Cannabis Legalization

Ontario government makes delivery curbside pickup permanent for cannabis retailers

Only a retail store authorization holder or its employees can make the deliveries. Third-party delivery is not permitted

It’s official: the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has announced the provincial government has permanently green-lit the ability of cannabis retailers to offer delivery and curbside pickup services.

In a bulletin posted this week, the AGCO reported that the province has established rules to make the long-awaited and much-demanded change permanent. That new rules comes into force on Mar. 15.

“Making cannabis delivery permanent rather than temporary would be a huge step forward for the legal market in Ontario. It would significantly benefit retailers. But more importantly, it would benefit consumers by expanding and enhancing their options,” David Clement, North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center, wrote for The GrowthOp in the spring of 2020.

Read the full article here

Nancy Mace: The South Carolina Republican Who Could Deliver Legal Cannabis

By Yaël Ossowski

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (left) with former SC Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley (right)

During the Democratic presidential candidates during the 2020 election primary, the topic of legalizing cannabis federally was explicitly endorsed by virtually every candidate in the race, save Joe Biden.

Now that the Democrats have majority control of the House and Senate, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has pledged to end cannabis prohibition in the United States with his own bill, and some of his House colleagues have said the same.

However, the legislator who may actually deliver on serious cannabis reform won’t be a major Senate figure or even a Democratic heavyweight in either chamber. It may rest on the shoulders of one first-term Republican Congresswoman from South Carolina’s Lowcountry.


U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, who was propelled “from Waffle House to the US House”, has already proven to be a unique lawmaker among the elite cadre of elected representatives in the nation’s capital.

As a single mother of two children and the first woman to graduate from the Citadel, a military academy, Mace has followed a more independent streak in her short tenure thus far in DC.

As the first Republican woman from South Carolina elected to Congress, she has already made her mark as a supporter of both LGBT and reproductive rights, a skeptic of US military interventions abroad, and was forthright in condemning President Donald Trump after the events of January 6.

Now, she has made waves among House colleagues and cannabis reform advocates for the States Reform Act, one of the most inspiring bills to legalize and regulate cannabis.


The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to reschedule cannabis, regulate it like alcohol, would offer judicial reforms to nonviolent offenders charged with marijuana crimes, empower entrepreneurs to enter the cannabis space, and give powers to the states to effectively decide what the regulations on cannabis should be. It would also apply an excise tax of just 3%, the lowest of any cannabis bill that has been introduced into Congress.

This means Mace’s law both respects federalism by giving the ultimate say to states while recognizing the federal prohibition as no longer just. Added to that, it would immediately cease all federal prosecutions and cases for nonviolent defendants in cannabis cases, would remove these charges from nonviolent offenders who were convicted, and would use the revenue to support law enforcement and community investment.

With these elements of federalism, social justice, and entrepreneurship, this bill satisfies political advocates from both the left and the right, and could actually pave the way for a real solution to cannabis prohibition in our country.

The Reason Foundation has a great breakdown of the bill for those interested.


Even though 68% of the country supports legalizing cannabis in a Gallup poll or as high as 91% from a Pew poll, the highest recorded number, there are still many obstacles. As one can imagine, Mace’s freshman GOP status won’t be enough to draw in significant Democratic support from her House colleagues to bring this to a vote, but there have been a great number of other key endorsements.

In January, Amazon — the second-largest company in the country — formally endorsed Mace’s bill. They are most concerned about how drug testing regulations are hampering their ability to hire workers.

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance, made up of advocacy organizations pushing for market-friendly cannabis reforms, (including the Consumer Choice Center), has publicly supported the bill. That also includes the justice advocacy organization of the Weldon Project and the Law Enforcement Action Partnership.

The Consumer Choice Center supports this bill because we believe it offers the most achievable and concrete changes that would introduce smart cannabis policy at the federal level, eliminating the black market, restoring justice, and giving the incentive for creative entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace. That would be a huge benefit to consumers.

When asked, some Democrats have been receptive to the bill, and they have committed to holding hearings, but thus far most of the momentum has been among advocates and in the media.

It was enough to also get the congresswoman recognized on Real Time with Bill Maher, not necessarily the most hospitable television program for Republicans. Maher, a long-time foe of cannabis prohibition, made the point that Democrats have dragged their feet on this issue, and it was time that the GOP would “steal this issue from the Democrats”.

