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POSITION PAPER

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a World-Class Sustainable Industry Through Inclusivity, Transparency and Evidence-Based Policy

Submitted: May 24, 2016

Contact the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada: Telephone (Ottawa): 613-954-5031 Telephone (Vancouver): 604-346-8118 Email: info@sustainablecannabis.ca This publication is available online: www.sustainablecannabis.ca Submitted by: Rosy Mondin, LL.B, B.A (Criminology)


CTAC acknowledges the wide spectrum of industry participants that helped craft, review, and offered valuable insight on the various drafts of this paper. These participants have many years of experience working in, or connected to, the cannabis economy, including: cannabis growers and processors, medical dispensary owners, cannabis researchers and scientists, business-owners, academics, public health advisors, lawyers, and drug policy specialists. This Position Paper would not have been possible without their collaborative efforts.


Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Executive Summary Promoting inclusive growth, sustainability and transparency for the Cannabis industry

The Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada (CTAC) is a trade organization to represent a broad range of cannabis industry participants. CTAC has drafted this position paper - Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a World-Class Sustainable Industry through Inclusivity, Transparency and Evidence-Based Policy - to assist government to develop evidence-based policies aimed at creating an inclusive, sustainable and transparent legislative and regulatory model for the Canadian cannabis industry. In Canada, there already exists a diverse and well established private sector for both medical and illicit recreational (i.e. ‘non-medical’ or ‘adult-use’) cannabis; in fact, Canada is considered by many as a world leader in cannabis production. To create a new cannabis legalization model, CTAC encourages government to open a dialogue with existing cannabis industry stakeholders; this will aid to foster cooperation and support for the new regulatory model. A successful model for Canada’s cannabis industry must be built upon a foundation of evidence-based policies. Legalization provides an opportunity for evidence-based regulation by reviewing “what works”, and using the best available research and systematically collected data. The purpose of this paper is to provide government with a framework for regulation which promotes evidence-based decision making, public safety and health initiatives, and facilitates a healthy, regulated environment, fostering consumer choice. Our recommendations call for a licensing system which: takes into account the existing cannabis business infrastructure, responds to emerging marketplace realities, reflects evolving societal values, helps grow the economy while protecting public safety, and ensures the establishment of a sustainable cannabis industry. The framework is based on three Pillars of Success: ■■

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Inclusive Growth: A wide spectrum of stakeholders currently participates in Canada’s cannabis industry (both licit & illicit). To be successful, the regulated framework should include this very diverse and well-established private sector in its negotiations for change. Regulations must be evidence-based and transparent guidelines must also seek to be inclusive. Sustainability: A successful cannabis industry must consider sustainability of the industry itself, sustainability of the environment, and the impact of the industry on Canadian communities. Transparency: A successful cannabis industry must be transparent in the approach to, and drafting of, cannabis regulation, in the creation of an open and competitive market, and in the distribution of quality-controlled cannabis products.

CTAC is reaching out to legislators at all levels of government to recommend policies and offer assistance in drafting legislation and regulations regarding the legalization of cannabis.

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Table of Contents Executive Summary

i

Introduction 2 Framework for Cannabis Legalization Best Practices

3

Evidence of Public Health Benefits

3

Quality Control: Testing, Packaging and Labelling

4

Transition and Integration

4

Personal Cultivation Rights

4

Recommendations for Cannabis Licensing

5

Licensing: Commercial Production

5

Licensing: Laboratories

5

Licensing: Authorized Resellers (Wholesalers)

6

Licensing: Authorized Retailers (Dispensaries)

6

Pillars of Success

8

Pillar 1: Inclusive Growth

9

Job Creation

10

Taxation Structures

11

Distribution through Privately-owned Retail Stores

12

Women in Cannabis

13

Promoting Diversity

13

Pillar 2: Sustainability

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14

Industry Sustainability

14

Community Sustainability

14

Environmental Sustainability

15

Pillar 3: Transparency

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3

16

Open and Competitive Market

16

Regulatory Transparency

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Table of Contents Federal Initiatives

17

Federal Joint Venture Participation

17

Creation of a Research Institute

18

Innovation and Research

18

Provincial and Local Initiatives

19

Provincial Joint Venture Participation

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Inclusion of Cannabis in the Farming Sector

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Development of Cannabis Appellations

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Trade Alliance Certification

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Municipal Initiatives

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About CTAC

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Appendix A - Matrix of Cannabis Laws in States Authorizing Adult Use Appendix B - Public Health Benefits to Cannabis Regulation

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

“The plain and simple truth is that alcohol fuels violent behavior and marijuana does not ... alcohol contributes to literally millions of acts of violence in the United States each year. It is a major contributing factor to crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, and homicide. Marijuana use, on the other hand, is absent in that regard from both crime reports and the scientific literature. There is simply no causal link to be found.” ―Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper, from the foreword to Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?, 2009

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Introduction The cannabis industry is moving towards legitimacy. On November 13, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a mandate letter to the Ministers of Justice, Health and Public Safety regarding efforts that will “lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana”.1 Canada is poised to become the first of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to legalize and regulate adultuse cannabis on a federal level, and with this comes significant responsibility. This process represents an excellent opportunity to formally position Canada as a world-leader in the construction of careful, thoughtful and sustainable cannabis legislation. The positive tangential benefits to Canada – in skilled labour, tourism, exports and knowledge development -- are significant. The movement to legalization is based on the failure of the so-called ‘war on drugs’. The dominating view is that regulated markets protect consumers, put criminals out of business, save the police money, raise revenues and extend freedom. Based on legalization initiatives in US states, initial results are encouraging: drug cartel markets are decreasing, thousands of young people are avoiding criminal prosecution sparing them criminal records, and hundreds of millions of dollars are being legitimately earned and taxed, driving investment to communities and important public initiatives.2 There has so far been no explosion in consumption, nor of drug-related crime.

As Canada navigates the legalization and regulation of cannabis, there is an opportunity to develop and implement an inclusive and sustainable model for the cannabis industry. CTAC encourages all levels of government to work together to create an inclusive and sustainable cannabis industry, one which will not be required to compete with the unregulated market. This can only be achieved through sensible policies that are inclusive of the existing market infrastructure and participants. The most efficient way to impede and eradicate the unregulated-market is to allow these existing market players (and their products) an opportunity to participate and transition into the legitimate market, without fear of injustice or persecution.

