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Leaked Report: Canada Aims at Ending $7 Billion Black Market

A report leaked by panel tasked with planning Canada's cannabis legalization framework shows a strong focus on undercutting the black market.
Photo Abdallahh


Leaked Report: Canada Aims at Ending $7 Billion Black Market

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected just over a year ago, with a sizable portion of voter support growing from his promise to legalize cannabis nationwide. Now a leaked report from the panel tasked with planning Canada’s legalization scheme shows a strategy of aggressively undercutting the country’s $7-billion-per-year marijuana black market, which may mean making legal cannabis available to all adults over the age of 18.

Legal cannabis has been a long time coming in Canada. And while the government’s advisory report to provinces on the framework of that legalization won’t be officially made public until December 21, sources familiar with its contents told the National Post that its primary focus is vigorously undercutting Canada’s $7-billion -a-year illicit cannabis trade.

And although the Canadian Medical Association has publicly recommended a minimum age of 21 to purchase cannabis, the report is expected to recommend allowing anyone over the age of 18 to purchase from the new legal market.

The implementation of rules and regulations will fall to individual provinces, but according to the National Post’s report, the report strongly urges pricing cannabis with the express goal of undercutting street dealers:

“To eat into the black market, the report is expected to recommend prices should be lower than the street price of $8-$10 a gram. This would reduce the amount of tax revenues available to federal and provincial governments but would be justified by the principle of guaranteeing a safe and controlled supply.”

Canada’s Liberal party, which is spearheading the legalization effort, isn’t facing major pushback on the reduced tax revenue because they’ve consistently approached the issue from a standpoint of public safety and cutting off money to crime syndicates.

The report is expected to recommend maintaining the medical status of the existing 36 licensed cultivators and seek participation from new sources for the broader legalization supply.

How the cannabis is distributed will take shape based on the prevailing attitudes in a given province. In Ontario, for example, it seems likely that the 600 or so province-owned liquor stores could become distribution points for legal marijuana.

And in places that already have a large number of cannabis dispensaries, like British Columbia, the government is expected to require they purchase from a licensed provider.

The leak of the report has garnered controversy and suspicions of insider trading. From the Post:

“During question period Thursday, [Justice Minister] Wilson-Raybould was pressed by the Conservatives about a spike in the trading of pot company stocks that they allege may have been caused by a leak of the report. On Nov. 16, the TSX halted trading on six medical marijuana companies. Alex Nuttall, an Ontario Conservative MP, asked the minister if she was investigating a possible leak.”

One company entering the world of public trading is Emblem Cannabis Corp., which is headed by former Purdue Pharma Canada president, John H. Stewart — the man who invented OxyContin.

From the Globe and Mail:

“Wealthy from his days at Purdue, where he retired three years ago, Mr. Stewart has invested $1-million of his own money into his new company, one of 36 medical-marijuana producers licensed by the federal government. Emblem is now seeking to promote cannabis as an alternative to prescription painkillers – and profit from the opioid crisis Purdue was instrumental in creating.”

TELL US, do you think the legal age to consume cannabis should be 18 or 21?


1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike Marijuana

    December 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Political figures who have their hands into the medical marijuana industry

    Thanks for the list Marek Stupak.

    Chuck Rifici, is currently the CFO of the Liberal Party of Canada.
    Founder and former CEO of Tweed

    Mark Zekulin, CEO of Tweed
    Former senior adviser to former Ontario finance minister Dwight Duncan

    Norman Inkster, Independent Director at Mettrum
    Former head of the RCMP

    Dr. Joshua Tepper, Independent Director at Mettrum
    Formerly Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Health , Senior Medical Officer for Health Canada,

    Tom Shipley, Director of Quality Assurance, Tweed
    Formerly worked on toxicology research, while at Health Canada,

    Mike Harcourt, Chairman of True Leaf Medicine Inc
    Former B.C. Premier

    Kash Heed, strategic consultant with National Green BioMed
    Former B.C. Solicitor General and former West Vancouver police chief

    Herb Dhaliwal, Chairman, National Green BioMed
    Former Vancouver MP and federal cabinet minister.

    John Turner, medicinal marijuana applicant in Ontario (With Kash Heed)
    Former Prime Minister of Canada

    Mr. Belot, Board of Directors for Aurora
    Was a public servant in several ministries within the Ontario government

    Brian Wagner, Company founder and CEO NHP Consulting (consults for prospective LP’s)
    Brian was invited to play a strong role in Health Canada’s Program Advisory Committee

    Tim Humberstone, ABcann Director / Senior Person in Charge
    Former twenty year member of the RCMP included roles in Municipal/Federal Drug Enforcement and with the Joint Forces Organized Crime Agency. Tim has also received extensive training by the RCMP in providing expert court opinion in the fields of cannabis trafficking and production techniques .

    Ivan Vrana, founder of Aslan Ross Consulting / speaker mmpr summit
    Previously Mr. Vrána worked for the Federal Government for over 15 years. He worked at the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board, Finance Canada and in various senior policy positions at Health Canada. At Health Canada he was in charge of the team that developed the policy rationale which led to the implementation of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.Mr. Vrána is also a regular Lecturer at both Carleton and Concordia universities and teaches a course that examines the internal communication tools governments use to development and implement public policy.

    Sandy Pratt, Chief Financial Officer, Emerald Health
    Worked at Deloitte ( auditing firm involved in the senate scandal), Vice President of Business Development and Executive Financial Officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum, a Crown corporation.

    Shane Morris, VP, Scientific Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Hydropothecary CEO (now Canadian Cannabis Corp.)
    Since 2000, Shane has been in a range of leadership roles within the Federal Government, from Treasury Board of Canada’s senior advisor (Cabinet Operations) on regulatory affairs to director of policy leadership and Reporting for Resources Canada’s major projects management office.

    George Smitherman, THC BioMed
    Former Ontario Liberal deputy premier
    More than 30 years to public policy fields at the Municipal, Provincial and Federal Level, where roles as Senior Advisor, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Ontario’s Minister of Health were held

    Jake Ryan, Director of Security: Tilray
    Former RCMP Intelligence Officer and federal criminal investigator overseeing all aspects of Tilray’s security protocols and operations.

    Ernie Eves, Chairman, Timeless Herbal Care — a Jamaican medical marijuana company.
    Former Progressive Conservative premier of Ontario

    Kim Derry, a promoter of marijuana facility THC Meds Ontario Inc.
    Deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service under Mr. Blair,

    John Reynolds, advisor to Vodis Innovative Pharmaceuticals Inc
    Former MP with the Progressive Conservative, Reform and Canadian Alliance parties

    Senator Larry Campbell, advisor to Vodis Innovative Pharmaceuticals Inc.
    Former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and Vancouver mayor. And sitting Senator…

    Barry Daniel, Wildflower’s head of security
    Former Abbotsford police chief.

    Cam Battley, Aurora Senior Vice President, Communications and Medical Affairs
    Former Legislative Assistant to the Canadian Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, where he was responsible for developing legislation and steering it through the House of Commons, as well as negotiating with Opposition parties and stakeholder groups.

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