All of that said, this is far from the most popular political issue in Mace’s home state of South Carolina. The head of the SC GOP has blasted Mace’s bill and any attempt to legalize recreational or even medical cannabis. A Republican primarily challenger, Katie Arrington, who lost the seat to Democrat Joe Cunningham in 2018, has already put together a video criticizing Mace’s stance on cannabis. It would seem this issue is sparking more controversy than others in South Carolina Republican politics.

Former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, also a former SC congressman, for his part, has written that the SC GOP is “ignoring the will” of voters in continuing to oppose medical cannabis in the Palmetto State.

However it falls, Congresswoman Nancy Mace has given something that all Americans could potentially benefit from. Her States Reform Act, if it can withstand the partisan dance in the nation’s capital, has some of the most positive reforms on cannabis that we have seen in over a decade.

That is something to celebrate, but it is only the beginning if we want to see true cannabis reform in our country.

Yaël Ossowski is deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center.

Cannabis Industry Stakeholders, Policymakers Share Perspectives on States Reform Act

U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace unveiled the legislation Nov. 15 to allow state governments to regulate cannabis products through the health-and-safety oversights of their choosing.

During a Nov. 15 press conference, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina who took office at the beginning of the year, unveiled the States Reform Act (SRA), legislation that would allow state governments to regulate cannabis products through the health-and-safety oversights of their choosing.

The 131-page draft bill proposes a 3% federal cannabis excise tax, with a 10-year moratorium on excise tax increases to maintain a competitive marketplace.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which operates under the U.S. Department of the Treasury, would federally regulate the interstate commerce of cannabis products, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would oversee medical cannabis.

The legislation also includes expungement provisions, but cartel members, agents of cartel gangs or those convicted of driving under the influence would be excluded from seeking expungement.

The Consumer Choice Center applauds Rep. Mace’s effort to provide Americans with a smart, safe and consumer-friendly path to legal cannabis. A focus on establishing legal and safe markets will benefit all of society by finally eliminating the black market, restoring justice and giving the incentive for creative entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace. It is past time America had smart cannabis policies.” – Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director, Consumer Choice Center

Read the full text here

Cannabis Freedom Alliance Endorses Rep. Mace’s States Reform Act

Today, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance (CFA) announced that it has endorsed the States Reform Act. The Act strongly aligns with CFA’s vision of ending prohibition in a manner consistent with helping all Americans achieve their full potential and limiting the number of barriers that inhibit innovation and entrepreneurship in a free and open market. The States Reform Act is the truly principled vehicle for conservatives, libertarian, and all who value limited government to support cannabis reform. 

CFA was proud to work with Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-SC)’s team in crafting this legislation and to lend it our future support. The Act creates a bill that keeps Americans and their children safe while ending the federal preemption of and interference with state cannabis laws. The States Reform Act:

  • Federally decriminalizes cannabis and fully defers to state powers over prohibition and commercial regulation
  • Regulates cannabis products like alcohol products
  • Institutes a 3% federal excise tax on those products to fund law enforcement and small business programs.
  • Ensures the continued existence of state medical cannabis programs and patient access while allowing for new medical research and products to be developed
  • Protects our veterans by ensuring they will not be discriminated against in federal hiring for cannabis use or lose their VA healthcare for following their doctor’s advice to use medical cannabis
  • Protects children and young adults under 21 from cannabis products and advertising nationwide

Read the full text here

Consumer Choice Center Praises Rep. Nancy Mace’s Smart Cannabis Legalization Bill


Consumer Choice Center Praises Rep. Nancy Mace’s Smart Cannabis Legalization Bill

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) unveiled the first comprehensive federal cannabis decriminalization and legalization bill by a Republican member of Congress.

The Consumer Choice Center, a global consumer advocacy group that advocates for smart cannabis policies, praises Rep. Mace’s bill as a significant first step in ending the war on cannabis and providing a consumer-friendly model for sales and distribution to spur entrepreneurship. They join the coalition of the Cannabis Freedom Alliance in endorsing the bill.

