Cannabis Legalization In Canada

It has been just over a year now since marijuana was legalized across Canada. With its legalization, cannabis has prompted discussion amongst industry experts, recreational users and non-users alike. The use of cannabis within the medical community has been widely accepted by most for quite some time now due to its apparent medicinal properties. There are still many who are skeptical about cannabis usage, especially as a recreational drug.

In today’s post, we hope to address some of the points brought up by skeptics and provide you with a clearer understanding of legal cannabis products.

Cannabis Status Quo

The historical perception of cannabis usage across North American society has largely been dictated by media portrayals of the drug. As a result, a cultural stigma has developed around cannabis. This has misled many to associate its usage with lazy teen stoners and unproductive members of society. Popular movies like Pineapple Express certainly have not helped to combat these stereotypes, but the truth is that cannabis can actually have a positive impact on your life when used responsibly. In a previous post, we discussed some of the health benefits of cannabis usage based on research as well as feedback from our own customers. In another post, we covered how cannabis can improve your sex life. A quick read of each will quickly lead you to conclude that cannabis may not be the enemy after all.

Canada’s decision to become the second country in the world to legalize weed is a step in the right direction. Countries continue to explore the associated health benefits and risks of weed and with it, our understanding of the drug’s impact on our bodies and well-being improve. Select states in the US have also legalized marijuana usage in recent years which suggests an improved level of acceptance for the drug.

The Politics Behind Cannabis

Many of the arguments against cannabis usage are politically motivated. One of the biggest counter arguments for cannabis legalization made at the passing of the Cannabis Act in Canada was that legalization would cause a massive increase in cannabis consumption nation-wide. The fear was that individuals would take advantage of the increased accessibility to the drug as a result of legalization. These critics suggested that legal cannabis would create a society of unproductive stoners consumed by their new-found love for marijuana.

A recent report from Statistics Canada paints a different picture. According to the report, 18% of individuals over the age of 15 reported using cannabis within the last three months of the reporting period. This number is only a few percentage points higher than the portion of Canadians who reportedly used cannabis before its legalization – a very healthy and reasonable increase. In the same report, we can see that fewer people are obtaining cannabis from illegal sources since Canada’s legalization of cannabis. An estimated 47% of Canadians obtained cannabis legally compared to only 23% in the previous year’s study, which took place before legalization of recreational cannabis use. The report also addresses the concern many have surrounding increased frequency in cannabis usage. According to the numbers, frequent or daily users remained the same relative to the previous reporting period. It was only the occasional users that increased in their usage. Taken together, these numbers do not suggest an alarming increase in cannabis usage that threatens the very foundations of our society. Instead, we are observing a very healthy amount of growth in the cannabis industry combined with an increasingly responsible approach to obtaining cannabis products by the Canadian population.

The trend towards purchasing cannabis from legal sources is a promising one in that it encourages a regulated market supported by high standards for product quality. Legalized cannabis reduces the market for illegal usage which has no quality standards. Cannabis should be organically grown, pesticide-free and removed from risks of being laced with harmful chemicals. There is no certainty that illegal forms of cannabis can uphold these standards. The legal market for cannabis consumption in Canada pushes us close towards a more stable society free of the inherent risk of the illegal market.

Moving Forward: Cannabis in Canada and Beyond

Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana nation-wide, as well as the United States’ continued progress towards cannabis acceptance could have profound effects on the market and thus, the cannabis industry as a whole. The legal cannabis market is quickly expanding in Canada and it’s only a matter of time before it takes off in the American market nation-wide. The growth of the cannabis market presents new opportunities for not only the medical community, but also business-minded individuals and investors. We have observed a heightened interest from investors in the cannabis industry and interest is only expected to rise going forward. With increased investment in a legalized and regulated market, we can expect to see technological advancements in the cannabis industry. These advancements may lead to an improved, safer product. Combine this trend with the research dollars already being poured into cannabis and we are likely to see a complete transformation in the public’s perception of cannabis products.

What was once thought of as a drug used by lazy teens and dropouts is quickly becoming a sophisticated product capable of sustaining economies, reshaping the medical community and an opportunity to rid society of a dangerous, unregulated drug market.