1

2

Office of the Prime Minister, Mandate Letters: Minister of Justice (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-justice-and-attorney-general-canada-mandate-letter); Minister of Health (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-health-mandate-letter); Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-public-safety-and-emergency-preparedness-mandate-letter) The Economist, “Legalising cannabis. Reeferegulatory challenge” News Briefing, Feb. 13th 2016, online: http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21692873-growing-number-countries-are-deciding-ditch-prohibition-what-comes

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Framework for Cannabis Legalization Legalization provides an opportunity for evidence-based regulation through the use of rigorous studies about “what works”, as well as using the best available scientific research and systematically collected data. A successful model for Canada’s cannabis industry should be built upon a foundation of evidence-based regulations. CTAC recommends a legalized cannabis regime which: ■■

integrates mandatory laboratory testing of all cannabis products (potency and contaminants) – a critical step in the seed to sale process when considering public health, and should be the main objective in the legalized framework

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restricts under-age access to non-medicinal adult-use cannabis

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facilitates and leverages the knowledge base of the existing adult-use cannabis industry

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includes the right for individuals to grow their own cannabis

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provides Canadians with equal access to an open, equal-opportunity, competitive cannabis market, that creates economic opportunities for Canadians across our country fosters a landscape of support for legitimate businesses adhering to sensible and transparent regulations and works to undermine the profitability of unregulated market activities.

Best Practices When crafting cannabis legislation, CTAC strongly encourages Canadian legislators and policy-makers to learn from the successes and failures of Oregon, Colorado, Washington State, and Alaska, including consideration of the California’s proposed “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Initiative (#15-0103)”.3 Thorough examination and consultation should be conducted. It is important to note that Oregon, Colorado, Alaska and Washington state all had robust medical marijuana industries prior to full legalization (the path upon which Canada now finds itself), making the transition easier for government and its citizens. See Appendix A “Matrix of Medical Cannabis Laws in States that have Authorized Adult Use”.

Evidence of Public Heath Benefits As cannabis has been legalized for medical use, is legalizing in various states, and is more accepted in general, an increasing amount of research is emerging on its effects. See Appendix B “Public Health Benefits to Cannabis Regulations”. 3

Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, Amendment #1, online: https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/15-0103%20(Marijuana)_1.pdf

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Quality Control: Testing, Packaging and Labelling Securing safe cannabis products for sale and distribution to the public is imperative to the public health interest of Canadians. Cannabis consumers must have confidence in what they are purchasing and consuming. Just as food packaging must display the ingredients and nutritional information; wine, beer and spirits must list the alcohol content; and natural health products must monitor and disclose all ingredients; so too should cannabis products destined for sale possess reliable labeling of their ingredients, and the potency and quantity of active components. This is all part of the regulated supply. CTAC asserts the importance of distribution of products which are quality controlled: properly analyzed, tested, packaged, sealed and labelled prior to release to the market.

Transition and Integration In Canada, there already exists a diverse and well-established licit and illicit private sector for both medical and non-medical cannabis. Canada is considered by many as a world leader in production, having developed thousands of different cannabis strains, including a plethora of cannabis oils, concentrates and infused products. The government must create a cannabis industry that will be sustainable without having to compete with the unregulated market. This can only be achieved through policies that include those with a working knowledge of the existing market infrastructure, often obtained through their participation in these unregulated networks of production and distribution. The most efficient way to impede and eradicate the illicit-market is to provide these existing market players (and their products) an opportunity to participate in a new and more regulated economy, transitioning into the emerging legitimate market, without fear of injustice or persecution.

Personal Cultivation Rights Allowing opportunities for eligible Canadians to grow limited amounts of cannabis for their own personal use is a key strategy to prevent an unregulated cannabis market from continuing, or re-emerging.4 CTAC supports initiatives which include an allowance for personal home production on personal/residential property for recreational and/or medical use.

4

Legalization of Marijuana – Policy Paper 2013 – Liberal Party of Canada in BC, at page 12, online: https://bc.liberal.ca/files/2013/01/DRAFT-Marijuana-Policy-Paper-Jan-13.pdf

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Recommendations for Cannabis Licensing The cannabis supply chain consists of various industry segments. CTAC encourages a licensing structure which grants more licenses to increase the quantity and variety of the available supply chain, and allowing applicants to apply under any one or all licensing categories. The recommended licensing structure promotes affordability of the end product thereby impeding continuing sales from the illicit market. See also the Position Paper: “The Road Forward After Allard: Creating Medical Cannabis Access Regulations”, at page 12. (online: www.sustainablecannabis.ca) A legalized adult-use cannabis licensing structure should be open to industry participants of various sizes, from craft to larger forms of industry. Regulations should implement a more responsive licensing system providing greater flexibility for businesses. We recommend government consult with industry and review the minimum licensing requirements, to ensure a transparent and effective regulations.

Licensing: Commercial Production Commercial production of cannabis consists of three specific industry segments: Clone and Genetic Propagators (nursery), Cannabis Growers, and Cannabis Processors. CTAC recommends separate commercial production licenses for each of these three segments: ■■

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Clone Production and Genetic Propagation License (nursery) – license for growing seeds, mother plants, and cultivation of clones. Cannabis products derived from pest-free and disease-free plants are the biggest factors in ensuring a safe supply chain for consumers. The inclusion of Clone Producers and Genetic Propagators ensures the supply chain has a much needed variety of contaminant-free starting plant material. Seed cultivation, clone production and genetic propagation of cannabis should be a full-scale production activity in its own category. Cannabis Grower License – license for growing, cultivating, harvesting, trimming, drying, curing and packaging cannabis. Cannabis Processor – license converting cannabis into cannabis extracts, concentrates and cannabis-infused products.

Licensing: Laboratories As cannabis use expands and more products enter the marketplace, laboratories to analyze the available products are needed. Third-party testing laboratories are a critical component of the cannabis supply chain. Ensuring purity, efficacy, and consistency of a finished product prior to release to the consumer is a crucial step in the supply chain process when considering public health. CTAC encourages and emphasizes the importance of the licensing of laboratories. To establish and maintain standards, CTAC also recommends that, over time, regulations may evolve to include the application of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025, to entities engaged in third party testing of cannabis and cannabis products. Such ISO requirements are similar to environmental, agricultural, consumer protection and food and product safety requirements that must be met by other industries, and is a globally accepted basis for laboratory recognition.

