It. Is. Almost. Here.
We are less than a news roundup away from ending prohibition in Canada. A brand new industry is about to bring a massive amount of infrastructure and product into legal markets of the second nation in the world to allow recreational cannabis sales.
In the final days, there have been some serious revisions of border policy, Ontario’s mailorder site went live, and one province made moves to shut down multiple unlicensd dispensaries.
The United States of America has softened its border policy towards Canadians who work in the cannabis industry.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection Agency, individuals who are employed by the cannabis industry will be allowed to enter the United States for reasons unrelated to their work.
In a harshly worded statement, authorities reiterated their commitment to keeping cannabis out of the US. They did allow that a “Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the US for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the US.”
This comes after the announcements during the summer that anyone in the industry, if discovered, would potentially earn a lifetime ban from the country.
The website that Ontario residents, over the age of 19, will use to order cannabis online has gone live this week.
The much-maligned Ontario Cannabis Store has launched its website. The online portal will be the source for mail order purchases and will be the only legal source available to the province until private recreational stores are licensed in April.
The store is not currently active, but the site offers a large variety of information about cannabis, including descriptions of methods of consumption, explanations about the plant itself, descriptions of the new laws in the province and general information about how the store will operate when it opens next week.
Among other interesting features on the commerce side of the site is a $5 delivery fee for shipments of the product through Canada Post, according to the CBC, who was given early access to the online store.
One major cannabis company thinks the way forward in meeting demand is through automation.
To achieve this goal, licenced producer Aphria is sourcing it’s workforce from industries including the agricultural sector and the automotive industry, according to an interview with company co-founder John Cervini, done by the CBC.
“It’s what’s made us the low-cost producer, helped us to maintain that low-cost producer status,” he told the public broadcaster.
Aphria has between 400 to 500 employees and is constantly looking to hire. The company does not believe that increasingly relying on automation will limit the number of human jobs.
“Honestly we don’t see any actual job loss from the automation. What we’re going to see is maybe some repurposing of jobs,” he said.
The unlicensed clinics and dispensaries are feeling the heat as legalization draws closer. In Quebec this week, eight unauthorized clinics were raided across the province in a coordinated effort by local and provincial police.
The Smuggling Investigation Division of the Sûreté du Québec, in partnership with the Laval, Saint-Jérôme and Trois-Rivières police departments, raided “eight illegal cannabis clinics” arresting eight individuals in the process.
The police issued a release, reminding the public that though the Cannabis Act comes into force on October 17, these “type of dispensaries remain illegal because they do not comply with the regulations respecting access to cannabis for medical purposes.” People who wish to obtain cannabis for medical purposes will have to continue to do so with one of the 120 authorized producers. For recreational cannabis, only the Quebec Cannabis Society will be allowed to distribute it.
Needless to say, businesses and investors alike are excited about the coming legalization of cannabis. To cater to this budding group of pot savvy capitalists Canada’s paper of record, the Globe & Mail is releasing a Cannabis Pro newsletter.
This isn’t unusual, as many news organization have done the same. What sets the G&M newsletter apart is its price tag. An annual subscription will cost readers a cool $2000, though it is currently on sale for only $999.
According to the paper’s website the newsletter was “created specifically for those with a business interest in the legalization of cannabis in Canada, Cannabis Professional is delivered to your inbox every weekday before 8am, and whenever important breaking news happens.”