Edit: First story added below as it sets the context for the second story.
Trudeau: Canada to Legalize Marijuana on Oct. 17
TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country’s youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.
The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on Tuesday, legislation that will make Canada only the second country in the world to make pot legal across the country.
Trudeau said provincial and territorial governments need the time to prepare for retail sales.
“It is our hope as of October 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion,” Trudeau said.
The prime minister said at a news conference that the goal is to take a significant part of the market share away from organized crime.
Canada Is About to Inhale the Global Pot Market. Thanks, Jeff Sessions.
(Mother Jones) In the dark of a frigid February morning on the outskirts of Ottawa, Canada, a convoy of trucks pulled up to the loading docks of a refurbished Hershey’s factory that’s now the headquarters of the world’s largest marijuana company—Canopy Growth Corp. Horticulturists in Tyvek suits began loading the vehicles with unmarked boxes, each the size of four refrigerators. The boxes were filled with 100,000 baby cannabis plants that had been packaged for transport to a 1.3 million-square-foot former bell pepper greenhouse in British Columbia, just miles from the US border. By the time the plants were flown cross-country and transplanted into their new home, it was dark again—and the greenhouse had temporarily claimed the coveted title of world’s largest grow op.
The plants could yield as much as 88,000 pounds of bud when they mature this June. That’s only a fraction of what is predicted to be the biggest legal marijuana harvest in history—as much as 1.1 million pounds—just in time for Canada to corner the international weed market.
It has been three years since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected on a platform that included lifting restrictions on recreational cannabis use. Canada is now doing what only Uruguay has done before: legalize recreational marijuana on a national scale. The scope of the pending rollout is unprecedented, even compared with what’s transpired in California, which has 4 million more inhabitants than Canada. It will create a nationwide system in which weed is treated less like a narcotic and more like booze, taxed and sold mostly in state-run stores where any adult can buy. And it’s happening while legal growers in the United States navigate a patchwork of state laws and watch the hands-off approach to marijuana enforcement of the Obama years give way to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decidedly retrograde anti-weed stance.
Workers from Guatemala check on recently planted clones in Canopy Growth Corp.’s massive British Columbia facility.