Canada Set To Legalize Cannabis Soon, World Watches As First G20 Nation Normalizes Marijuana Sales

A Senate vote Thursday on Bill C-45 puts the first seal on controversial drug policy legislation promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Donald Weber / Getty Images

A Senate vote Thursday on Bill C-45 puts the first seal on controversial drug policy legislation promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada is set to be the first nation state in the G20 to legalize the sale, possession, and personal cultivation of cannabis — and the world is watching, according to The Guardian. With an upcoming Senate vote expected to deliver positive assent to Bill C-45 – the Cannabis Act – things could start to get a little bit hazy in the Great White North. While the bill does have several legislative hurdles that have already confounded members of the House of Commons, most notable objections to the bill in progress have already been tabled and hashed out in public consultation and sessions of expert testimony. With previous iterations having weeded out issues such an arbitrary height restriction on homegrown plants, indigenous rights, and border control and security, the much-revised legislation now seems fit to pass muster.

  Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Canopy Growth, one of the largest names in the upstart cannabis game in Canada and likely to become the biggest player in the sector, says that they are attracting immense attention from tourists and potential investors from across the world. Hosting curious guests from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Greece, and Australia as well as having been attended by physicians visiting from Brazil, New Zealand, and Chile, Canopy spokesman Jordan Sinclair was more than happy to oblige.

“We knew we’d have to give a lot of tours, so we just cut a window into the wall,” said the company spokesman,”We put windows in all of the doors.”

Cannabis use is extremely popular in Canada with the pot industry being worth more in production – at an estimated $3.4 billion – than both the brewing business ($2.9 billion) as well as the tobacco trade ($1 billion). Sales tell a slightly different story, with alcohol sales ringing in at ~$20 million to $6 million being spent on cannabis; however, the illicit nature of the cannabis industry prevents any true evaluation, with most estimates being currently conservative. Around half of all Canadian men have tried cannabis at some point, compared with just over a third of women. Twenty percent of all Canadians surveyed over the age of 15 were more regular cannabis users, having partaken at least once in the past month when surveyed. These numbers, while as accurate as possible, may also be higher than stated – given that questioning a person as to whether or not they have partaken in an illegal activity often produces an obvious bias.

  Donald Weber / Getty Images

Critics of Trudeau’s cannabis legalization framework come from both the left and the right sides of the aisle. Cannabis activists and civil liberties advocates decry the hypocrisy of former anti-cannabis crusader and police chief Bill Blair, now Minister of Justice, benefiting financially along with his associates from deep investment in legal marijuana. Critics of the cannabis plant as well as landlord’s associations have highlighted the potential proliferation of cannabis use amongst young Canadians and the damage that poorly-executed home growing setups can do to existing properties as areas of concern.