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Licensing: Authorized Resellers (Wholesalers) To ensure better variety and consistent supply of product, CTAC also encourages legislators to create a licensing category for Authorized Resellers (wholesalers), allowing these entities to sell their tested and quality assured cannabis products to licensed processors and to any adult-use licensed cannabis retailer (dispensary).

Licensing: Authorized Retailers (Dispensaries) Cannabis retailers are the final piece in any regulated cannabis supply chain. In a recent Federal Court decision5, Justice Michael Phelan stated that “Dispensaries are at the heart of cannabis access”. Cannabis retailers (known as ‘dispensaries’) serve Canadian communities by offering safe, accessible spaces where consumers can obtain in-person advice, view and purchase a wide range of available cannabis products. Global patterns of cannabis consumption reveal that cannabis consumers prefer legal retailers that deal exclusively with a cannabis inventory.6 Estimates indicate that approximately 300,000 Canadians access cannabis through cannabis dispensaries (currently federally illegal, but tolerated operations).7 The objective of any new legislation should be to allow legitimate businesses the opportunity to participate in the supply chain distribution of Canada’s newly legalized cannabis economy.8 To ensure the protection of the safety of Canadians, provincial regulations should allow for the issuing of cannabis distribution and sales licenses to businesses that are compliant with all applicable rules and regulations. CTAC strongly encourages legislators at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to ensure that dispensaries are legitimized through a proper licensing structure, ensuring dispensaries have access to product that is properly analyzed, tested and labelled prior to release to the market, and properly taxed upon sale.

A sustainable and inclusive industry structure offers a new way for Canadian businesses and workers to participate in an otherwise incalculable sector, and contribute to the Canadian economy in a tangible way.

Allard v. Canada, 2016 FC 236

7

Hager, Mike “Experts predict surge of pot shops across Canada after Trudeau win”, Globe and Mail, November 11, 2015, online:

8

5 6

Chart of the Week: Black Market Marijuana Taking Big Hit in States with Operating Dispensaries, Rec Shops”, Marijuana Business Daily, September 8, 2015, online: http://mjbizdaily.com/chart-week-black-market-marijuana-taking-big-hit-states-operating-dispensaries-rec-shops/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/experts-predict-a-surge-in-pot-shops-across-canada-after-trudeau-win/article27225385/

Minister of Finance Mandate Letter, supra, note 1

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Canada’s Future. A successful model for Canada’s cannabis industry must be built upon a foundation of evidence-based regulations. These regulations must protect the interests of consumers, and provide adult users access to a sensibly regulated market and create economic opportunities for Canadians.


Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Pillars of Success CTAC is reaching out to legislators at all levels of government to recommend policies and offer assistance in drafting legislation and regulations regarding the legalization of cannabis. The purpose of this paper is to provide government with a framework for regulation which promotes evidence-based decision making, public safety and health initiatives, and facilitates a healthy, regulated environment, fostering consumer choice. This framework is based on three Pillars of Success: ■■

■■

■■

Pillar I - Inclusive Growth: A wide spectrum of stakeholders currently participate in Canada’s cannabis industry (both licit & illicit). To be successful, the regulated framework must include this very diverse and well-established private sector in its negotiations for change. Transparent guidelines must also seek to be inclusive. Pillar II - Sustainability: A successful Cannabis industry must consider sustainability of the cannabis industry itself, the sustainability of the environment, and the impact of the industry on Canadian communities. Pillar III - Transparency: A successful cannabis industry must be transparent in the approach to, and drafting of, cannabis regulation, in the creation of an open and competitive market, and in the distribution of quality-controlled cannabis products.

CTAC encourages governments to leverage the existing knowledge base of the cannabis industry to develop an inclusive, sustainable and transparent model for the Canadian cannabis industry, one that will promote economic development and strengthen Canada’s middle class.

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Pillar I: Inclusive Growth In Canada, there is no domestic market growing as quickly as cannabis. For the last several decades, cannabis has been one of Canada’s top cash crops. Current estimates suggest that a new adult-use cannabis market could have as many as 7-million potential customers9. A 2016 CIBC World Markets report suggests that Canada’s federal and provincial governments might realise as much as $5-billion / year from legalization sales (0.25% of GDP), but only if all the underground sales are effectively curtailed.10 Small Canadian businesses employing Canadian workers make up the largest portion of the existing cannabis infrastructure. Breeders, propagators, producers, harvesters, processors, laboratories, infused product makers, distributors, transporters, hydroponic and other retailers, healthcare professionals, caregivers, patients, biologists, pathologists, research scientists, biochemists, social scientists, engineers, and tradespersons constitute the fabric of the existing cannabis industry. In order to effectively dissuade consumers from supporting the illicit market, it is highly recommended that all levels of government create legislation, regulation and policies which include those working within the existing cannabis infrastructure.

9

10

Ashely Csanady, “As many as seven million possible customers for legal weed in Canada as support hits new heights: Poll” National Post, November 9, 2015, online:

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/as-many-as-seven-million-possible-customers-for-legal-weed-in-canada-as-support-hits-new-heights-poll

Avery Shenfeld, “Growing Their Own Revenue: The Fiscal Impacts of Cannabis Legalization” CIBC World Markets, Economic Insights - January 28, 2016, at page 7, online: http://research.cibcwm.com/economic_public/download/eijan16.pdf

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Job Creation As current licensed producers (under Canada’s Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations11) vie to make the leap into the adult-use market, small, independent farmers and artisans also want to be given a fair opportunity to participate in Canada’s emerging regulated cannabis economy. This would ensure the growth of the regulated market and lead to significant tax revenue for government,12 while simultaneously undermining the unregulated market.13 Thousands of Canadians could also find direct and indirect employment arising from the growth of an inclusive and sustainable Cannabis industry. Opportunities include:14 ■■

public education, public safety and responsible use

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agriculture, technology and energy supply,

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specialty retail stores,

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transportation, distribution, packaging and manufacturing,

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inspectors, engineers, quality controllers, licensing officers and health researchers,

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legal, insurance, financial and accounting services,

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marketing, communication, tourism

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11

14 12 13

alternative and ancillary products (such as non-smokables, topicals, cosmetics, hemp building materials, hemp fabrics).

Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, SOR/2013-119, online: http://www.laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2013-119/ [MMPR] Minister of Finance Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Supra, note 4 at page 12 Supra, note 4

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Taxation Structures The economic impact of legalizing Cannabis is very positive for the federal, provincial and municipal government and taxpayers. A proper taxation structure15 could potentially deliver billions of dollars in new revenue from the cannabis sector, funds that governments can reinvest in public health care and harmreduction (including mental health and addiction), education and awareness initiatives, and community infrastructure programs (such as the construction of public buildings and other community amenities).16 Furthermore, these new tax revenues would be complemented by the ability to reallocate law enforcement, correction, border and justice resources to more critically important tasks. In the US, 2015 was a seminal year for the legal cannabis market; cannabis sales were higher than those of Dasani, Oreos and Girl Scout cookies.17 In Colorado, the recreational (adult-use) cannabis market began sales in January 2014. By the end of 2015, total sales from both the adult-use and medical cannabis retail outlets reached more than $995-million, an increase of about $300-million from the previous year. As a consequence, Colorado collected more than $135-million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015, with $35-million going toward school construction projects.18 It is important to ensure that any taxation structure maintains prices that are comparable to, or lower than, the illicit market. If pricing is not competitive, the unregulated (illicit) market would likely continue to flourish. CTAC echoes the 2013 Liberal Party of Canada (BC) Policy Paper which also recommends a “legal framework allowing provinces to adopt pricing variations which could facilitate the sale and marketing of ‘premium brands’ – as is the case with alcohol today.19 In addition, CTAC recommends that medical cannabis should be untaxed, or covered by healthcare insurance.

Regulating and taxing marijuana has been incredibly successful in Colorado, and it represents a model for other states to follow. These numbers should put to rest the claims we keep hearing from opponents that marijuana tax revenue has fallen short of expectations in Colorado. ―Mason Tivert, Marijuana Policy Project 20

15 16

17

18

19

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Minister of Finance Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Alibi Pierce, “Colorado’s 2015 Marijuana Tax Results: $135 Million, $35 Million Going to Schools” Marijuana Politics, February 10, 2016, online: http://marijuanapolitics.com/colorados-2015-marijuana-tax-results-135-million-35-million-going-to-schools/ Katie Sola, “Legal U.S. Marijuana Market Will Grow To $7.1 Billion In 2016: Report”. Forbes, April 19, 2016, online: http://www.forbes.com/sites/katiesola/2016/04/19/legal-u-s-marijuana-market-will-grow-to-7-1-billion-in-2016-report/#4f3de33c568d

State of Colorado “Marijuana Taxes, Licenses, and Fees Transfers and Distribution”, December 2015 Sales Reported in January 2016, online: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/1215%20Marijuana%20Tax,%20License,%20and%20Fees%20Report.pdf Supra, note 4 at page 31 “Colo. Marijuana Revenue Exceeded Projections in 2015”, Marijuana Policy Project, Feb 10, 2016, online: https://www.mpp.org/news/press/colorados-regulated-marijuana-system-generated-135-million-in-revenue-for-the-state-in-2015-including-35-million-for-school-construction-projects

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Distribution through Retail Storefronts Global patterns of cannabis consumption reveal that cannabis consumers prefer legal retailers that deal exclusively with a cannabis inventory.21 Canada needs a diverse jobs base. CTAC advocates a model of government regulated, privately-owned cannabis retail outlets; the creation of either a monopoly or oligopoly with respect to distribution is not needed in order to properly control cannabis access. Certain industry segments and politicians are advocating for the retail distribution of cannabis through existing government licensed liquor distribution outlets. Licenses to sell alcohol are extremely valuable in this country - there is little value in concentrating even more wealth into so few already privileged hands. The legal cannabis sector should complement our thriving craft beer and wine industries – with living wages, health benefits and a role in shaping its future. CTAC strongly believes that selling alcohol and cannabis products together sends the wrong message to Canadian youth about responsible use. Many Canadians use cannabis as a treatment for alcoholism and addiction, thus selling these two products in the same storefront does not seem to be in keeping with public health and safety initiatives.22 In addition, and perhaps most important, there is good evidence of a synergistic effect (a significant increase in impairment) when alcohol and marijuana are consumed in tandem.23 Given that most Canadians drive to liquor stores to buy alcohol, the wisdom of allowing “two stop” shopping in such a location seems highly questionable, both in terms of health-related harms, and the likely increase in impaired driving.24 CTAC advocates for efforts to support and train private sector retail staff to detect underage purchasers (not difficult to do), and for efforts to educate young Canadians on responsible cannabis use. We also support programs that seek to discourage non-medical youth consumption. CTAC believes that an inclusive distribution model will ultimately allow the customer, the most important stakeholder, to decide who succeeds within Canada’s newly legalized and regulated cannabis retail marketplace.

Supra, Note 6

23

24

Erika Beras, “Marijuana Muddies Memory and Mixes with Alcohol to Make Trouble”, Scientific American, July 1, 2015, online: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/marijuana-muddies-memory-and-mixes-with-alcohol-to-make-trouble/

21 22

Gregory Chesher, “The effects of alcohol and marijuana in combination: a review”, Pharmacology Research Unit, University of Sydney, 1986, online: https://trid.trb.org/view.aspx?id=1186029; Amanda Reiman, “Cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs”, Harm Reduction Journal 2009, published 3 December 2009, online: http://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1477-7517-6-35

H. Robbe, “Marijuana’s Impairing Effects on Driving are Moderate When Taken Alone But Severe When Combined With Alcohol”, Human Psychopharmacology, Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. Exp. 13, S70-S78 (1998).

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Women in Cannabis According to current estimates, woman comprise 36% of all executives in the US cannabis market, far surpassing the 22% the US national average for women in executive positions across all industries. A legalized cannabis industry is so new that it is not a heavily male-dominated industry. Consequently, there are very few barriers to entry for women.25 Accordingly, as we transition into a regulated cannabis economy, it is important to realize that women already play a large role in the sector: an emphasis on the importance of gender equality and inclusion in the new adult-use cannabis industry is critical and an important consideration in the creation of an inclusive cannabis marketplace.

