On the 17th of October, Canada’s laws legalising the sale and use of recreational cannabis came into effect. With this, it became one of only two countries to have weed legalised; the other being Uruguay.
This legalisation originated from a campaign promise of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in 2015. With only a year until the next election, he has finally delivered on that promise. With Bill C-45 cannabis is finally legal.
Canada has arguably the highest rates of adult cannabis consumption in the world. It is believed that 32.7% of (or roughly 8 million) Canadians between 15-64 years have consumed cannabis in some form during their lives. It is apparent that cannabis is a lucrative business opportunity in Canada.
Cannabis stores are no longer dingy outlets in the corner of a dodgy neighbourhood. They are slick and modern with a blatantly large amount of funding being poured into them. Numerous variations of pot are on display of varying aromas and intensities. Above those desks, shelves are filled with neatly categorised accessories from traditional joints to the infamous bong.
Upon opening, countless stores from the Atlantic to the Pacific were greeted to long queues of enthusiastic customers. It is no surprise then that government sources project the breakout industry will be worth $5 billion (£2.9 billion) by 2020. From this, $2.3 billion (£1.4 billion) in taxes are also projected to be collected in the same time frame.
For the non-smoking Canadian not much will change. As stated Canada had incredibly high consumption rates pre-legalisation. The only difference will be that the country will have an extra few billion in tax dollars floating around to spend on education, healthcare, jobs and housing.