Thursday marked the first anniversary of REC legalization. Among many articles assessing the year in review, some found the results of legalization relatively positive, while others defined legalization by its ethical failures, and still more noted consumers dissatisfied with prices, quality, and product availability.
Transform Drug Policy Foundation, The Star, Maclean’s, The Leaf
- Among the toughest appraisals of the last year came from NORML Canada, who used the anniversary to launch their post-legalization platform, demanding improved consumer access to REC and MED products, assistance for those wishing to move from the legacy market to the legal market, full expungements and more.
- Researchers said it would take roughly five years before we can assess changes to demands on the health care system resulting from legalization.
Journal de Montréal—In French
In 2018, police made 34,441 arrests under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and 1,370 arrests under the Cannabis Act—the lowest such numbers since 1969-1970.
Statistics Canada, Twitter—Chris Goodwin
- As of October 11, the Parole Board of Canada had received 156 applications for cannabis-conviction pardons under Bill C-93’s new record-suspension system. They have granted 74, or 47%.
Physical REC stores are the engine for most sales, and because outside of Alberta the REC retail rollout has ranged from slow (Quebec) to protracted (Ontario), that’s kept sales low. However, having opted against a central-warehouse distribution system like Ontario’s, Quebec’s SQDC monopoly became profitable in Q1 of its second year.
The Conversation, Bloomberg
- Though national consumption averages have remained mostly flat, consumption has increased in conservative provinces like Alberta (33% increase in a province that few expected would become synonymous with cannabis) and Saskatchewan (50%) that liberalized REC retail after strong prohibitionist positions.
Global News, The Star
Indigenous cannabis sellers remain “in legal limbo” thanks to a complex patchwork of Supreme Court decisions regarding First Nations’ rights. CBC Indigenous
- Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod criticized the Liberal handling of legalization Bill C-45, which entirely omitted First Nations from the regulatory and revenue-sharing discussion. “Instead of reconciliation, we get racist legislation,” McLeod said. North Bay Nugget
- Regardless of the outcome of next week’s election, an Assembly of First Nations working group is organizing to present Ottawa with a plan for a separate system of regulation by and for First Nations. CBC Indigenous