Marijuana Politics

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Quebec firm on legal age for cannabis, but leaves wiggle room elsewhere

The government has no intention of backing down on its decision to increase the legal age to consume cannabis from 18 to 21, says Premier François Legault.

But following a pitch to show more flexibility Tuesday by Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, Legault has indicated there may be some wiggle room on the government’s plan to drastically cut the number of public places where pot can be consumed.

He has speculated allowing edibles might be an option, because they do not produce smoke. Under the federal law, dried and fresh cannabis, oil, plants and seeds are legal.


Whitehorse council considers allowing pot shops in the downtown core

City staff are recommending privately-owned cannabis shops be allowed in Whitehorse’s downtown core, including on Main Street, council heard at the Feb. 18 standing committees meeting.

In 2018, council created a new type of zoning – “Retail Sales, Restricted” – specifically to handle the sale of marijuana and related products. At the time it was implemented it was limited to the Marwell area, where the government-owned pot shop has already opened.


Weed, roads, shelters and employment top of mind after N.W.T. budget revealed

Money in the latest budget that's allocated to go to five shelters in the N.W.T. will go a long way to help people in need, says the executive director of the local YWCA.

Lyda Fuller was at the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday to hear the finance minister lay out the 2019-2020 operating budget. The Northwest Territories government expects to spend about $1.87 billion, slightly more than it brings in, over the next fiscal year.

The budget allocated $4.92 million to address the needs of vulnerable persons. Fuller says that includes an additional $500,000 to five family violence shelters in the territory.


Three ways to have a say in Canada’s weed laws

The clock is ticking down, a hand hovers over the bell, a trainer is shouting “hang on! Just a few more seconds!” from the corner of the ring. Canada is in the throws of the first round of cannabis legalization.

The match started in October of last year—the veteran black market in one corner, the rookie hotshot Health Canada in the other. Both came out swinging, and both have landed some stellar blows. The entire arena is awash with the hollering and jeering of fervent fans: companies, consultants, consumers, and media, all will heavy bets invested in one of them lying facedown, dejected and bloodied, by the end of the match.


The type of claims that may arise from legalization of cannabis edibles

With the upcoming legalization of edibles containing cannabis this October, Canadian claims adjusters may see more indirect injury loss and damage claims, suggests a lawyer with Field Law in Calgary.

Compared to regular smoked marijuana, edibles have a more delayed and prolonged reaction, meaning the ability to predict impairment will create an additional challenge for adjusters.


As legal cannabis edibles loom, city officials call for more pot revenues

A report going to the city’s intergovernmental affairs committee Thursday recommends the city use a public consultation period on edibles regulation to press for more funds from Ottawa and the province to cover a forecast $6.6-million shortfall in dealing with local cannabis issues.

While the province has given the city $3.84 million to help cover enforcement and regulation costs through 2019, city officials say they expect those expenses to reach $10.44 million by the end of this year.

“We’re picking up the tab for the provincial government at a time when we’re facing an economic downturn,” said committee member Coun. George Chahal.


Quebec facing strong opposition to new bill restricting cannabis consumption

The Quebec government faced strong opposition as public consultations began Tuesday on its bill seeking to increase the legal age of cannabis consumption and ban it from all public areas.

Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant has said he tabled Bill 2 in order to protect young people and send a message that smoking marijuana is not a trivial matter. The proposed legislation restricts marijuana usage to people aged 21 and over and limits its smoking to private property.


How to claim marijuana on your taxes

With Canada now raking in up to $100 million per year in pot taxes, some of that revenue will soon be heading right back to pot users in the form of cannabis-specific tax receipts.

The only catch? Pot-smokers have to have permission from a physician indicating that they’re toking for medical reasons.

Cannabis is one of the myriad of categories that the Canada Revenue Agency has authorized as a permitted medical expense.

The tax agency, which prefers the somewhat outdated spelling of “medical marihuana,” considers pot as no different than braille printers, glass eyes or oxygen tents.


The promise of a pot panacea in Ontario under Doug Ford just went up in smoke

Paid my first visit to a cannabis dispensary the other day. Say what?

That’s right, storefront weed dispensaries are supposed to be illegal in Ontario. But a few former grey-market shops that were forced to shut their doors on legalization day or risk massive fines are taking their chances.

Doug “Ontario is open for business” Ford reneged on his deal to allow them to apply for retail licences – so WTF, right?

As long as the neighbours aren’t complaining, or so I’m told by the budtender in a too-big toque behind the counter, the cops seem to be cool with it. This one re-opened just before Christmas and hasn’t felt any heat yet.


California's ridiculous marijuana tax calls for drastic action

Few, if any, industries are growing as quickly as legal cannabis. According to a co-authored report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics, global marijuana sales rose to $12.7 billion in 2018, and they're on track to hit $16.9 billion this year, representing 38% growth. By 2022, worldwide revenue is forecast to top $31 billion.


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