What Canada's review of legal weed could mean for consumers and the industry

Published Oct 28, 2022 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / rgbspace

After more than 3 years of legal cannabis, it’s become glaringly obvious that there are some flaws in the system that need to be ironed out. Most Canadian enthusiasts chalk this up to the responsibility of governments and regulators to figure out, but what they don’t realize is that many public officials aren’t overly concerned with our current state of affairs.                                                                              

Luckily, they don’t have much of a choice in the matter, but it’s going to take some time for them to see a real review through.

Why does there need to be a review?

Over this last month, there have been whispers about the official review launching soon, but few know what it means or why some cannabis consumers and business owners are so upset that it hasn’t happened yet. The Cannabis Act requires a review to occur no more than 3 years after the law came into effect, which means that it should have already started back in October of 2021. The review must be completed, and the results should be presented to Parliament so that any necessary adjustments can be made.

This type of provision is common especially when a brand new industry sprouts from nothing, as it’s impossible to determine the best way to implement untested laws and restrictions. It makes sense we wouldn’t get things perfect the first time around, but we should also expect Health Canada and the Canadian government to be adapting to suit an ever-evolving industry that hasn’t been quiet about its many plights.

The industry is on fire, consumers aren’t getting the products they need from the market, and no one is 100% happy with how this legislation rolled out. Now you might be wondering how much of a difference a simple review could even make, be it for those who love pot products or those who make a living creating and selling them, and the truth is that it could reshape the future and put minds at ease for good.

What a review could mean for consumers

This review should be conducted in a way that looks at all aspects of the industry, including the amount of money being made by cannabis businesses, customer feedback on products, statistics of lost revenue to the black and indigenous markets, and so much more. Most who eagerly await the results of this study are hoping Health Canada maintains a focus on several key issues, including but not limited to:

  • Barriers to advertising and marketing
  • THC and CBD limits on cannabis products
  • Licensing fees
  • Cannabis taxes

How it could change the future for dispensaries

Right now there are thousands of dispensaries in Canada barely staying alive, and hundreds more have already fallen in this fast-paced market, while others continue operating in the red in hopes of a miracle that could come as a result of this review. All of their problems could be solved overnight if regulators determine the hurdles for advertising are too large, cannabis taxes are too much of a burden, cannabinoid limits are arbitrarily low, and licensing fees are so high that it’s difficult for anyone to get into this business.

Of course, we already know these issues exist, and it really shouldn’t take a whole panel of experts, almost a year, and pressure from all corners of the industry to make a shift occur. However, it’s impossible to say for certain how many, if any, will be properly addressed.

Window covering requirements for pot shops come at a cost


Related posts