The United States just lost the golden opportunity to become the first G7 country to legally legitimize a proven economic stimulus and capitalistic cash cow because our neighbor to the north, Canada, just legalized recreational pot.
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, the Canadian Senate approved Bill C-45 – aptly called the Cannabis Act. Its full title is “An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts.” You can see why it got its nickname.
Canada’s Cannabis Act was passed by their House of Commons in late November 2017. After Senate consideration on June 7, 2018, the bill was sent back to the House with amendments before resubmission to the Senate on June 18, with Senate approval of the bill’s final version the following day. Two days after that, on June 21, C-45 received Royal Assent, the last step in this legislative process.
Effective October 17, 2018, recreational use of cannabis will be legal across the Canadian nation.
Canada wasn’t always so friendly toward the hardy weed know by many names – maryjane, grass, ganja, herb (to name a few). The country banned marijuana use in 1923. Only in 2001 did medical cannabis become legalized and regulated.
Consequently, medical marijuana production in Canada is well advanced, due in large part perhaps to the absence of a suppressive Food and Drug Administration as exists in the United States. Canada was able to recognize and acknowledge the proven health benefits of medical marijuana without bias. According to the Canadian CBC News, the following events led directly to Canadian legalization of MMJ (medical marijuana):
“Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam began limited research on the drug in the early 1960s, which led to the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system. By the mid-1990s, scientists determined that cannabinoid receptors play a vital role in the function of the human body. For the first time, synthetic cannabinoid derivatives were approved for medical use, primarily for the treatment of nausea and wasting syndrome.”
Canadian MMJ suppliers have been busy perfecting their craft. Their goal is to become to world’s top medical pot exporter.
To that end, in British Columbia, the Speakeasy Cannabis Club Ltd. is building a pot cultivation complex measuring 80,000 square feet. For contrast, an American football field is 57,600 square feet.
The B.C. mega-grow operation will have three 27,000 square-foot buildings. There will be 40 flower rooms, four vegetation rooms (the plant stage before flowering), and four cure rooms (drying before packaging). The company is “a late stage applicant awaiting their cultivation license under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).”
The new company’s main competitor is Aurora Cannabis Inc., a publicly-traded medical cultivator whose vision is to be “the Amazon Prime of Canadian cannabis.” Their new grow operation called Aurora Sky will be located near Edmonton, the capital of Alberta. This mega-complex is literally ten times bigger than its B.C. counterpart, sprawling over 800,000 square feet! The estimated annual output is 100,000 kilograms (over 220,000 pounds) of cannabis a year.
With turnkey greenhouses available, pot cultivation in Canada is growing more efficient and productive.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the new recreational producers will take advantage of every tech advancement their soon-to-be-richer country has devised.
Canada is the second country to fully legalize marijuana use. Uruguay set the world record for forward thinking in May 2014 when they established the Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis to regulate sales through federally sanctioned pharmacies. The rules specify that anyone can grow up to six plants at home with an annual cap on production of 480 grams (17 ounces).
Unfortunately, the United States has blocked economic gains from Uruguay’s budding (we couldn’t help it) cannabis industry. As reported in Cannabis Now:
“Uruguay’s banks face U.S. sanctions under the Patriot Act if they do any business with the country’s legal cannabis industry.”
Because U.S. banks refuse cannabis transactions, marijuana pharmacies in Paraguay must deal in cash. Currency on the premises invites armed robbery and theft. Is it any surprise that a mere 14 out of the approximately 1,200 legal cannabis pharmacies have become registered sellers?
Canada, however, faces no such obstacle. As a member of the Group of Seven (G7) nations – along with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States – Canada is considered one of “the world’s advanced economies.”
Canada’s banking system is strong enough not to care about the U.S. Patriot Act. The Toronto Financial Services Alliance states matter-of-factly:
“The World Economic Forum, in its annual global competitiveness reports, has singled out Canadian banks as one of the soundest in the world for the past nine years in a row.”
More details about the forces strengthening Canada’s economy come from Export.gov:
“The Canadian banking system is well-developed and mature, and in general highly conservative and regulated with more stringent rules governing leverage and capital ratios than the United States.”
The bottom line is that there is nothing to stop Canada from becoming the world’s pot czars – unless or until some other G7 country, perhaps one situated nearby and slightly to the south, legalizes marijuana at the federal level.
Is anybody in Washington, D.C. paying attention?