“The Consumer Choice Center applauds Rep. Mace’s effort to provide Americans with a smart, safe, and consumer-friendly path to legal cannabis,” said Yaël Ossowski, deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center. “A focus on establishing legal and safe markets will benefit all of society by finally eliminating the black market, restoring justice, and giving the incentive for creative entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace. It is past time America had smart cannabis policies.”

The bill text will be introduced by the end of the day on Monday.

“For too long, lives and resources have been wasted in the failed War on Drugs. By calling on federal lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis, Rep. Mace is taking the next practical step to save lives and improve our communities,” said David Clement, North American Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center.

“The benefits of legalization have already paid out massive dividends to the people in Colorado, California, Michigan, Oregon, and more, via tax revenues and also by reversing the harsh criminalization that has had a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities. Now is the opportunity to make it national,” said Clement.

“We must ensure that the federal government embraces smart cannabis policy, one that encourages competition, entrepreneurship, avoids red tape and eradicates the black market to spur a new revolution in entrepreneurship and opportunity.

“The Consumer Choice Center applauds Rep. Mace’s efforts, and hopes legislators line up behind this proposal,” said Clement.

Read more about the Consumer Choice Center’s Smart Cannabis Policy Recommendations


Yaël Ossowski

Deputy Director

Consumer Choice Center


The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva, Lima, Brasilia, and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more atconsumerchoicecenter.org.

Opinion: Missouri should learn from Canada’s cannabis experience

To say that Missouri’s medical cannabis rollout has been rocky is an understatement. First, enormous public controversy emerged when 85 percent of applicants for marijuana business licenses were denied. Second, with limitations on the number of producers and retailers, consumers have faced high prices, inconsistent quality, and other difficulties in accessing legalproducts. However, we can learn some significant lessons from places that have already legalized — most notably our neighbor to the north, Canada.  

Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that medical cannabis could be used for HIV/AIDS and a variety of other illnesses. That moment ultimately set the table for the legalization of adult-use recreational cannabis 17 years later. A lot can be learned from the Canadian experience, especially the numerous mistakes that have been made since 2018.

Unfortunately, it looks like the state of Missouri is replicating many of those errors. The first and most glaring mistake is the application of pharmaceutical-grade production regulations for medical cannabis. This is problematic for a few reasons.

While medical cannabis is medicine, there is no need for it to be regulated in a similar fashion as narcotics. Any risk-based assessment would clearly demonstrate that there just isn’t a need for this level of scrutiny from regulators, especially given that alcohol is not regulated in this manner. 

Beyond being heavy-handed, these pharma-grade restrictions act as a significant barrier to entry and run the risk of preventing the legal medical market from being able to scale up if recreational cannabis is legalized, either by state ballot initiative in 2022, or if the federal government takes a leadership role on this issue. 

In fact, this is exactly the mistake that Canada made when it passed the Cannabis Act in 2018. Prior to the legalization of recreational cannabis, federally regulated licensed medical producers were forced to comply with pharma-grade production regulations, which artificially inflated operating costs and inflated prices for patients. When recreational cannabis became legalized, those licensed producers struggled immensely to scale up their operations to meet the new spike in demand, which caused shortages, exorbitant prices, and poor product availability. 

This is the situation Missouri will be in if it continues down its current path in regards to rigid production restrictions. By looking north, legislators in the Show Me State could see that those rules and regulations created a laundry list of negative externalities, all of which were easily avoidable with a more appropriate regulatory framework. 

Another significant issue with Missouri’s current setup for medical cannabis is the existence of license caps for producers, processors, and retailers. Beyond being subject to human error, a cap-based system is susceptible to gross conflicts of interest and cronyism. Over 800 lawsuits have been filed over license denials, and last week a $28 million judgment was handed down against Wise Health Solutions, the company tasked with scoring these applications. This judgment came after an arbitrator described Wise Health Solutions as negligently performing its role. Numerous other American states have seen similar controversy over license caps, including Missouri’s neighbor, Illinois.

The Canadian example showed clearly that license caps are the wrong approach. There is no federal cap on producer licenses in Canada, and several provinceshave uncapped their retail license approval process. Ontario’s conservative government decided almost immediately after forming a government that the retail market for cannabis would be uncapped, with the attorney general stating: “Not having a cap on cannabis retail outlets will mean that the cannabis market will be able to accurately respond to market pressures and demand for the product. This is a huge step in regards to combating the illegal market.” These pro-market initiatives are in large part why the legal market in Canada outsold the illegal market in 2020. 

