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Canada Votes 2019: The Cannabis Campaign

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
0 Comments| 12 days ago




With less than three weeks until the October 21st federal election, Canadians and cannabis investors in particular are keeping a keen eye on the race to see which party will form the next government.
 
If you’re trying to make a few bucks in the public cannabis marketplace, medicate with non-psychoactive CBD hemp, or looking to get your buzz on with any number of THC adult-use products, the legal Canadian cannabis landscape since October 18, 2018 has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least.
 
The New Democratic Party have long been in favour of decriminalization and for the expungement of cannabis-related convictions for simple possession. They have also lobbied for a tax break for medical cannabis:
 
"The Liberal tax on medical cannabis is unfair and damaging to the health of patients. It shows that the Liberal government is out of touch with the reality of people,” said NDP Deputy Leader Alexandre Boulerice in May 2019. “So far, my questions to the Minister have gone unanswered. But this time, I hope that he will finally justify the stance taken by the Liberals."
 
"Medical cannabis must be treated just like other prescription drugs. Its price must be reviewed and untaxed in order to allow patients to treat themselves properly,” added Boulerice. “Some patients are forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars each month to get their medication. This is wrong!"
 
As reported by BNN Bloomberg in November 2018, the federal NDP was also on board with a more fast-tracked system of getting pot edibles and infusibles to market. As far back as 2017, NDP MP Don Davies said the extra year of cannabis-infused product prohibition wasn’t needed because Canadians are still likely to purchase those goods but through unregulated channels.
 
In a recent Stockhouse article, we reported that as part of its detailed cannabis platform the federal Green Party has promised to remove several restrictions – a ban on outdoor growing, a requirement to use plastic packaging, and lowering the federal minimum price. But, some have argued that Green Party’s cannabis platform has basic errors and that a “a federal minimum price” doesn’t actually exist.
 
Since federal legalization went into effect nearly a year ago, a general assumption has prevailed – particularly among the politically left of centre – that a Conservative Party of Canada victory would be bad for cannabis business and even worse for consumers. But Tory Leader Andrew Scheer has consistently assured Canadians that “a Conservative government would keep pot legal, support pot pardons.” The Tories know the genie is out of the proverbial bottle and that polling tells them, inextricably, that a majority of Canadians have zero interest in returning to any form of prohibition.
 
The Liberals will continue to hammer home the theme of being pioneers; steady and at the helm as the first G7 country to legalize cannabis. They will run hard and run long on this accomplishment as a major selling point of their entire 2019 election platform.
 
Almost a year since the passing of the Cannabis Act, about half of the Canadians who use weed are still buying it from black market sources. And the reasons, especially to avid readers of Stockhouse are obvious – availability, price, and trusted suppliers. If the Feds and provincial governments want to put illegal suppliers out of business and maximize tax revenues, they will have to address these issues in with a concerted effort with effective, enforceable policy. Period.
 

Cannabis Policy 2019 Federal Election Summary: The Major Parties

 
Bloc Quebecois

No specific proposals to date.
 
 
Conservatives

No specific proposals to date.
 
Greens

Introduce measures aimed at removing obstacles to cannabis production and sales. These include: lowering the federal price for cannabis to make it competitive with illegal sources, eliminating excess plastic packaging requirements, removing sales tax on medicinal pot, and imposing organic production standards.
 
Liberals

Under new regulations, cannabis edibles, extracts and topical products will become legal by October 17. However, the products are not expected to hit legal retail stores until mid-December.
 
NDP

No specific proposals to date.
 
People’s Party of Canada

No specific proposals to date.

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