Luxembourg is expected to become the next country to legalise recreational cannabis – which would make it the first country in the EU to pass such a motion.

THE SPIRIT BUSINESS: According to the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), the incoming coalition has announced it will legalise the recreational use of cannabis, which will form part of the coalition manifesto for the next five years.

Bill Wirtz, policy analyst at CCC, from Luxembourg, said the move by coalition would send a “strong message to other countries in the EU”.

“The ice is broken,” Wirtz said. “Early press statements by the coalition partners indicate that it would only be legal for residents. That would be the wrong way to go, since it is not only discriminatory but could also increase black market presence in the area.

“We feel that cannabis should be legal for purchase to all adults, regardless of nationality. Doing so could help create a new tourism industry in the country. At the end of the day, there is no reason to treat legal cannabis more strictly than legal alcohol. If foreigners, of age, can buy legal alcohol in the country, they should also be able to buy cannabis.

“The government should open a broad consultation process on the legalisation procedure. We want smart legalisation that benefits responsible consumers, helps ensure market-friendly regulations and will help protect the citizens of Luxembourg.”

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Luksemburg pierwszym krajem UE, który zalegalizuje marihuanę do celów rekreacyjnych

FAKTY.KONOPNE: Legalizacja marihuany w Luksemburu to świetna wiadomość

Bill Wirtz, analityk polityczny w Consumer Choice Center (CCC) twierdzi, że chociaż legalizacja marihuany powinna nastąpić już wcześniej, to jest to znakomita wiadomość dla konsumentów.

“Jeśli reforma pozwoli na sprzedaż obcokrajowcom, to wpływ będzie ogromny”, powiedział analityk polityczny z Consumer Choice Center.

“Byłaby to wspaniała wiadomość dla konsumentów i początek nowej ery polityki antynarkotykowej w UE”.

“Luksemburg stanie się pierwszym krajem w UE, który faktycznie zalegalizuje konopie indyjskie, ponieważ Czechy, Portugalia lub Holandia albo je tolerują, albo dekryminalizują. Ta wiadomość to silny sygnał do innych krajów w UE. Pierwsze lody przełamane. “, powiedział Wirtz.

Wcześniejsze oświadczenia prasowe partnerów koalicyjnych wskazują, że marihuana byłaby legalna tylko dla mieszkańców. Jest to jednak niewłaściwa droga, ponieważ nie tylko dyskryminuje obcokrajowców, ale może również doprowadzić do zwiększenia czarnego rynku w tym regionie.

“Uważamy, że konopie indyjskie powinny być legalne dla wszystkich osób dorosłych, bez względu na narodowość. Może to pomóc w stworzeniu nowej branży turystycznej w kraju. Nie ma powodu, aby traktować legalne konopie indyjskie w sposób bardziej rygorystyczny niż legalny alkohol. Jeśli obcokrajowcy, którzy są pełnoletni, mogą kupić legalny alkohol w kraju, powinni również być w stanie kupić konopie indyjskie.”

“Rząd powinien rozpocząć szeroki proces konsultacji w sprawie procedury legalizacji. Chcemy inteligentnej legalizacji, która przyniesie korzyści odpowiedzialnym konsumentom, pomoże zapewnić regulacje przyjazne rynkowi i pomoże chronić obywateli Luksemburga “- powiedział Wirtz.

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Luxembourg next to legalise recreational cannabis use

JUST-DRINKS: The incoming Coalition Government in Luxembourg has confirmed its intention to legalise the recreational use of cannabis in the country.

Consumer group Consumer Choice Center (CCC) said today that the measure forms part of the coalition manifesto for the next five years. The group suggested the move would prompt other European countries to follow.

“Luxembourg will become the first country in the EU to actually legalise cannabis, as the Czech Republic, Portugal, or the Netherlands either tolerate or decriminalise it,” said Bill Wirtz, policy analyst at the CCC. “This sends a strong message to other countries in the EU. The ice is broken.”

The organisation said early press statements by the coalition partners indicate that marijuana use would only be legal for Luxembourg residents.

“That would be the wrong way to go, since it is not only discriminatory but could also increase black market presence in the area,” said Wirtz. “We feel that cannabis should be legal for purchase to all adults, regardless of nationality. Doing so could help create a new tourism industry in the country.

“At the end of the day, there is no reason to treat legal cannabis more strictly than legal alcohol. If foreigners, of age, can buy legal alcohol in the country, they should also be able to buy cannabis.”

