A quick update on legal marijuana in Canada

– In June 2016, a taskforce was set up to provide recommendations on the outline of a framework for the regulation and legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada and a report was published.  One of the main recommendations was that individual principalities should be able to make their own decision about rules and regulations for recreational marijuana, including their own tax rates/minimum prices.  This was modelled on places where recreational marijuana is already legalized – Colorado and Washington in the US.

– The Cannabis Act introduced in the House of Commons in April 2017 is set to become effective July 2018, making Canada the first fully legalized industrialized country.

– Banks in Canada are cracking down on doing business with “marijuana -related businesses” (MRBs).  It seems that banks don’t want to risk damage to their reputation and many MRBs that bank with Scotiabank or the Royal Bank of Canada have had their accounts closed down – even if they have never had any issues or they don’t sell any actual cannabis-based products.

– Changes in the US between the Obama administration’s more lenient stance on legalizing cannabis to the Trump administration could open new opportunities for Canada to become a global centre for medical cannabis.  This could bring an influx of Americans looking for work in the legal marijuana industry over the border.


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