Promoting Diversity CTAC recognizes the benefits that arise from employee and corporate board diversity and encourages equal opportunity in the new legalized cannabis industry. Diversity has played an important role in Canada’s history – “Diversity is Our Strength” – is Toronto’s official motto, and has been adopted by our newly elected government. As Prime Minister Trudeau recently stated at Davos 2016, “Diversity isn’t just sound social policy. Diversity is the engine of invention. It generates creativity that helps change the world. We know this in Canada.”26 Diversity includes, but is not limited to: gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability and cultural background.

25

26

Parija Kavilanz, “Women cash in on the marijuana boom”, CNN Money, February 4, 2016, online: http://money.cnn.com/2016/02/03/smallbusiness/women-in-marijuana-industry/ Zi-Ann Lum, “Richard Branson Cheers Justin Trudeau As ‘Breath Of Fresh Air In Canada’” Huffington Post, January 27, 2016, online: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/27/richard-branson-justin-trudeau_n_9089582.html

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Pillar II: Sustainability Sustainability is more than just being environmentally-friendly; it integrates protection of the environment, profitability, and social issues. In the context of cannabis, sustainability refers to production practices that are sensitive to the environment, economically feasible, and socially equitable.

Industry Sustainability As companies pursue sustainability goals, industry collaboration becomes of key importance. To achieve industry sustainability, companies need to work with their suppliers, vendors, customers and industry peers, thus there is a growing need for industry associations work in a collective fashion. To achieve industry sustainability, the creation of the legalized cannabis industry must be able to sustain itself and not compete an illicit market. This can only be achieved through sensible policies that are inclusive of the existing market infrastructure and participants. CTAC encourages government at all levels to work with leading universities and other industry training authorities to develop and support skills and certification systems that can serve as models for the rest of the world.

Community Sustainability Communities across Canada, many that are economically depressed due to the overall decline in traditional industry jobs (i.e. lumber, fishing and mining), have benefited greatly from the existing and currently illicit cannabis industry. As with the wine and the craft beer industries, the micro-artisans are the catalysts for creative innovation. In the US, states with established medical and adult-use cannabis businesses report positive impacts on the surrounding community, through the generation of economic benefits such as jobs, revenue, and real estate.27 CTAC encourages government to develop a framework which allows these communities an opportunity to participate in the new cannabis economy.

27

“The Local Impact of Cannabis Business�, Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation, April 12, 2016, online: https://www.crcr.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Cannabis-Industry-and-Local-Impact_041216.pdf

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Environmental Sustainability Cannabis production and cultivation requires resources of water, energy, materials, land and labour. The manner in which these inputs are handled can impact the environment, capital requirements, employees and neighbours. We have a responsibility to conserve; thus, it is important for the cannabis industry to invest in design standards and efficient production equipment -- a model that protects the environment. CTAC supports responsible environmental practices ensure that cannabis is grown efficiently and legally, to regulate the use of pesticides, to prevent water waste, and to minimize water usage, and the use of incentives and surcharges to encourage energy efficiency and water use. Once legalized, cannabis products would be eligible for certification as organic under the Organic Products Regulations.28

CTAC promotes “Good Production Practices, International Standardization Procedures, Work Safe Compliance”, and “Red Seal Certifications” to ensure globally recognizable quality, technical and safety assurance standards.

28

Organic Products Regulations, 2009 (SOR/2009-176), online: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2009-176/page-1.html

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Pillar 3: Transparency CTAC encourages all levels of government to remain open and transparent in their approach to cannabis regulation, and to use facts, evidence, and good sense to guide cannabis policy.

Open and Competitive Market CTAC encourages an open and competitive legalized cannabis marketplace, where the barriers to entry are reasonable and comparable to similar industries such as wine, beer, or natural health products. Such a model stands in contrast to the current model, based on long discredited science, which has created significant barriers to access in society, propped up the illicit market, and proven to be out of line with the views of most Canadians.

Regulatory Transparency We urge regulatory bodies to be specific in their drafting of guidelines and regulations. Clear, unambiguous criteria should be used. ■■

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Application Processing. CTAC recommends that regulations provide for application processing and disposition timelines. Specific and measureable pre-license requirements should be set forth and implemented consistently across jurisdictions. Whether it is the quality assurance qualifications, the personnel and site security requirements, or distances from schools and daycares, criteria should be the same for all participants. Application Fees. CTAC recommends application fees which are reasonable so as not to increase the overall cost of the cannabis product through the supply chain. The application fee should provide additional funding allowing government to hire additional support staff to manage the new regulatory infrastructure. Periodic Reviews of Legislation, Regulation, Rules and Policies. In order to stay current with the growth of the new legalized cannabis industry, CTAC encourages governments to use best practices and review enacted policies and legislative requirements on an annual basis for the first 5-years following legalization, and every 3 to 5 years thereafter. Development of a Compliance Framework. CTAC recommends the development of a Compliance framework including proposed timelines for regular audits and reviews (i.e. financial, operational, security, quality assurance).

CTAC would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on the development of such initiatives.

CTAC believes transparent guidelines must be balanced with inclusiveness and a willingness to provide all stakeholders with a voice.

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Federal Initiatives CTAC would welcome the opportunity to engage with the federal government on specific initiatives, such as:

Federal Joint Venture Participation CTAC wishes to participate with the federal government in a co-operative effort to support the cannabis industry to: ■■

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provide policy experience and industry expertise to the drafting of the legalisation framework,29 help develop and implement educational fact-based campaigns regarding the cannabis Industry (i.e. ‘Cannabis Facts’) help develop and implement educational campaigns targeting: teen use30, responsible consumption,31 DUI awareness,32 and workplace consumption

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educating the public regarding the new cannabis laws, and

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educating CTAC members regarding the concerns of government on cannabis issues

Creation of a Research Institute Public perception of cannabis and the laws governing its use have been influenced negatively by the lack of scientific information and knowledge about the plant and its effects on humans. CTAC encourages the organization of interdisciplinary research institutes and international centres with the aim of encouraging collaborative and integrative approaches to support the development of Canada’s cannabis industry. They would conduct, analyze and disseminate research and provide expertise to policy-makers, health-care and medical professionals, businesses and the media, among others, promoting rigorous and scholarly scientific study and analysis of cannabis issues. The purpose would be objective analysis and research, not advocacy of cannabis policy positions. CTAC encourages legislators to look to the McGill University based Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids33 as one example of an already existing organization, focussed on research into the medical benefits (and costs) of cannabis consumption. CTAC would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on the development of such initiatives.