READ MORE

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Luxembourg set to legalize recreational cannabis

HORTI DAILY: ‘The ice is broken’

Bill Wirtz, Policy Analyst at the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), from Luxembourg himself, says legalisation was overdue, but a great sign for consumer choice at this stage:

“Luxembourg will become the first country in the EU to actually legalise cannabis, as the Czech Republic, Portugal, or the Netherlands either tolerate or decriminalise it. This sends a strong message to other countries in the EU. The ice is broken,“ said Wirtz.

“Early press statements by the coalition partners indicate that it would only be legal for residents. That would be the wrong way to go, since it is not only discriminatory but could also increase black market presence in the area.

“We feel that cannabis should be legal for purchase to all adults, regardless of nationality. Doing so could help create a new tourism industry in the country. At the end of the day, there is no reason to treat legal cannabis more strictly than legal alcohol. If foreigners, of age, can buy legal alcohol in the country, they should also be able to buy cannabis.

“The government should open a broad consultation process on the legalisation procedure. We want smart legalisation that benefits responsible consumers, helps ensure market-friendly regulations, and will help protect the citizens of Luxembourg,” said Wirtz.

READ MORE

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Luxembourg next to legalise recreational cannabis use

JUST FOOD: Consumer group Consumer Choice Center (CCC) said today that the measure is part of the coalition manifesto for the next five years. The group said the move is “overdue”.

“Luxembourg will become the first country in the EU to actually legalise cannabis, as the Czech Republic, Portugal, or the Netherlands either tolerate or decriminalise it,” said Bill Wirtz, policy analyst at the CCC. “This sends a strong message to other countries in the EU. The ice is broken.”

The group said early press statements by the coalition partners indicate that marijuana use would only be legal for residents.

“That would be the wrong way to go, since it is not only discriminatory but could also increase black market presence in the area,” said Wirtz. “We feel that cannabis should be legal for purchase to all adults, regardless of nationality. Doing so could help create a new tourism industry in the country. At the end of the day, there is no reason to treat legal cannabis more strictly than legal alcohol. If foreigners, of age, can buy legal alcohol in the country, they should also be able to buy cannabis.”

READ MORE

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Incoming Luxembourg government plans to legalize recreational marijuana

MARIJUANA BUSINESS DAILY: “If the reform allows for sales to nonresidents, the impact would be massive,” Bill Wirtz, a Luxembourgian and policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, told Marijuana Business Daily.

“It would be great news for consumers and the beginning of a new era of drug policy in the EU.”

He noted that the country has a relatively small local consumer market, but the Greater Region of Luxembourg includes two German federal states, the French region of Alsace and Lorraine, and the Belgian province of Wallonia.

“If the reform ends up keeping nonresidents off the market, the government might even face antidiscriminatory lawsuits,” Wirtz added.

“Moreover, if you really want to solve the black-market issue, you need to open sales to anyone.”

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About Bill Wirtz

Bill Wirtz is policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, based in Brussels, Belgium. Originally from Luxembourg, his articles have appeared across the world in English, French, German, and Luxembourgish. He is Editor-in-Chief of Speak Freely, the blog of European Students for Liberty, a contributing editor for the Freedom Today Network and a regular contributor for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). He blogs regularly on his website in four languages.

Consumer group: It’s high time North Carolina approves legal marijuana

It’s high time North Carolina approves legal marijuana

Raleigh, NC – As lawmakers meet in Raleigh this week to negotiate a possible avenue to legalizing medical marijuana, the Consumer Choice Center calls on all parties and policymakers to finally end marijuana prohibition in North Carolina.

Charlotte-area native Yaël Ossowski, Deputy Director of the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said efforts by State Rep. Kelly Alexander and others to reform North Carolina’s marijuana laws are precisely what state lawmakers should be focused on in the next legislative session.

“North Carolina residents believe now is the time to pursue safe and legal regulation of marijuana, whether medical or recreational. The positive examples offered by dozens of states across the country, not to mention our neighbors to the north in Canada, lend credence to the idea that this can be done in the interests of both consumers and citizens in a responsible way,” said Ossowski.

“Across the state, there exists a popular sentiment that marijuana is no longer a drug deemed worthy of criminal punishment and police enforcement, and should instead be brought to the legitimate market where appropriate state and local regulation can flush out the black market.

“There is already a booming hemp and CBD market in North Carolina, showcasing how entrepreneurial innovation, adequate regulation, and market forces can do a great job in transitioning us away from costly marijuana prohibition,” said Ossowski.

“It’s far past time to end the war on drugs that has proven costly to North Carolina’s legal and court systems, not to mention the thousands of innocent adults who face harsh sentences and penalties for non-violent marijuana offenses.”

