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Legalizing marijuana properly—and cautiously

With marijuana legalization coming to Canada in mid-2018, small businesses need to prepare for a world with legal cannabis. First, the provinces need to determine what that world looks like.

We’ve told the premiers that there are four ways the provinces can ensure that the transition to a legal cannabis economy can go smoothly:

  1. Don’t get stuck in the weeds
    Legalizing marijuana is a complex job. Some parts of this shift will need to be addressed early: preventing sales to minors; outlawing driving or working under the influence; and establishing guidelines for workplace policies.
  2. Keep it above-ground
    If governments slap cannabis products with high taxes, sales are likely to stay in the hands of organized crime. It’s important for governments to get the pricing and taxation mix right.
  3. Harmonize
    Legalization comes right as the provinces are making tremendous progress at making inter-provincial trade easier for small businesses. It’s crucial that the premiers bring the same reasonable approach to regulations around cannabis.
  4. Let the market breathe
    There is lots of room for innovation in the new, legal marijuana economy. We think the government should foster a role for small businesses in this new sector, which will keep the product out of the hands of criminals.

We will stay on top of this issue and keep you informed as the date for legalization approaches. We understand that this is a contentious issue, but we also know that members like you generally agree on these priorities—and we will fight for them with governments across the country.

If you have questions about how legalization could affect your business, contact our business counsellors at [email protected] or 1-888-234-2232.


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June 30, 2017

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