At the end of the day, over-regulation makes it harder for patients to access their medicine and incentivizes buying from the black market, which wastes valuable police resources. Even worse, heavy-handed regulations make it harder for ordinary folks to capitalize on the economic growth that comes from either medical cannabis or recreational cannabis, and this is especially true for minority populations who have been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs.  

Luckily for Missourians, there is a chance to open the medical cannabis market and lay the groundwork for a fully functional recreational market. Republican Rep. Shamed Dogan had introduced a House Joint Resolution that would entirely avoid the consequences of over-regulation. This is something that both free-market Republicans and social justice Democrats should endorse.

Originally published here

Embrace the Smart Legalisation of Cannabis

Marijuana or cannabis is considered to be a sacred plant in Hindu mythology. Its stress-relieving properties were mentioned in the Atharvaveda (4th Veda), one of the four ancient scriptures. It is considered to be one of ‘five sacred plants’ that are generally utilised to attain trance and carry out rituals and other religious activities dating back to 2000-1400 B.C. 

Cannabis holds a significant value in Hindu culture and it is often associated with the lord Shiva (god of destruction). Bhang is generally offered to Lord Shiva and is consumed ritually by his disciples and devotees (yogis and naga sadhus) who smoke its leaves and resin from a special instrument known as Chillum. 

The consumption of marijuana has spiritual significance during the festival of Maha Shivratri and Holi. The consumption of marijuana leaves (Bhang) is considered appropriate during these festivals as it is believed that bhang purifies the elixir of life produced by Shiva from his body which purifies the soul. 

Cannabis is classified as a physio pharmaceutical drug sourced from cannabis plants and primarily used as medicine or for recreational purposes. The versatility of this drug allows it to be consumed in various ways such as being grounded and mixed in cigarettes or in a bong.

A much more concentrated form popular among youth is known as hashish. A vaporizer machine distils the cannabis into a storage unit and produces a vapour that can be inhaled by the user which is common practice in western culture

The reason for cannabis being severely regulated or outright banned is due to the core psychoactive element known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This component is responsible for the euphoric sensation experienced when the drug is inhaled.


The British regime took the initial steps to regulate cannabis in India. The laws were enacted by the British levying taxes on cannabis and its derivative forms such as charas and Bhang. These taxes were levied in the pretext of “good health and sanity” for the natives but the British refrained from criminalizing its usage.

In 1961 the convention of UNCND categorised cannabis and its derivatives as schedule IV, driving criminalisation on a global scale. After the initial opposition, the Indian government led by then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, introduced the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in 1985 that served as the final nail in the coffin for the marijuana trade in India. However, the Act kept the usage of seeds and leaves out of its purview due to its spiritual significance, hence successfully avoided the stigma of being labelled as bootlegged.

The act permitted the cultivation of cannabis strictly for industrial purposes such as hemp production or horticulture. Recently, cannabis has been acknowledged as a prominent source of high-value oil, fibre and biomass according to the National Policy on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.


The recent decision of U.N to reschedule marijuana has been backed by a majority of member states, including India. The decriminalisation drive has been initiated by various NGOs across the nation, in the form of movements led by youth and filing petitions to challenge the stringent drug laws in India. Non-profit organisations such as The Great Legalization Movement India aim to decriminalise the use of cannabis in India for commercial and medical purposes.

The group under its decriminalisation drive challenged the NDPS Act in 2019. The writ petition was filed by them in the high court of Delhi seeking legalisation of cannabis under the act. The Act was challenged on the grounds of violating several provisions of the Constitution of India such as Article 21 providing the right to life and personal liberty. This is the biggest action taken against the criminalisation of cannabis on Indian soil.

This paradigm shift has caused several activists and public leaders to begin voicing their support towards cannabis legalisation. In 2018, Uttarakhand allowed hemp cultivation for commercial purpose and also granted a license to the Indian Industrial Hemp Association (IIHA) to grow hemp over 1000 hectares of land, thus becoming the first state to take a radical step towards decriminalisation.  Manipur is known for its high-quality cannabis, and recently the state government has acknowledged its brimming potential as the main driver of the state economy. The state government is devising plans for legalising cannabis for clinical purpose by involving new emerging start-ups in its legalisation plan.