CONTACT:
Yaël Ossowski
Deputy Director
Consumer Choice Center
[email protected]

***CCC Deputy Director Yaël Ossowski is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

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

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About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Manitoba’s social responsibility fee could send pot customers to black market: consumer watchdog

VANCOUVER SUN: A consumer watchdog says the province’s incoming social responsibility fee will only place a burden on the legal cannabis industry and will counterproductive in quelling the black market.

David Clement, North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center, says overtaxing cannabis in the province flies in the face of what the revenue from the promised 6% tax is supposed to do.

The Pallister government introduced legislation on Thursday to create the fee, with the money raised from the tax going to cover public education, safety, health and addictions programming.

Clement says it does the exact opposite.

“It appears both the federal government and various provincial governments, in this case, the Manitoba government, hasn’t realized the role that price plays from diverting people from the black market,” Clement said. “In terms of prices, we have to have a pricing system that competes with the black market. When you add a 6% social responsibility fee on top of the 10% excise tax… the 5% GST, on top of a half-billion dollars applied at different levels in production, it creates a situation that we might be passing policies that are counterproductive to the goal of taking consumers away from the black market.”

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Manitoba’s social responsibility fee could send pot customers to black market: consumer watchdog

GROWTH OP: David Clement, North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center, says overtaxing cannabis in the province flies in the face of what the revenue from the promised 6% tax is supposed to do.

The Pallister government introduced legislation on Thursday to create the fee, with the money raised from the tax going to cover public education, safety, health and addictions programming.

Clement says it does the exact opposite.

“It appears both the federal government and various provincial governments, in this case, the Manitoba government, hasn’t realized the role that price plays from diverting people from the black market,” Clement said. “In terms of prices, we have to have a pricing system that competes with the black market. When you add a 6% social responsibility fee on top of the 10% excise tax… the 5% GST, on top of a half-billion dollars applied at different levels in production, it creates a situation that we might be passing policies that are counterproductive to the goal of taking consumers away from the black market.”

READ MORE

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.

Who Pays? Regulating Cannabis in Canada Estimated to Cost $546 Million

Compliance, enforcement, inspections, public education, and program management–there are a lot of factors contributing to the costs of legalization of cannabis in Canada.

Designed to offset the estimated $546 million cost associated with regulating and enforcing the Cannabis Act, Health Canada has designed a Cost Recovery Program that aims to “ensure that those who benefit from the new legal market will pay the costs of regulating cannabis, which will reduce the cost to Canadians.”  But will it have the intended effect?

A Barrier to Would-Be Producers

The cost recovery program imposes a number of fees on licensed producers for application screening ($3,277), security clearance ($1,654), import/export permits ($610), and an annual regulatory fee of 2.3% or revenues, or $23,000 for producers with less than $1,000,000 in revenues.

Added to the capital costs required to produce cannabis at a commercial level, the fees represent a ballooning burden for LPs which might not serve the interests of consumers.

The cost recovery program could stifle competition by acting as a barrier to entry for new players looking to enter the cannabis space. If this is the case, market consolidation is likely and could ultimately limit consumer choice.

Competition, particularly early on in legalization, is important to encourage a market that is geared towards meeting the needs of consumers. More competition means more product selection and availability, and better service and quality.

Passing the Buck

When the fee structure for the Cost Recovery Program was announced by Health Canada in early October, the agency justified the fees, and their regulatory system, because it is all designed to shift profits away from the criminals and organized crime networks that sell cannabis illegally.

Fees, although technically charged to licensed producers, will ultimately be passed on to consumers who are already finding themselves subject to a 10% excise tax, provincial taxes, and delivery fees (especially in areas where online retail dominates in the absence of physical retail stores).

High prices have already generated some irritation for would-be consumers. In New Brunswick, one of the first customers into a Cannabis NB store actually left without making a purchase, citing that prices were out of his price range.

These inflated costs could ultimately prove counterproductive to the government’s mandate to stamp out the black market. And yet, Health Canada’s cost recovery program will not benefit provincial or municipal governments who will have to shoulder costs of regulation themselves. More concerning still, the scheme, priced at over half a billion dollar, doesn’t include any law enforcement costs.

While it is understandable that the government would want to recover the costs associated with regulating the industry, the Federal Government’s approach has created a bloated system that further burdens consumers through inflated prices, limited competition, and ultimately, encourages the black market to persist.

Originally published at https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/cost-recovery-canada

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About David Clement

David Clement is the North American Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center and is based out of Oakville, Ontario. David holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations from Wilfrid Laurier University. Previously, David was the Research Assistant to the Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights. David has been regularly featured on the CBC, Global News, The Toronto Star and various other major Canadian news outlets.