Since Canada legalized the use of recreational and medical cannabis in 2018, there has been a major boost in the industry. Today Canada and the United States are two of the most well-known countries to legalize marijuana, Canada being one of the first to do so.
Statistics Canada reports that from 2018 to 2019, legal cannabis use increased dramatically. Before legalization, the consumption of cannabis illegally was up 51.7 per cent while legal consumption was around 22.7 per cent. This reversed after its legalization, when illegal consumption dropped 11.6 per cent, while legal consumption increased by 29.3 per cent.
In the past, Canada, along with many other countries, struggled with the use of cannabis, which was not well immersed in society before the 1960s. For many years, the laws against cannabis were tied to the Act to Prohibit the Improper Use of Opium and Other Drugs. However, the government found this to be expensive due to the fact that possession of marijuana could result in a $1,000 fine or up to six months in prison. Thus, the argument of decriminalizing cannabis use and possession began.
In the early 2000s, the possession rule was found to be unconstitutional as it prohibited those who used cannabis for medical reasons. However, the two bills to abolish the criminalization of cannabis failed to be passed.
From 2013 to 2015 the rules for consuming forms of cannabis such as oils and other products made from the plant were legalized. They were only prescribed to patients in need. Nevertheless, smoking dry cannabis remained illegal.
In 2018 the Cannabis Act bill was passed and put into action. Those over the age of 18 were allowed to buy and consume cannabis from a licensed store.
The rule for medical marijuana has been in effect since 2001. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, in 2016 about 70,000 Canadians registered with their health care provider as medical marijuana users. Those who have a legal card are allowed to grow their medical marijuana or have it mailed to them by licensed businesses.
According to Statistics Canada, In 2018, before its legalization, there were 26,402 possession cases reported. By 2019 the number dropped to 46. According to Health Canada, retail cannabis sales have increased to $260-270 million per month and are on an upward trajectory. Data from the Canadian Cannabis Report showed that by the end of 2021 adult-use sales will increase by 60 per cent.
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