Four years since legalizing cannabis at the federal level, the Canadian government announced plans this week for an official review of its cannabis program and resulting national industry, CTV National News reports.
The legislative review is long-overdue — it was originally expected nearly 12 months ago — and looks to investigate the effects of cannabis legalization on the health of Canadian citizens and analyze its effects on the economy and illicit cannabis marketplace, which has continued to thrive. The review will pay careful consideration to the effects of cannabis on Canadian youth, according to Health Canada.
Participants in Canada’s cannabis industry have consistently called for changes amid hefty tax rates and strict regulations, which they say help facilitate steep competition from the unregulated marketplace.
George Smitherman, president of the Cannabis Council of Canada, said in the report that the “playing field” between legal cannabis companies and unlicensed operators is “nowhere near level,” especially given the popularity of unregulated retail shops and delivery services.
“There’s a significant body of regulation, but there isn’t enough law on the books to stop obvious illegal operators and no one is doing anything about it.” — Smitherman, via CTV National News
Canada federally legalized cannabis for adults in October 2018 and was only the second country in the world to pass the reforms at the national level.
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