Marijuana Politics

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Atlantic Police Academy adapts to legalized cannabis in P.E.I.

The legalization of cannabis has changed laws, but impaired is still impaired, say Atlantic Police Academy instructors. “It always used to be that it was a victimless crime, but that’s not the case. You can put yourself and others in danger,” said the Insp. Gord Campbell, referring to getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while impaired.

Campbell is one of the instructors at the Slemon Park-based training facility. He teaches use of force, firearms and Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) curriculum.

Cannabis became legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018.

Now, not only is there a federal act for the control of marijuana, police academy students learn about the individual provincial acts which regulate marijuana.


Uneven distribution of cannabis shops leaves Waterloo Region without a store

Ontario’s lottery system to dole out the first wave of cannabis shop licences is producing some unusual results across the province.

Canada’s most populated province will allow privately owned retail marijuana sales starting April 1, after the Ford government abandoned a plan for government-run stores last summer.

The first 25 pot shops will have exclusive access to the bricks-and-mortar market until the end of the year, as part of a lottery system that was intended to distribute retail licences fairly across Ontario.

But the reality has been anything but fair as would-be operators are concentrating in a handful of cities.


B.C. tax revenue from legal cannabis lower than expected

B.C.'s first round of tax revenue from legal cannabis is lower than the estimates written into the 2018/2019 budget.

The province had estimated it would receive $200 million over three years. But provincial Finance Minister Carole James told reporters Wednesday the province has now built in $68 million over three years.

"We can make adjustments to that each year as we see the progress of the stores opening," she said.

James said the discrepancy was due to delays in legalization from the federal government and municipal elections across B.C. which put new permits for pot shops on hold.

"We've seen a delay in opening of stores and that obviously impacts the revenue," she said.


Cannabis stocks tumble as FDA chief’s departure leaves CBD regulation in limbo

Cannabis stocks extended their early losses Wednesday, as investors weighed the surprise news that the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has resigned, leaving the fate of the cannabis ingredient CBD in regulatory limbo.


Governments around the world changing stance on cannabis legalization

Before the twentieth century, cannabis was used as a sort of medicine to treat asthma, coughs, migraines, and insomnia. However, due to the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or the THC-derivative, cannabis became illegal and was removed from the list of registered medicines.

Now, cannabis is rapidly emerging around the globe as countries begin to reverse the laws and legalize its medicinal use again. While most countries are exploring opportunities within the medical cannabis sector, the proliferation of recreational cannabis is rapidly spreading throughout the western hemisphere of the world.


No cannabis-related spike noted in impaired driving after legalization

Pre-October, with the country moving toward cannabis legalization, police and lawyers geared up for what was expected to be a rash of impaired driving offences related to the drug.

Instead — in Regina, at least — crickets.

“I don’t have numbers, but I’ll use the word ‘low,’ ” Regina Police Service Chief Evan Bray said recently at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting when questioned by reporters on the issue. “We have not laid a lot of (cannabis-related) impaired driving charges. In fact, I don’t think we’ve laid any impaired driving charges as a result of cannabis.”

City police spokesman Les Parker confirmed it, stating the current numbers for cannabis-related impaired driving are “zero, unless other charges are mislabeled.”


Canada's border agents confiscated way more weed lately but not because there are more users

Since weed became legal in Canada back in October 2018, Canadian border agents have confiscated way more weed lately but it's not for the reason you'd think. CBSA revealed recently that the number of weed confiscations at the border went up over 60% from 2017 to 2018. In fact, in just over one month after legalization, there were 329 cases where CBSA seized cannabis from travellers at the border. 


Kamloops mayor says cannabis landscape likely to change

The mayor of Kamloops, British Columbia says rules around cannabis today may be different tomorrow, after the city recently rejected two different applications for legal pot shops.

Ken Christian says there is still another shoe to drop on the legal cannabis front when edibles are legalized later this year.

He believes that will alter the dynamic and with such a new industry, he thinks there will be a natural re-evaluation of the rules.

Christian says he thinks the entire retail cannabis landscape will be reassessed once legislators have a year or two of legalization under their belts.

He says the city is probably over-served with cannabis stores right now.


Saskatchewan First Nation files claim in court over cannabis dispensary

A First Nation operating a cannabis dispensary without a provincial permit has laid the groundwork for taking the federal and Saskatchewan governments to court.

The Muscowpetung First Nation filed a statement of claim in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 16, the same week the band opened a pot shop on its reserve northeast of the city.

The store Mino-Maskihki, which means “good medicine,” advertises on its Facebook page the sale of recreational and medicinal cannabis products.

Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada last October and Saskatchewan used a lottery to award 51 licences to sellers.


No budget before spring election, government hints in Q3 fiscal update

Increases in resource revenue and personal income tax have put Alberta on track to finish the fiscal year with a $6.9-billion deficit, $1.9 billion lower than forecast.

The NDP government's third-quarter fiscal update, released Wednesday, contains a strong indication that Albertans will not see a budget prior to the spring election.

It includes an update on the government's "path to balance" by 2023-24, a feature never before included in a quarterly update.

Finance Minister Joe Ceci deflected reporters' questions about the timing of the 2019-20 budget.

"I am preparing a budget. It's the premier's decision when the writ is dropped," he said. "But there will be a Budget 2019."


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