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Here's what to look for in Legal Weed in 2019

The legalization of cannabis for recreation in Canada on October 17 put an end to the nearly one hundred year ban and undoubtedly became one of the most significant news in 2018.

But we are indeed at the top of the iceberg in terms of transition to the legal regime. Here are some key stories about weeds that are worth paying attention to in the new year:


Provinces across the country were to varying degrees prepared for legalization in terms of creating their own retail schemes. It is noteworthy that in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, in the provinces with the largest dispensary services in the gray market, a zero and one warehouse of brick and mortar weeds was opened, respectively, for legalization.

In Ontario, the government of Prime Minister Doug Ford decided to use a private retail model, initially stating that the number of pot stores in the province would not be limited. But since then, the province has changed course, saying that only 25 stores will be allowed to open by April 2019. These are fewer stores than envisaged by Kathleen Wynn – 40 provincial stores in 2019, then 80 in 2019 and 150 by 2020 Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fedeli told Global News that the province decided to use a phased retail system country. The province also allows municipalities to abandon the placement of retail stores; so far more than a dozen have decided to give up.

The first weed store in Vancouver will open this weekend. In an interview with the Victoria Times Colonist, British Columbia Prime Minister John Horgan said that the province would review its retail system, which allows public and private stores, to try to speed up the transition period.

Lack of weeds

A shortage of cannabis has plagued the legal system since October 17. In Alberta, where there is a retail system and 65 licensed stores, the province has stopped issuing licenses due to lack of supply. In Quebec, government stores have reduced their hours due to lack of supply.

Insiders and industry experts had previously told VICE that the shortage was due to a number of reasons: Health Canada does not issue licenses to manufacturers quickly enough; underestimation of demand; problems with the delivery of goods on the shelves; and problems associated with mass production of cannabis, which is prone to yield loss. The government stated that one of the main goals of legalizing recreational grasses is to destroy the black market, so the solution to supply problems will be crucial to achieve this goal.


Health Canada recently issued a draft food sales policy that should be legalized no later than October 17, 2019. Some of the proposed rules include a limit of 10 mg of THC per package for edible cannabis in solid form and in the form of beverages; a limit of 10 mg of THC per unit for digestible extracts and 1000 mg per package; simple, child-resistant packaging; ban on mixing with alcohol or nicotine; and a ban on products that children like.

One of the key problems in the draft regulation is the limit of 10 mg of THC per package. In Colorado and Washington, there is a limit of 10 mg of THC per dose (for example, per resin), but it is permissible to have several doses in one package.

Banning products that children like can also be confusing. According to the Cannabis Law, no legitimate weed can have “an appearance, shape, or other sensory attribute or function that, for reasonable reasons, can be attractive to young people.” However, it is unclear whether this means that something like chocolate or a version of an edible cookie will be prohibited.

Drinks are an area of ​​great interest. Constellation Brands, the home of Corona Beer, invests $ 5 billion in a licensed manufacturer of Canopy, and Molson Coors Canada, in partnership with Quebec LP Hydropothecary Corporation, develops drinks for weeds. Earlier this year, Trait Biosciences, a biotechnology research company, told VICE that the key to successful cannabis drinks would be to make cannabinoids soluble in water, to act faster (for example, a glass of wine) and their effects. were more reliable.

When they become legal, it is expected that food products will occupy a significant share of the legal weed market. The June Deloitte report showed that six out of 10 consumers are expected to choose edible cannabis products, and the food industry is already worth billions of dollars in the United States.

The Government of Canada accepts comments on the proposed rules until February 20, 2019.

Driving rules

In 2018, the federal government adopted a number of new driving rules with violations, which coincides with the legalization of weeds. Some of the key points of the new rules are:

  • Cops can now stop any driver and breathe them without suspicion of deterioration.
  • Tougher fines for drunk driving
  • New blood limits / THC with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, depending on the level of THC in the blood
  • Now the police will be allowed to use roadside tests to determine the number of THC in the driver’s body.

Lawyers argue that there are several problems with these laws, and that careless handling of the driver and his breathing are without suspicion. There is also no clear link between the level of THC in a person’s blood and its disorders. In addition, there are concerns that devices for testing oral fluid will not be completely accurate at all temperatures. Expect some of these laws to be challenged in 2019.


Faced with growing pressure, the federal government finally announced a plan to speed up the process of pardoning Canadians with a criminal past for simply owning a pot.

In particular, the government stated that Canadians who are serving their time for possession will not have to pay a fee for a pardon request in the amount of $ 631, and they will not have to go through a waiting period (from five to 10 years) after serving their sentence to apply for pardon The accelerated process is likely to begin next year, but its effectiveness is still unknown.

Defenders of the amnesty claim that the government does not go far enough, because it does not propose to exclude the records of convicts, that is, they will still have a criminal record.

An estimated 500,000 Canadians have been convicted of storing weeds, and an investigation by VICE News revealed that blacks and native Canadians have been disproportionately arrested for storing.

Follow Manish Krishnan on Twitter.

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