By summer 2018, 4/20-friendly Canadians could be handing over cash to buy legal marijuana. But some health and safety advocates are already expressing concern about how that revenue stream will be spent.
The Liberal government is expected to announce its long-awaited marijuana legislation this week, with plans to legalize use on or before Canada Day 2018
- Liberals want to move up pot legalization to avoid Canada Day celebrations
- Employers want Ottawa’s help to deal with marijuana-smoking workers
- Marijuana legalization could leave provinces responsible for pot rules
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The government has said it’s approaching legalization through a health lens, but it’s also expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars. Colorado legalized marijuana in 2014 and, with a population smaller than Quebec and Ontario, that state is doing more than $1 billion US in legal sales a year.
Much of the heavy lifting to implement a countrywide system for the distribution or marijuana in Canada will have to be done by the provinces, and it appears that Ottawa is counting on the potential profits from marijuana sales to speed things along.
The hope is that at least a few of the provinces will move quickly to finalize their system for retail sales and that will motivate slower jurisdictions.