As the country began embracing the medical and therapeutic properties of cannabis, numerous start-ups emerged focusing on the therapeutic aspect of marijuana such as Odisha based HempCann Solutions which opened India’s first Cannabis Clinic in Bangalore known as Vedi Herbal. The clinic prescribes tablets and oils infused with marijuana in order to treat various health ailments such as stress, anxiety and sex-related problems. The license has been issued to the clinic to commence its operation in all parts of the country, a massive step forwards toward the legalisation of cannabis in the country.

The future of cannabis in India remains uncertain, but these initiatives give a ray of hope to the youth working towards the common goal of decriminalising cannabis in new and progressive India.

Originally published here.

Miljard gram cannabis opgeslagen zonder verkocht te worden

BNN Bloomberg kondigde deze week aan dat een miljard gram legale pot in Canada onverkocht in magazijnen in het hele land ligt te verstoffen. De vraag rijst waarom deze cannabis niet wordt gebruikt om cbd-olie van te maken.

Dat is heel veel wiet. Een voorraad die genoeg zou moeten zijn om drie jaar vooruit te kunnen. Door de steeds hogere eisen die de consument stelt aan zijn cannabisproduct ligt veel cannabis uit het middensegment nu te verstoffen in magazijnen. “Je kunt echter geen THC-producten uit het middensegment voor een cent weggeven,” vertelde Peter Machalek, vice-president verkoop en partnerschappen bij TREC Brand, aan Bloomberg. “De markt is veel geavanceerder geworden en volgt wat de consumenten eisen.”

CBD-olie van onverkochte cannabis

Het roept de vraag op waarom een deel van die miljard gram niet is gebruikt om CBD-olie van te maken. De niet-bedwelmende stof die voor veel mensen wordt gebruikt als natuurlijk medicijn tegen hoofdpijn, rugklachten, slechte knieën, artritis, angststoornissen en tal van andere klachten, aandoeningen en bijbehorende pijnen. Het is een bonafide elixer voor veroudering en pijn.

Het probleem is echter dat CBD-olie, ondanks dat ze geen high geeft, nog steeds onder de Cannabiswet valt en daarom net zo streng gereguleerd is als THC. Een lastige markt die zelfs de meest bescheiden vormen van reclame en branding verhindert. David Clement, de Noord-Amerikaanse zakenmanager voor het Consumer Choice Center, gelooft dat de overvloed aan wietproducten gedeeltelijk kan worden tegengegaan door CBD-olie uit de Cannabis Act te verwijderen. Hierdoor kunnen bepaalde extracten en dranken worden verkocht bij reguliere retailers en in supermarkten.

“Vanuit het oogpunt van consumentenbescherming en volksgezondheid is er geen redelijke rechtvaardiging om CBD-producten zo strikt te reguleren als THC”, zegt Clement. “Naar onze mening is de Cannabiswet te restrictief. Wanneer CBD-producten uit de wetgeving worden verwijderd, zouden CBD-producten op grotere schaal beschikbaar komen, wat het probleem van het overaanbod zou kunnen verlichten.

Overschot aan cannabisproducten

“Bovendien moet de federale overheid de marketing-, merk- en verpakkingsbeperkingen die momenteel gelden voor legale producenten versoepelen”, zegt Clement. Volgens het Bloomberg-rapport heeft Health Canada eindelijk branchegegevens voor oktober vrijgegeven, waaruit blijkt dat 1,1 miljoen kilo onverkochte cannabis door producenten in het hele land is opgeslagen.

Met Canada’s maandelijkse consumptie van ongeveer 30.000 kilo, betekent dit dat er een voorraad van drie jaar inactief is. Er lijkt echter licht aan het einde van de tunnel om dit probleem kan verlichten. Health Canada zal waarschijnlijk binnenkort beslissen of CBD-olie ver vrij verkrijgbare gezondheids- en welzijnsproducten mag voorkomen. Later dit jaar wordt een formeel besluit verwacht. Het is een wildcard die een game-changer zou kunnen zijn voor de markt, maar is nu nog steeds een longshot.

Originally published here.

