Canada’s government has formally appointed a panel of doctors, academics, and lawyers to conduct its first-ever statutory review of the country’s 2018 Cannabis Act, which federally legalized cannabis for adults, The Canadian Press reports.
The legislative review is coming more than a year later than expected and aims to investigate the health effects of legal cannabis on Canadian citizens and analyze the effects of legalization on Canada’s economy and unregulated cannabis market, which has thrived despite the reforms.
The panel, headed by former foreign deputy minister of justice and deputy attorney general of Canada Morris Rosenberg, now includes four additional experts:
- Dr. Oyedeji Ayonrinde, an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Queen’s University
- Dr. Patricia Conrod, a clinical psychologist and professor at University of Montreal’s Department of Psychiatry and Addiction
- Lynda Levesque, a criminal lawyer and member of the Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba, Treaty Five territory
- Dr. Peter Selby, Vice-Chair of Research and Head of the Department of Family and Community’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction
The statutory review in question was mandated by the original legalization bill but, despite consistent outcry from legal cannabis operators about steep taxes and competition with the unregulated marketplace, federal officials were slow to take action.
The Cannabis Act took effect in October 2018; Canada was only the second nation in the world to pass federal adult-use cannabis reforms, after Uruguay.
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