OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is calling for big changes to the regulatory framework governing the production and sale of cannabis in Canada.
“A year after the passage of the cannabis legislation, it’s clear that many of the government’s approaches are wrong,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. “Legalizing cannabis was long overdue but the subsequent rollout has failed.”
Ms. May said that although one of the goals of legalization was to eliminate the black market, almost 40 per cent of Canadians continue to buy cannabis through illegal channels.
The Green Party’s 2019 election platform includes several measures designed to remove impediments to cannabis production and sale. They include:
- Lowering the federally set price for cannabis to make it competitive with illegal supplies.
- Eliminating requirements for excess plastic packaging on legal cannabis.
- Removing the sales tax on medicinal products.
- Allowing outdoor production and imposing organic production standards.
“Part of the problem with the current approach to legalization is that it treats the production of cannabis as uniquely dangerous,” said Ms. May. “Tobacco is a drug but farmers aren’t forced to grow it in underground bunkers. We should be growing cannabis in open fields, fed by the sun and the rain.”
Ms. May said that these unnecessary security requirements mean growers must use more energy and water and deal with diseases and pests that thrive in greenhouses, increasing costs and hobbling their ability to meet production expectations.
“These changes aren’t difficult to implement but they will streamline cannabis production and make the final product cheaper and safer,” said Ms. May.
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