Set CBD oil free from the restrictive Cannabis Act

Despite providing no high, it’s as strictly regulated as THC

Perhaps due to the thriving marijuana black market — cheaper prices, higher THC content, a reliable dealer? — BNN Bloomberg announced this week a billion grams of legal pot is sitting unsold in vaults across the country.

That’s a lot of weed, supposedly a three-year supply for the struggling legal market that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assumed would flourish to extraordinary heights and put the illegal marketeers out of business.

Alas, the Trudeau Liberals’ legalization of recreational marijuana has not lived up to those expectations.

“You can’t give away mid-range THC product for a buck now,” Peter Machalek, vice-president of sales and partnerships at TREC Brand, told Bloomberg. “The market has become much more sophisticated, following what the consumers are demanding.”

It begs the question then why those billion grams have not been used to make the non-intoxicating CBD oil, seen by millions as relief from bad headaches, bad backs, bad knees, the creaks of the aging process, and a long list of other bodily afflictions and accompanying pains.

Those that use it swear by it once they have found the sweet spot when it comes to the amount needed to work its magic.

It’s a bonafide elixir for the aging and the pain-stricken.

The problem, however, is that CBD oil, despite providing no high, still falls under the Cannabis Act and is therefore as strictly regulated as THC.

It also exists in a challenging market that prevents even the most modest forms of advertising and branding.

David Clement is North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center, and he believes today’s pot glut can be partially alleviated by removing CBD oil from the Cannabis Act, thereby allowing for products like extracts and beverages to be sold at retailers more commonplace for Canadian consumers such as health food outlets and grocery stores.

“From a consumer protection standpoint, there is no reasonable justification to regulate CBD products as strictly as we regulate THC,” says Clement. “In our view, the Cannabis Act is overly restrictive, and removing CBD products from the legislation would mean that CBD products would become more widely available, which could help ease the issue of oversupply,

“Additionally, the federal government should ease up on the marketing, branding and packaging restrictions that currently apply for legal producers,” says Clement.

“From the outset, we thought that these regulations were overly paternalistic, and handcuffed the legal industry from effectively communicating and advertising to adult consumers.”

According to the Bloomberg report, Health Canada finally released industry-wide data for October showing that 1.1 million kilos of unsold cannabis has been stockpiled by producers nationwide.

With Canada’s monthly consumption rate of pot pegged at approximately 30,000 kilos, it means a three-year supply is sitting idle.

It’s an overload that analysts tell Bloomberg continues to “weigh heavily on the industry, possibly spelling further write-downs and facility closures in the months to come.”

Five will get you 10 that this never crossed the mind of the Liberals when they were conjuring the wording for legalization legislation that very quickly started circling the bowl.

The illegal market could not be busier or happier.

But some breathing room might be on its way with Health Canada expected to rule soon on whether to allow CBD oil to be used in over-the-counter health and wellness products.

A formal decision is expected later this year.

It’s a wild card which could be a game-changer if the Trudeau Liberals have learned anything from their screwups at every turn on the cannabis legalization file.

But it’s still a longshot.

Originally published here.

$143 Million Cannabis Bust Confirms Diversion From Medical Program To Illegal Marke

On October 22nd, Ontario Provincial Police announced that they have seized $143 million worth of illegal cannabis in the last 4 months. In addition to that, police confirmed that the seized cannabis was a result of criminal networks exploiting Health Canada’s medical cannabis personal and designate production regime.

David Clement, Toronto based North American affairs manager for the Consumer Choice Center responds: “The OPP’s report confirms was we speculated in April, which is that organized crime has weaseled its way into the permit process,” said Clement.

“In April, via Access to Information Requests, we were able to show that the personal and designate program produces 2.5 – 4.5 times more cannabis than the legal market. Unfortunately that excess cannabis is being diverted into the illegal market. Health Canada should review the permit process to ensure that criminal networks aren’t using it to fuel their nefarious activities.

“That said, the government shouldn’t target legitimate permit holders. Doing so would violate their constitutional rights, and would be exceptionally cruel given how marginalized this group has historically been. Rather than trying to arrest their way out of the problem, the government should focus on transitioning permit holder growers into the legal market. Making it easier for for excess cannabis to end up in the legal market, coupled with a Health Canada review for criminal activity, would go a long way in stamping out the black market,” said Clement.

Originally published here.

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