31 32 33 29 30

Minister of Justice Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Minister of Health Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 http://winemoderation.ca/ Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, online: http://www.ccic.net

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Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a Sustainable Industry through Inclusive Growth


Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Innovation and Research CTAC believes that prosperous societies are innovative societies, and innovation begins with research. There is an enormous amount of cannabis research that needs to be done to catch up from decades of prohibition. Prohibition has stunted experimental efforts, as well as research and development initiatives designed to increase our understanding of the plant, its components, and its uses and potential benefits (medical and otherwise). Furthermore, those interested in a better understanding of the benefits and costs of cannabis have been unable to acquire outside investment, government grants, qualified professional and academic personnel, and sustainable infrastructure. Government funding has the best chance of providing an unbiased research environment, expanding Canada’s knowledge base in the realm of cannabis. Such research innovations would help generate new revenue opportunities and market growth for Canadians in a variety of markets and businesses within and affiliated to, the new legalized cannabis industry.34 This could put Canada at the forefront of Cannabis research globally.

34

Supra, note 1; and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Mandate Letter, online: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/minister-innovation-science-and-economic-development-mandate-letter

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Provincial and Local Initiatives CTAC would welcome the opportunity to engage with provincial and municipal governments on specific initiatives, such as:

Provincial Joint Venture Participation35 CTAC wishes to participate with provincial governments in co-operative efforts to support the cannabis industry in areas such as: ■■

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provide policy experience and industry expertise to the drafting of provincial legalisation and regulations for cannabis distribution, sale, enforcement and taxation, promotion of safety education and awareness initiatives,36 developing regulations which promote a safe, inclusive, sustainable and transparent legalisation framework, developing and implementing educational campaigns targeting teen use and responsible consumption37 help develop and implement educational campaigns targeting: teen use, responsible consumption, DUI awareness, and workplace consumption

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educating the public regarding the new cannabis laws

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educating CTAC members regarding the concerns of government on cannabis issues

Inclusion of Cannabis in the Farming Sector At the provincial level, CTAC recommends the inclusion of Cannabis as a farming commodity sector. If included, this would allow cannabis producers access to programs and certifications offered by provincial agriculture councils/associations, such as the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC)38, which administers: ■■

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37 38 39 35 36

40

the Environmental Farm Plan Program, which certifies voluntarily compliant farms as to environmental sustainability practices39, and agricultural environment initiatives, such as funding assistance for projects aimed at improving environmental sustainability in agriculture.40

Minister of Justice Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Mandate Letter, supra, note 1 Supra, note 27 BC Agriculture Council, online: https://www.bcac.bc.ca/ Environmental Farm Program (BC), BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation, online: https://www.bcac.bc.ca/ardcorp/program/environmental-farm-plan-program Agriculture Environment Initiatives (BC) BC Agricultural Research & Development Corporation, online: https://www.bcac.bc.ca/ardcorp/program/agriculture-environment-initiatives

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Development of Cannabis Appellations Similar to wine appellations, CTAC recommends the creation of cannabis appellations (grow regions), allowing producers to indicate and certify the region in which their cannabis is grown. This may enhance the products’ provincial, as well as international (i.e. for exportation) appeal, and may generate tourism interest to a particular area.

Trade Alliance Certification CTAC recommends the implementation of a certification standard for cannabis similar to the VQA designation for the wine industry. Through origin verification, extensive laboratory testing and comprehensive label reviews, such certification would ensure precise adherence to rigorous cannabis production standards and to label integrity that consumers can trust. CTAC would welcome the opportunity to collaborate on the development of such initiatives.

Cannabis Tourism Figures which estimate the value of Canada’s legal Cannabis industry do not yet take tourism dollars into consideration, which could be significant. The wine, beer and liquor industries have enjoyed healthy relationships with federal, provincial and municipal tourism offices, allowing alcohol tourism to flourish. In the US, cannabis tourism interest is increasing in states and cities where adult-use cannabis is legal, and new industry sectors are seeking to serve those travellers. With the creation of Cannabis Appellations, cannabis tourism in Canada could be a novel addition to regional tourism industries. Canadians take tours of craft breweries, of liquor distilleries, and engage in tours of wine country, sometimes bicycling from winery to winery. The cannabis industry might well be very similar. The development of appropriate provincial and local regulations for distribution, sales and consumption could take into account, and capitalize on the interest in the growing sector of cannabis tourism.

Municipal Initiatives CTAC wishes to participate with municipal governments in co-operative efforts to support the cannabis industry in areas such as: ■■

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the drafting of time, place and manner operating restrictions (zoning, land-use and by-laws) public awareness and school/education focused campaigns tailored to the needs of local municipalities the drafting of a school board plans for working with teachers and administrators on the development of a ‘cannabis curriculum’

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industry best practices seminars for planning departments

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policing and fire needs

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environmental impacts

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Working with Government. Together with industry leaders, CTAC is committed to working with legislators and regulators in government to develop a sustainable, safe, and ethical cannabis industry.

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Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a Sustainable Industry through Inclusive Growth


Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

About CTAC The Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada (CTAC), is a trade organization established to represent a broad range of cannabis industry participants. CTAC is registered as a not-for-profit corporation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act under Corporation 953701-5. CTAC is committed to managing its association in accordance with values that adhere to the highest standards of integrity and excellence. Operating with a strong sense of integrity is critical to maintaining trust and credibility with our members and the wider marketplace. CTAC is reaching out to government to recommend policies to assist the drafting of regulation and legislation, and to encourage government to leverage the existing knowledge base of the cannabis industry. CTAC is available to be called upon at any time to assist throughout the regulatory review and drafting process. www.sustainablecannabis.ca

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. –Albert Einsten

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Appendix A Matrix of Cannabis Laws in States Authorizing Adult Use Adult Use Laws

Colorado

State

Personal Possession Limit

Home Grow Limit

Plant/Canopy Limit

- 1 oz. usable marijuana, or equivalent in concentrate or marijuana products

- 6 plants per person, no more than 3 mature

- New licenses max. 1,800, can be increased by application to next tier after 6 months of sales

