Canadians will be able to legally buy cannabis edibles, beverages, topicals and extracts in mid-December
As the federal campaign trail drags on, the legalization of more pot products buds its head.
Canadians will be able to legally buy cannabis edibles, beverages, topicals and extracts in mid-December, after regulations come into effect on Oct. 17.
With the election only four days later and not much talk about toking, here’s what each potential prime minister has said about pot.
What has Justin Trudeau said about cannabis?
Well, he’s done more than just talk about weed — he’s smoked it.
Justin Trudeau, in a six-year-old interview with the Huffington Post, admitted to having a “puff” in 2010 and a couple more times after already being elected to the House of Commons.
He said it “wasn’t a mistake.”
Considering that and how his government was the one to legalize cannabis, if elected, the Liberal party leader’s approach would be to carry out their current plan and focus on regulating the new incoming batch of goodies.
The Trudeau government has grappled with a national cannabis shortage, snuffing out cheaper, black market options, developing technology to enforce DUIs against high drivers and a low number of pardons awarded for simple cannabis possession charges.
Trudeau wasn’t immediately available for comment.
What has Andrew Scheer said about cannabis?
Andrew Scheer smoked pot too.
In a 2018 interview on Tout Le Monde En Parle, a French talk show, the leader of the Tories said he used the drug in his youth.
When Trudeau announced the plan to legalize weed, Scheer said it should be put out. Soon, rumours circulated that he would try and reverse The Cannabis Act.
Scheer was not immediately available for comment but has clarified he won’t undo legalization and would also move ahead with the pardons for simple pot possession charges.
As for the new edibles hitting the market this year, he has not said much and was not immediately available for comment.
What has Jagmeet Singh said about cannabis?
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has been vocal about wanting to legalize cannabis sooner and says edibles should already be available to the public.
“The one year delay by the Liberals was not necessary as Canadians may buy them through the black market,” read a statement from Nina Amrov, the party’s press secretary.
The statement added that the NDP wants medical cannabis exempt from the excise tax like other prescription drugs.
“Its price must be reviewed and untaxed in order to allow patients to treat themselves properly. Some patients are forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars each month to get their medication. This is not right. We should be helping people, not making it harder on them.”
The NDP’s ‘2019 commitments’ webpage notes the party will also continue handing out pardons.
Singh also supports plain packaging, limiting the amount of cannabis Canadians can have and controlling the marketing and availability of vaping products, especially for children and youth.
What has Elizabeth May said about cannabis?
Elizabeth May was not immediately available for comment, but has made it clear she’ll move forward with legalization.
The Green Party promises to lower the federally set price for cannabis to make it competitive with illegal supplies, eliminate requirements for excess plastic packaging on legal cannabis and remove the sales tax on medicinal products.
It will also allow the outdoor production of cannabis and impose organic production standards.
The party adds CBD will Exempt CBD from the restrictions of the Prescriptions List, allowing hemp growers to produce it as a natural health product.
“This would strengthen the hemp industry and increase supply so those who use it for medicinal purposes do not have to purchase it illegally,” reads the party platform.
What has Maxime Bernier said about cannabis?
Maxime Bernier is the third candidate in the race who admitted to using cannabis, but said he would not light up in the future.
As for policies, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada told The GrowthOp he does not plan on changing The Cannabis Act for now and will keep a watchful eye on the evolution of the industry.
“In the longer term, my main worry is to make sure that we see the illegal market significantly reduced and ideally disappear. That was one of the key justifications for cannabis legalization,” a PPC spokesperson wrote on behalf of Bernier in a statement to The GrowthOp.
“If it stays large, we would look at regulatory and tax changes to ensure the legal market is better served. We do not have any specific proposal for now. Same thing for edibles.”
Voters can cast their ballots on Oct. 21.
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Written by Bobby Hristova