Marijuana Politics

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Mississauga and Markham take a pass on legal pot shops

For two GTA municipalities, the idea of legalizing cannabis has gone up in smoke.

On Wednesday, both Markham and Mississauga city councils voted down the option of allowing cannabis retail stores to operate in their cities ahead of the province’s plan to introduce private retail stores for pot by April 2019.

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said council felt there are still too many unknowns about the retail cannabis model and what it will mean for the city.

Council shot down the proposal 10-2.

“The province has not given municipalities any control over where cannabis stores can be located in our city. This is cause for great concern,” she wrote in a statement.


Could Canada use Nevada’s cannabis shortage protocol?

A majority of Canadian provinces are reporting cannabis supply shortages, as Canada’s licensed cannabis producers and distributors grapple to keep up with the demand for commercial cannabis. Demand for Canada’s recreational cannabis comes from customers that were already acquiring cannabis from the illicit market, and the second source of demand comes from new customers who have never used cannabis but are ready to give it a try. Several warnings about a potential shortage were circulating in the media in the run-up to legalization, but not everyone was sure the problem would manifest.


Only two cautions issued to Manitoba retailers since cannabis legalized

Manitoba's cannabis regulator says stores in the province are following the rules of legalized recreational marijuana.

The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba says no retailers have been fined and only two cautions have been issued since sales were legalized in October.

One caution was for a broken lock on a storage unit, which was fixed.

The other caution was given to a store that took delivery of cannabis before the shop's retail licence was issued.

Liz Stephenson, the authority's chief administrative officer, says there has been excellent co-operation from retailers.

She also says inspectors are visiting each store on a regular basis to ensure compliance with rules governing storage, signage and more.


Marijuana laws in Quebec are about to become the strictest in Canada

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm an open lover of the little green leaf – and I've been a supporter of cannabis legalization long before I'd ever even tried the stuff. I think it's important that, as a society, we always keep in mind why laws have been put in place... but also when and why they can sometimes cease to benefit us as a nation.

It was a step in the right direction when the federal government decided to decisively move away from the so-called "war on drugs." Patients that require medicial marijuana can now access it more easily than ever, and those individuals that found themselves on the wrong side of the law can now openly and shamelessly participate in recreational use. 


Cannabis licence approval process means shortage could drag on

The current cannabis shortage could be stabilized by the spring of 2019, but it could eventually be replaced by a flood of product on the market that will then lead to lower prices and consolidation, say lawyers representing clients in the sector.


Driving with pot in the vehicle? Here's what OPP say you need to know

Wellington County OPP have already laid a number of cannabis-related charges at their holiday RIDE check-stops, including charges related to storage, purchase and possession.

The first weekend of the program netted a charge against a Stoney Creek teen for "unlawfully purchased cannabis," one for "driving with cannabis readily available" against a Tiverton male and a "possession of cannabis resin" charge against a 26-year-old Guelph man.

That's in addition to marijuana-related impaired driving charges laid in November.


Legal cannabis and international travel 'not compatible'

A recent survey by the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA) found that one fifth of Canadians planning a vacation this year are unaware of the implications of travelling with cannabis. Furthermore, 22% of survey respondents with medical cannabis prescriptions said that now the drug is legal, they can pack medical cannabis products in their carry-ons just like other prescription drugs, regardless of where they’re travelling to.


British Columbia police officer raises concerns about online weed edible sales

Const. Derek Gallamore was shocked when his department in Delta, B.C., busted a woman allegedly selling weed-laced brownies with 40 times the recommended single dose of THC.

The sugary treat looked identical to a regular grocery store confection but packed a whopping 400 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. He immediately imagined what might happen if a toddler came across the dessert.

"Being a parent, I looked at it and went, 'Wait a second.' " he said. "There were no warning labels for children."

Though cannabis was legalized Oct. 17, edibles will not be legal until sometime within the next year. But that hasn't stopped entrepreneurs from cooking up pot-infused candies, cookies and other items and selling them online or in dispensaries.


Road safety in the cannabis era

Now that cannabis has been legalized in Canada, we need to shift our conversation from the theoretical to reality. At CAA South Central Ontario, what we're focused on, day in and day out, is how to keep our roads and road users safe.

We recently commissioned a study conducted by Ipsos that found Ontario drivers are concerned that the legalization of cannabis may impact their safety behind the wheel. Sixty-eight per cent believe there will be more cannabis-impaired drivers on the road following the legalization. In fact, the study revealed that 1.9 million Ontarians have driven under the influence of cannabis. Among current cannabis users, over half feel that they drive worse than a sober driver when under the influence of cannabis.


Cannabis education funding hasn't trickled down to Ottawa Public Health

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has spent $20,000 on campaigns to counter the negative health effects of cannabis legalization, particularly on youth — a drop in the bucket compared to other cities.

The federal government promised millions in education funding to go along with legalization, with commitments already worth $4.1M to organizations in the city of Toronto

None of that federal money has made its way to Ottawa, however. 

"We will be exploring provincial and federal funding opportunities," wrote OPH spokesperson Robyn Muzik in an email.

"We will be submitting our public health budget to the city and province in the new year," 


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