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December 21, 2016 National Cannabis Trade Alliance Welcomes Federal Task Force Recommendations for Market Diversity and Graduated Licensing Structure: “Still more work ahead” Vancouver, BC – The Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada (CTAC) welcomed the federal government’s Task Force Report on the legalization of marijuana. CTAC is particularly encouraged by recommendations which favour small-scale producers, graduated licencing and fee structures, on-line sales and retail storefronts separate from liquor and tobacco sales. “While there is more work to do for the legalization of cannabis and Canadian governments, these recommendations represent a win for consumers and public health,” said CTAC Executive Director Rosy Mondin. “We look forward to an ongoing collaboration with the various levels of governments across the country to ensure new regulations respond to these recommendations and provide assistance to address unanswered and developing issues.” CTAC has reached out to government to recommend policies to develop a premier sustainable cannabis industry in Canada that promotes inclusivity, transparency, and evidence-based policy. Over the past year, CTAC has published a series of comprehensive reports on cannabis legalization. These Reports are available at www.sustainablecannabis.ca and were presented to the Task Force at their September 2016 Vancouver roundtable. CTAC is pleased with the Task Force recommendations which encourage “market diversity by creating a space for smaller-scale production through graduated licensing and fee structures, and preventing the development of monopolies or large conglomerates.” The provisions for recognition of ‘craft’ growers and processors’ responds directly to CTAC’s proposal. Task Force Chair, Hon. Anne McLellan added, “Diversity is an important value in relation to the producers ... the government needs to understand the value of a diverse market, with growers of different sizes, and arguably, different expertise.” And with the Task Force’s support for CTAC’s recommendation that cannabis retailers should have the opportunity to participate in the new regime, the Report noted, “Provincial regulations should allow for the issuing of cannabis distribution and sales licences to businesses that are compliant with all applicable rules and regulations.” “The response of the Task Force directly addresses several CTAC recommendations,” added Ms. Mondin. “Many growers and processors operating outside of existing regulations hope for an opportunity to work within a reasonable regulatory environment and participate within a legal framework. Allowing many cultivators and processors of different sizes to participate through an accessible licensing process will be a key factor in negating the strength of the unregulated market.”

www.sustainablecannabis.ca


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The Task Force was clear on its support for CTAC’s recommended regime for mandatory testing, especially as it relates to public health and safety. The Report recognized CTAC’s approach as encouraging best practices in all phases of production to licensing, testing, tracking, and inventory control: “Mandatory laboratory testing of all cannabis products (potency and contaminants) – a critical step in the seed-to-sale process when considering public health, should be the main objective in the legalized framework.” In addition to recognizing the many balanced Task Force recommendations, CTAC would also support the Task Force to consider a number of other important issues notably absent in the Report. CTAC will continue to lead participation in opportunities that address the following: 

the negative impact criminal records have on Canadians charged with possession and any suggested mitigation for those facing new charges or sentences during this transition period

any process to facilitate ongoing engagement between the government and sector stakeholders

an opportunity to include Health Canada’s category of designated producers, rather than ‘phasing out this provision for non-medical uses of cannabis’

status of discussions with provinces regarding the establishment and structure of government controlled centralized wholesale distribution systems

timeline for legalization

CTAC intends to produce and publish a full Response to the Task Force Report, in addition to a preliminary strategy to address the above issues. The Response will also include an invitation for the federal government to maintain the goodwill and dialogue established by the Task Force. CTAC will accelerate engagement and advocacy activities on behalf of cannabis growers, cultivators, processors and retailers toward the provinces. Ms. Mondin concluded, “Provincial governments must now act quickly to take advantage of the opportunities presented by this new industry while ensuring that consumers, patients, youth, local government, health authorities and the public are best-served by this new industry.” -----For further information: 

Rosy Mondin, Executive Director, rosy@sustainablecannabis.ca, (604) 346-8118

www.sustainablecannabis.ca

CTAC Response to Task Force Report on Cannabis Legalization  

Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada Welcomes Federal Task Force Recommendations for Market Diversity and Graduated Licensing Structure

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