The legalization of Canada to offer marijuana by mail, better banking

Weeds by mail? With the national legalization of marijuana in Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up differently there than in the way it was established in nine US states. UU That they have an equally broad legalization. Age limits, government participation in distribution and sales, and access to banking are some big discrepancies.

And yes, Canadians can order cannabis online and mail it, which is illegal in the United States.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that marijuana will be legal in Canada on October 17. Meanwhile, its provinces and cities are solving problems related to regulations.

Here's what to expect:


It's up to the provinces and territories to determine how to handle the distribution, and they adopt a variety of approaches.

Ontario plans to open up to 150 stores managed by its Liquor Control Board – a model of public ownership that is unusual in the US. UU No state owns marijuana outlets, although the small town of North Bonneville, in Washington state, has a marijuana store owned by the city.

British Columbia plans a mix of public and privately owned stores, while Newfoundland and Saskatchewan will only have private marijuana stores. In some remote areas where independent marijuana stores may not be economically viable, even in the Northwest Territories, cannabis could be sold in existing liquor stores.

Like the US states. The provinces also differ in domestic cultivation, with many allowing up to four plants and others, including Quebec, to exclude it.

And instead of a minimum age of 21, like the US states. UU have set the age for alcohol consumption, the federal minimum age to use marijuana in Canada will be 18. However, most provinces opt for 19, which is also the age to drink in most places.

The different approaches make the provinces something of a laboratory for other countries to determine the best forms of legalization, said Matt Gray, founder and CEO of Herb, a Toronto-based news and social media platform. marijuana industry.


Whether administered by the government or private entities, stores in Canada will obtain their marijuana of faith. growers with license of by means. The government will also set a minimum price.

Canada's finance ministers have linked him to around $ 10 per gram, but the Yukon minister in charge of marijuana says the government hopes to displace more of the illegal market by setting the base price at $ 8. [19659015] The federal government wants to tax legal marijuana at $ 1 per gram or one-tenth of the price of a product, whichever is greater, plus taxes on federal and provincial sales. It is likely to be less than the taxes imposed in the states.

Washington's marijuana tax rate is 37 percent, plus taxes on state and local sales. In California, licensed marijuana companies are blaming total tax rates that can approach 50 percent to drive people back to the black market.

The Canadian government agreed to give the provinces and territories 75 percent of tax revenue.


Canadian companies in Canada have a great deal of advantage over American counterparts: bank access

Because the drug is still illegal under US law, major banks have been reluctant to do business with industry, even in legal marijuana states.

US Treasury Department data show a slow increase in the number of banks and savings and credit cooperatives that hold accounts for marijuana businesses, and 411 reported on those accounts last spring.

But many of these institutions do not offer complete banking services, which makes it difficult to obtain loans.

"The major Canadian banks were slow to accept this," said Chris Barry, a Seattle-based marijuana lawyer who handles industrial transactions in both countries for the Dorsey and Whitney firm.

He said that smaller independent banks, investment banks and brokerage firms started work.

"That has dissolved as a problem," Barry said. "The majors are arriving to participate in the market."


Some Canadian consumers are disappointed that the shelves only store dried flowers, oils and seeds when sales start, inedible. The government has said it needs about another year to develop regulations for groceries.

There is also a problem of labeling: Health Canada has issued large warning labels in simple packages, with strict restrictions on font sizes, styles, and colors. The idea is to discourage improper use and avoid appealing to minors, but it also leaves little room for company logos or brands.

"It looks like every bag contains radioactive waste," said Chris Clay, owner of the Warmland Cannabis Center. a medical marijuana dispensary on Vancouver Island. "It's a small logo with this great warning label, it does not leave much room for handicraft growers who want to differentiate themselves."

And that, said Clay, is one of the many things that will hinder the growth of mom's and dad's growers. The big cannabis companies have been negotiating offers to supply marijuana to the provinces.

While microproducers are allowed, Clay is concerned that by the time the rules are published, "all contracts will be picked up".


Although getting marijuana by mail can be a novel concept in the US. UU., It's nothing new in Canada. Your postal service, Canada Post, has been shipping medical marijuana to authorized patients since 2013.

"Many of our processes are in effect today for medical cannabis and will continue for any regulated product shipped through the Canada Post from authorized distributors. , "The agency said in a written statement.

Canada Post requires proof of age at the time of delivery and will not leave the package unless someone is there to receive it.


The Associated Press journalist Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.


Johnson reported from Seattle. He is a member of the AP marijuana team. Follow it at Find the full coverage of marijuana AP here:

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