- Permissible inference of impairment of 5ng/ml whole blood Delta-9 THC

- Equivalent of concentrate = 8g

- legal to possess yield of plants at grow location

- Tier II – 1,801 - 3,600

- Driver can be charged with impairment regardless of results of test based on officer’s judgment

- Equivalent of product = 80 10mg servings of THC in product

Washington

- Retail cultivator that holds 3 or more licenses must have interest in retail store

- Implied consent to blood test - Unlawful to have open marijuana container in passenger area of vehicle - Local jurisdictions

- No home grow allowed

- 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form

- Tier IV – 6,001 – 10,200 - Tier V – 10,201 – no cap

- Non-resident may only purchase ¼ oz. usable marijuana, or equivalent in concentrate or marijuana products - 1 oz. usable marijuana

- Tier III – 3,601 – 6,000

Driving Law

- 72 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form - 7g concentrate

- Initial total statewide maximum set at 2,000,000 ft.2, to be adjusted to meet demand

- Per se guilt of impairment at 5ng/ml whole blood Delta-9 THC

- Liquor Control Board approval required to increase total statewide maximum above 8,500,000 ft.2

- Driver can be charged with impairment regardless of results of test based on officer’s judgment

- Applicants may apply for one of 3 tiers

- Implied consent to blood test

- Tier I - < 2,000 ft.2 - Tier II – 2,000 – 10,000 ft.2 - Tier III – 10,000 – 30,000 ft.2

Oregon

- 8 oz. usable marijuana - 16 oz. cannabinoid product in solid form

- 4 plants per household

- Indoor max. 10,000 ft.2 - Outdoor max. 40,000 ft.2 - 4-1 ratio applied for mixed cultivation not to exceed outdoor max.

- 72 oz. cannabinoid product in liquid form - 16 oz. homemade cannabinoid concentrate

Washington D.C.

Alaska

- 1 oz. usable marijuana - No specific allowance for cannabinoid product, though 7g of concentrates for inhalation per sale - Total amount of marijuana and marijuana products sold cannot contain more than 5600mg THC - 2 oz. usable marijuana

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- 6 plants per person, no more than 3 mature - legal to possess yield of plants at grow location

- 6 plants per person, no more than 3 mature

- Limited Cultivation License < 500 ft.2 - No stated limit for Standard Cultivation License

- No established adult use producer license or sale

- No change to existing law. Illegal to drive under influence of controlled substance. - Implied consent to testing, but no limit established

- No change to existing law. Illegal to drive under influence of controlled substance

- No change to existing law. Illegal to drive under influence of controlled substance

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a Sustainable Industry through Inclusive Growth


Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Medical Laws in States that Have Authorized Adult Use

- 2 oz. usable marijuana, though patient can raise as affirmative defense to charge for excess that more is needed to treat debilitating condition

Home Grow Limit

Plant/Canopy Limit

- 6 plants per patient, no more than 3 mature

- Dispensaries must register patients, and cultivation is tied to the dispensary, so plant counts calculated based on number of patients registered to dispensary that cultivation facility will serve

- Or equivalent in marijuana products

- Plant counts do not include immature plants

Driving Law

State

- Permissible inference of impairment of 5ng/ml whole blood Delta-9 THC - Driver can be charged with impairment regardless of results of test based on officerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s judgment - Implied consent to blood test

Colorado

Personal Possession Limit

- Unlawful to have open marijuana container in passenger area of vehicle

- No more marijuana product than what could reasonably be produced from 24 oz. of marijuana - Combined total of usable marijuana and product not to exceed 24 oz. or equivalent

- After July 1, 2016, 6 plants per patient for personal medical use, up to 15 plants per housing unit

- Until July 1, 2016, collective garden may be established for up to 10 patients, limit of 45 plants per garden - After July 1, 2016, cooperative for up to 4 patients may be established

- Per se guilt of impairment at 5ng/ml whole blood Delta-9 THC - Driver can be charged with impairment regardless of results of test based on officerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s judgment - Implied consent to blood test

- After July 1, 2016, limits increase to 3 times adult use limit, and authorizing health care provider may specify that patient requires higher limit Jointly between cardholder/ caregiver: - 24 oz. usable marijuana - No limit on cannabinoid products - Grower may possess harvest up to 12 lb. usable marijuana per outdoor plant, 6 lb. per indoor plant

- 6 mature plants per cardholder - No limit on immature plants - Cardholder may designate a grower to produce

- Each grower may grow for up to 4 cardholders, multiple growers may be registered to one address For newly registered grow sites: - If in residential zone within city limits 12 plants

Washington

- 24 oz. usable marijuana

- 15 plants per patient

- No change to existing law. Illegal to drive under influence of controlled substance. - Implied consent to testing, but no limit established

- Any other location 48 plants For grow sites registered prior to Jan. 1, 2015, allowed to have number of plants registered at that time, up to:

Oregon

Jointly between cardholder/ caregiver:

- If in residential zone within city limits 24 plants

- No dispensary system established

- 6 plants per person, no more than 3 mature

- No specific allowance or possession limit for medical marijuana products

- legal to possess yield of plants at grow location

- 2 oz. usable marijuana

- No home grow allowed

- No separate license or registration for medical cultivators

- No change to existing law. Illegal to drive under influence of controlled substance

- Maximum of 10 cultivation centers within the district

Washington D.C.

- 1 oz. usable marijuana

- Cultivation center may produce up to 95 plants

Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a Sustainable Industry through Inclusive Growth

Alaska

- Any other location 96 plants

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Appendix B

Public Health Benefits to Cannabis Regulation Cannabis Legalization Leads to Reduction in Incarceration Rates and May Reduce Certain Crime Rates ■■

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41

42

43

44

45

A 2012 Study from the University of Texas that looked at crime statistics for homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft between 1990 and 2006 showed a negative or null correlation between the adoption of medical marijuana laws and an increase in these types of crime. This study showed that medical marijuana laws may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates.41 From 2010-2014, marijuana possession arrests in Colorado dropped by 84%, arrests for cultivation and distribution of marijuana dropped by 90%. This leads to monetary and time savings from the reduced need for enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration or post-release supervision. Enforcement of marijuana regulations can pay for itself through increased tax revenue and licensing fees.42 In the first year of adult use licensing, overall property crime in the City of Denver dropped by 5.7%, with burglary down 9.8% and robbery down 3.3%, from the previous year. In the same period, burglaries of licensed marijuana facilities dropped by approximately 20%.43 At the same time, enforcement of laws prohibiting public use saw increased enforcement. During the period from 2013-2014, citations for violations of public display or consumption in Denver increased from 189 to 891. These citations require much less police time, very little to no judicial resources, and are generally not the type of police/citizen interactions that lead to violence or arrest. In Washington state, from 2011 to 2014, overall violent crime decreased by 10%, including a 13% reduction in murder. Burglaries decreased during this period by 6%. This is not a causal relationship to cannabis legalization but does show that cannabis legalization did not lead to an increase in these types of crime.44 Washington traffic fatality data showed no statistically significant trend as of 2014 for either traffic fatalities with marijuana plus any other drugs or alcohol, or for traffic fatalities involving marijuana only.45

