Canada to review impact of cannabis legalization four years on


An employee works at a Tokyo Smoke cannabis store in Toronto, Ontario, Canada November 25, 2021. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

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OTTAWA, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Canada on Thursday launched a review four years ago of the legalization of recreational cannabis use in the country to assess its impact on young people, indigenous minorities and others , and to analyze its effects on the economy and the illegal marijuana market.

Canada became the first developed country to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in October 2018. It has also since passed a law allowing citizens with criminal records for possession of marijuana to be pardoned quickly and without costs.

Canada’s Minister of Health was required to conduct a review of the legislation, its administration and operation three years after it came into force, so the review is taking place a year later than planned.

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Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said it took longer than expected to start the review because the government wanted to ‘make sure things were done right’ and plan a wider review than what is prescribed by law.

While a review of the safety of the law was a priority, Duclos said the review would also examine complaints from Canada’s cannabis industry about high taxes, sales limitations and advertising restrictions.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce welcomed the review, saying its broad scope would help facilitate the growth of the legal cannabis sector.

“However, to effectively move the illicit market and protect the public health and safety of all Canadians, law enforcement, business, industry and all levels of government will need to continue to work together,” said Canadian Chamber of Commerce National Cannabis Task Force. in a report.

The review will assess the law’s impact on young Canadians and progress toward the legislation’s goal of providing adults with access to regulated, low-risk and legal cannabis products, according to a government statement.

It will also analyze progress in deterring criminal activity and displacing the illicit cannabis market.

Through this review, “we will strengthen the (Cannabis) Act so that it meets the needs of all Canadians while continuing to move the illicit market,” Duclos said in a statement.

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Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Ottawa; edited by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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