Canada liberates marijuana
The countdown has already begun!
Following the years of debates and promises, Canadians will finally see recreational marijuana legalization becoming a reality in the country. Canada has legalized adult-use recreational cannabis as of October 17.
Expected trend of low potency CBD products
Industry insiders are predicting the growing demand for less potent weed products following the legalization. Many users don’t want to feel high - instead, they are seeking calmness and relaxation. Cannabis products with lower doses of psychoactive ingredients will be in high demand.
A Deloitte’s report describes today’s consumers as risk takers. They are young and want to live life to the fullest, even if it puts their health and safety at risk. They are ready to break laws to feel high with cannabis.
However, the report says that legalization will bring a new generation of cannabis consumers to the market. Newer customers will be older; the majority are predicted to come from the age range of around 35 to 54 years old. They will be more risk averse and less likely to consume pot as regularly as existing recreational users. They don’t prioritize their personal interests over their family and other responsibilities.
Studies have revealed that consumers now demand cannabis products with higher concentrations of non-psychoactive CBD rather than THC, the main mind-altering ingredient in the plant.
CBD and THC are the two most significant compounds in marijuana. CDS gives a clear-headed relief of anxiety, pain, and inflammation. On the other hand, THC increases appetite and relieves symptoms like nausea and pain. More and more people now are looking for marijuana to help them relax or sleep, and to reduce stress. The modern consumer is becoming more wary of getting high.
Law differs for each province
The nation-wide legalization of weed doesn’t mean everyone will be able to buy it from anywhere in the country. While the federal government was responsible for passing the bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada, the practical details of implementing legalization have fallen to territories and provinces. The law and rules vary from province to province.
Eight provinces have set the minimum age to buy cannabis at 19, while Alberta and Quebec have made it 18. Following legalization, Canadians are permitted to buy five different cannabis products - fresh or dried marijuana, cannabis oil, seeds, and plants for cultivation. People will able to buy these products through a provincially, territorially-regulated retailer or directly from a licensed producer. Also, most territories and provinces have said yes to online sales.
On the other hand, Quebec and Manitoba say no to home-grows. However, it’s not clear whether or not you may be able to buy seeds or grow marijuana plants at home. Each province has allowed cultivating up to four plants per household. Consumers will now be able to prepare various cannabis edibles at home for personal use without using any dangerous organic solvents. Adults are allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis or its equivalent publically. However, possession of more than 30g will result in imprisonment of up to five years.
Health Canada guidelines instruct that packaging must have all the information a consumer needs to know, including producer’s name, the name of marijuana strain, THC/CBD content, and a disclaimer about associated health risks.
The Border Trouble
Canadian authorities have put signs on the Canadian side of the Canada-US border alerting people that they can’t legally bring marijuana to the U.S.. However, the country is going to face a huge challenge on the border as many people may be pulled up at the border, and could suddenly find themselves unable to enter the US after admitting to marijuana use.
Supply and Demand Post-Legalization
Amidst worries about Canada’s readiness for legal weed, the Canadian government said that they are well positioned to meet the flooding demand of weed products after legalization. Mathieu Filion, a spokesman for Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, said that federally-regulated entities have been provided with enough time to harvest, package and ship cannabis products to licensed distributors and retailers.
To ensure legal supply, the government may further streamline the application and approval process for weed production and sales licenses. Also, consumers may see more cannabis edibles and other derivatives legal to keep consumers away from the black market.
Now the market has widened beyond the young risk-taker consuming cannabis product illegally to legally include those who have a more balanced approach to cannabis use. The government at all levels, federal, provincial and territorial have taken significant steps to ensure an orderly transition to the legal weed market nationwide. After the initial novelty wears off, expect to see a wider range of people consuming cannabis products and a far more balanced approach to cannabis consumption in general.