation of cannabis is an example of that,” said Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, the Liberal MP for Beaches-East York, in a statement.

“But we didn’t get it perfect. We didn’t get it exactly right the first time. And this is an opportunity to make sure we are getting it right going forward.”

The Cannabis Act came into effect in October 2018. It set purchase and possession limits at 30 grams, restricted youth access, and established safety requirements for growing, selling and transporting the substance.

The feds were required to conduct a review last year, but blamed the delay on the pandemic. Those in the regulated cannabis industry are hoping the review will address some of the inequities that the black market is currently benefiting from.

“One is the edible dosage limit, you know, we are of the opinion that that 10 milligram dosage limit is, in fact, you know, supporting the unregulated market, their continued success,” said Jaclynn Pehota of the Retail Cannabis Council of BC

“Other concerns from us are things like the marketing restrictions, carried limits for possession. And then obviously, as I said before, the uneven tax burden.”

She says the government needs to make a level playing field.

“The best way for us to encourage consumers to use the legal system is to provide them with choices, quality and prices that they are used to,” said Pehota.

The review panel must issue a report with their findings and recommendations within the next 18 months.

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