Decriminalize Cannabis and
Privatize Sales and Production
The Cannabis legislation that is currently enforced by the federal government and Health Canada isn’t effective. Legalization is not helping individuals in Nova Scotia who have the knowledge and experience in this sector and could be contributing more to our economy directly. If we were to decriminalize and regulate instead of just legalize and restrict it would provide lots of opportunities for growth. Authentic legalization should provide credible jobs and businesses for anyone who would like to take part in the marijuana market. This system is turning potential entrepreneurs into criminals.
The framework that we are following is not true legalization and is leaning more toward monopolization. Only large companies have the opportunity to make money presently. There are too many barriers to entry for most people to have access to the market. At the end of the day, it is the taxpayers who are being ultimately robbed because legalization should have brought forth a large increase of new tax revenue to the economy which it hasn’t yet.
We should not be making money off of medicine. We would propose tax-free sales on purchases for the purpose of medicating and can provide a registered license, not just tax deductible as it is now.
Legal Producer (LP) this is a producer that has a license to cultivate cannabis approved by health Canada.
Black-market is the sales of cannabis products not approved for sale.
-Cannabis in the hands of adults in most forms aside from edibles is largely harmless and may offer a vast array of medicinal and recreational benefits.
- Current federal legislation has all cultivators, processors, packagers, and retailers applying for licenses from Health Canada the approval process is too lengthy and filled with red tape creating unnecessary bottlenecks.
- They have created too many unnecessary barriers to entry into cultivating cannabis. For example, in order to apply you must already own the proposed producing facility and produce in many cases unnecessary security measures. This policy alone will reduce potential cultivators by significant amounts. What investor would invest in such a venture that would take a lengthy approval process with the possibility to be denied by Health Canada or local politics to deny building permits or potential commercial production sites?
- Current federal legislation allows the provinces to dictate how cannabis products are sold via privatized systems or government distribution.
- In Nova Scotia, we have opted to again bottleneck in-person retail sales solely through the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission (NSLC.) This is not capitalism, mom-and-pop scale operations should be benefiting from sales and cultivation. This system gives very little back to local communities. This plan to allow only the NSLC brick and motor stores is in fact a monopolization of sales.
- The NSLC monopoly is costing the taxpayers large. The rollout of their stores is slow and many areas have no coverage at all and won't for the foreseeable future.
- The other problem with this monopoly is the “legal’ market is dominated by products grown by large-scale operations known as licensed producers (LPs)
- In the cannabis community there is a negative stigma associated with the title LP because shortly after legalization approvals only went to the largest of companies usually with the most money. These companies had very little knowledge and experience growing cannabis which resulted in very low-quality products. To this day these products are much of what is available at the NSLC.
- The products produced by knowledgeable and experienced craft and black-market cultivators more often than not far surpass that of the products on the shelves of the NSLC
- Cannabis enthusiasts do not and will never likely shop at or trust the NSLC to cater to their needs. These consumers often shop online or go to the black market.
- Today the black market still largely dominates cannabis sales.
- It will take a long time for the legal market to catch up with the networks and distribution chains of the black market.
- Research is now showing cannabis in the hands of minors is detrimental to certain early developments and can lead to lifelong disabilities.
- Many large LPs in Nova Scotia have failed and gone bankrupt. Many have failed before they opened. The current system has provided very few jobs or opportunities for Nova Scotians.
- If you compare the security measures of a relatively harmless cannabis cultivator to a pharmacy that stores and supplies harmful narcotics etc. Common sense dictates the level of security measure required of a cultivation site is unnecessary.
- In Nova Scotia, retail sales are now dominated by brick-and-mortar stores on Native Reserves.
- Most home-scale cultivators use the same equipment as those that grow the flowers you see in your local flower shops. Most modern equipment and setups are very safe on the lowest scale
- Cannabis sales in Nova Scotia have yet to gross more than 7 million dollars yearly net to taxpayers since legalization compared to 150 million in the cigarette tax. Cannabis could easily topple the revenue of cigarettes with a lower tax rate.
The evidence and suggestion here point to the fact we have not truly legalized cannabis in Canada. Nor is it a fair or honest system. If you get pulled over with 20 pounds of cannabis in your trunk you will face criminal charges. Is that legalization? Evidence suggests it's still a controlled substance just marketed differently. As with most things in present times, everything comes with some sort of a catch as did “legalization” or better put monopolization.
Not only are current cannabis policies in Nova Scotia excluding some of the very best in the industry from entry also potentially making them criminals. It is restricting the massive potential increases in revenue for our economy.
Very few are benefiting from the system as it is. These suggested policies would make a drastic change in communities and explosive growth overnight while costing the province very little or nothing at all.
The benefit this can bring communities is immense. A small craft growing to 1000sf can employ many people including various contractors and tradespeople. The process is labor-intensive from start to finish. Operations can become very expensive to set up and advance into hydroponics and vertical farms. Of course, Nova Scotia Power does very well for each customer. With the right changes in law products can be shipped anywhere in the world local laws allow. Canada already has one of the best reputations on the black market for quality next to California; the East Coast could easily be put on the map here.
We could not forget what hemp is capable of and its history of getting humanity to where it is. Going back to some of these products may be viable and more sustainable for our environment. Hemp is likely a percentage of the equation with regard to having sustainable forestry again.
These proposed policies here would be honest and fair. Cannabis is a plant that is predominantly harmless yet offers many benefits. Government has very little ground to stand on with respect to dictating or roadblocking entry into the industry.
1. Create provincial legislation in Nova Scotia governing our own approvals of cultivation licenses and privatization of retail sales.
2. Legislation must aim to remove as much red tape as possible, to not be a barrier to entry.
3. Set in place a new regulatory body that will oversee the implementation of this legislation.
This regulatory body will only monitor the products at retail levels for heavy metals, pesticides, and various molds along with inventories so retailers are paying their taxes.
4. Make the approval process automatic for non-violent cultivators, or retail applicants. Registration fees should be minimal and just enough to cover the cost of the regulatory body.
5. Put in place an electronic open-source block-chain based system that monitors each retail store's daily inventory, cash, and sales for the sole purpose to make sure sales taxes are fairly applied and paid.
6. Legislation must include no extra taxes or Levies and must be nothing more than the current rate of sales tax..
7. Legislation must recognize Cannabis as a plant medicine and medicinal sales must be exempt from provincial sales tax or any sort of registration fees for cultivation.
8. Legislation will leave room for Cannabis tourism in the form of lounges, restaurants, conventions, vineyard-like experiences, etc.
9. Retail stores on reservations will not be opposed. Consideration in legislation should be made allowing for reserves to approve their own retail and cultivation sites and govern their own sales taxes.
10. From a temporary civilian board to continue to evaluate the safe legal age.
11. Regulate the packaging of edibles so it's not marketed for children.
12 Remove all registration, regulations, requirements, and restrictions for Hemp farms.
13. Decriminalize Cannabis