The war on weed finally has an end date in sight—July 1, 2018.
According to CBC News, the Liberal government will announce the plan for the legal weed regime in early April, paving the way for cannabis to be fully above board by next Canada Day.
Liberal MP and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair briefed members of his party on the pending rollout over the weekend, the CBC reports.
While the details of legalization remain unclear, the government's task force issued a comprehensive set of recommendations in December, including:
- a legal age of 18
- a four-plant limit for Canadians who want to grow
- public possession of up to 30 grams
- strict advertising rules
The task force also discouraged cannabis sales at establishments that also sell alcohol, although it seems regulations around distribution will be left up to the provinces.
But while the prohibition-era is on its last legs, police have still been harshly cracking down on grey market dispensaries. Toronto cops recently carried out Project Gator, a cross-country raid that targeted the Cannabis Culture dispensary chain run by outspoken activists Marc and Jodie Emery.
Abi Roach, who owns Hot Box Cafe, one of Toronto's oldest weed lounges, told VICE it's time for provincial and municipal politicians to start working with the cannabis industry to provide businesses with licenses.
"It's time for them to look forward as opposed to looking backwards. They drug war has failed in the last 50 years, it's been a hideous failure," she said, describing the dispensary raids as a giant waste of money.
Roach noted that if the government doesn't take into account what people want out of a legal system it's just going to be "prohibition 2.0."
Lisa Campbell, spokeswoman with Toronto's Cannabis Friendly Business Association, told VICE while there is "much to celebrate" it will be a battle fighting for dispensaries over the LCBO model in the coming months.
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