Canada recently became the second country, after Uruguay, to completely legalize cannabis. If all goes well, it will be commercially available by the end of the summer to people who are 21 years of age and older. While supporters hope that this will increase access for people who have conditions that cannabis will help but aren’t covered under medical guidelines, detractors think that this may increase availability to people who are underage.
Still, there are plenty of benefits to legalizing a multi-billion-dollar industry and bringing cannabis from the black market to a federally regulated market. Not the least of which is the fact that Canada’s success may be a potential positive for the same occurring in the United States.
From tax revenues to the increased sales of related industries like the vaporizer and wax vape pen industry, let’s explore the benefits of legalizing cannabis in Canada.
Why is cannabis being legalized in Canada?
The decision to legalize, and therefore regulate, cannabis in Canada has been supported by the liberal party led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for three primary reasons:
- Restrict youth access
- Bring the illicit market to bear through stiff criminal penalties
- Protect public health and safety
Legal sales to and advertising targeting cannabis consumers will have to be restricted to at least those 18 years of age or older. However, each territory or province will be able to raise the age for the purchase of cannabis if they so choose.
Sale of cannabis to persons 17 years of age or younger will carry a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
The market would be tightly regulated. The government would license and strictly regulate growers and cultivators. They would also set standards for potency and penalize abuse.
The economic aspect of legalization
Tax revenues aside, another benefit of legalization in Canada will be the economic benefit.
Whether government operated or private, the shops selling the cannabis will require budtenders and cashiers and security personnel. Grow operations will also require employees to plant, monitor, and harvest the cannabis that they cultivate.
The other economic benefit will be in industries that are directly linked to the cannabis industry. Vape shops will require more product – the sales of vaporizers will increase. This will undoubtedly lead to new retail markets but also to a need for more employees in the existing industry.
What are the pros and cons of legalizing weed in Canada?
The first and most evident pro of legalizing cannabis in Canada is the tax revenue that it will generate. The trick, however, will be to keeping the tax high enough that it will pay for some of the additional services legalization will require, but not so high that people will continue to patronize the black market.
Individual provinces would be able to decide if the cannabis will be sold at government dispensaries or through private businesses, as Alberta has done with alcohol sales.
Another positive aspect is that the increased tax revenues would allow for minors and young adults to be educated about the potential dangers of marijuana consumption by young people. As stated above, the proposed legislation would also prevent those under 18 from being able to legally obtain cannabis.
What do experts say about the advantages of legalizing marijuana in Canada?
Experts believe that roughly 5.4 million people currently consume marijuana, both legal and illegal. This is roughly 15% of Canada’s population. Canaccord Genuity Group, Inc., estimates that this will require roughly 420,000kg per year.
Even those who were fully behind the legalization efforts have fears when it comes to supplying this kind of need. They fear that large-scale grow operations will seize the market, leaving small-time growers with nothing. Of course, there is always the opportunity for small-scale “craft” grow operations, much like craft brewing has contributed to the alcohol market.
Michael is a marketing and creative content specialist at GotVape.com with a primary focus on customer satisfaction. Technology and fitness combined with healthy lifestyle obsession are his main talking points