Robert G. Morris, Michael TenEyck, J. C. Barnes, Tomislav V. Kovandzic. “The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006.” PLoS ONE (2014), online: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0092816 Drug Policy Alliance, “Status Report: Marijuana Legalization in Colorado After One Year of Retail Sales and Two Years of Decriminalization”, online: https://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Colorado_Marijuana_Legalization_One_Year_Status_Report.pdf City of Denver, “Reported Offenses in the City and County of Denver by Month”, online: https://www.denvergov.org/Portals/720/documents/statistics/2014/XCitywide_Reported_Offenses_2014.pdf Drug Policy Alliance. “Status Report: Marijuana Legalization in Washington After 1 Year of Retail Sales and 2.5 Years of Legal Possession”, online:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Drug_Policy_Alliance_Status_Report_Marijuana_Legalization_in_Washington_July2015.pdf

Forecasting and Research Division, Washington State Office of Financial Management. “Monitoring Impacts of Recreational Marijuana Legalization: 2015 Update Report.” (Jan. 2016), online: http://ofm.wa.gov/reports/marijuana_impacts_update_2015.pdf

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Cannabis Legalization Leads to Decreased Dependency on Prescription Drugs ■■

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A 2016 study from Hebrew University in Israel showed a 44% decrease in opioid drug use among subjects with treatment-resistant chronic pain who were given a cannabis treatment. These study participants also reported an overall increase in quality of life while using cannabis as compared to the opioid drugs.46 Data from 1999-2010, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2014, showed a significant decrease in annual opioid overdoses in those states that adopted medical marijuana laws. The average decrease was 20% in the first year after passage of a medical marijuana law, 25% in the second year, and 33% by the fifth.47 Reduced dependence on prescription drugs from cannabis legalization can lower costs to a single-payer healthcare system, due to the lower cost of production for cannabis as compared to certain prescription medications.

Cannabis Legalization Does Not Lead to Increased Youth Use ■■

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46

47

48

49

Despite fears of increased teen use, a 2012 study performed by researchers in Oregon, Colorado, and Montana showed that legalization of medical marijuana yields no increase in teen use, and may actually lead to a slight reduction in teen use.48 ••

The authors conclude that there is no increase in frequent use from legalization for both younger and older participants.

••

The study shows that legalization makes it less likely that a student will be offered, sold, or given cannabis while on school grounds.

••

The study also showed no statistically significant increase in use of alcohol or cocaine for study respondents in states with medical marijuana laws.

The 2014 annual study on youth risk behavior from U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed that use among high school students in Colorado and California dropped dramatically following the passage of those states’ medical marijuana laws. Prior to the passage of the laws both of these states were seeing an increase in teen use.49

Simon Haroutounian, et al. “The Effect of Medicinal Cannabis on Pain and Quality of Life Outcomes in Chronic Pain: A Prospective Open-label Study.” Clinical Journal of Pain (2016), online: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26889611 Marcus A. Bachhuber, MD, et al. “Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010.” ” JAMA Internal Medicine (2014), online: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1898878 Anderson, D. Mark, Hansen, Benjamin, and Rees, Daniel I., “Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use,” Institute for the Study of Labor, May 2012, online: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20332 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1991-2013 High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data”, online: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/results.htm

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

Cannabis Testing Without Strict Laboratory Standards Yields Inconsistent Results ■■

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A 2015 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association tested potency of edible products purchased at dispensaries in California and Washington. It found that of 75 products from 47 different brands, only 17% were accurately labeled for potency. 23% of tested products understated the content of THC and CBD, and 60% overstated this potency.50 2013 Study showed that up to 60-70% of pesticides used on cannabis flower may be present in smoke.51 2015 paper from the Cannabis Safety Institute showed a wide range of pesticides present on cannabis available in Oregon medical dispensaries, and at unsafe levels. Only 7% of flower and 24% of concentrates that were tested would have failed Oregon Health Authority standards, yet 14% of flower and 46% of concentrates would have failed comparable EPA standards for detectable levels of pesticide residue. The paper suggested a list of analytes to test for that would alleviate this problem, and recommended the use of pesticides that are exempt from set EPA tolerances, those that are generally not considered to be significantly harmful.52 Standardization through laboratory accreditation procedures used by other industries can help to minimize risk from inconsistent results. Oregon has instituted accreditation through its Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation (ORELAP) program.53 The need for testing standardization is not limited to pesticides. Other contaminants, such as heavy metals and microbiological agents like Aspergillus, other molds, powdery mildew, and bacteria represent significant public health threats if present in consumer products.54

72%

50

51

52

53

54

79%

80%

81%

82%

Ryan Vandrey, et al. “Cannabinoid Dose and Label Accuracy in Edible Medical Cannabis Products.” Journal of the American Medical Association (June 2015), online: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338239 Sullivan, N., Elzinga, S. & Raber, J. C., “Determination of pesticide residues in cannabis smoke”, Journal of Toxicology, 2013, 378168 (2013), online: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jt/2013/378168/ Rodger Voelker and Mowgli Holmes. “Pesticide Use on Cannabis.” Cannabis Safety Institute (2015), online: http://cannabissafetyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/CSI-Pesticides-White-Paper.pdf Oregon Health Authority, online: https://public.health.oregon.gov/LaboratoryServices/EnvironmentalLaboratoryAccreditation/Pages/cannabis-info.aspx Farrer, David (Public Health Toxicologist), “Technical Report: Oregon Health Authority’s Process to Determine Which Types of Contaminants to Test for in Cannabis Products and Levels for Action”, online: https://public.health.oregon.gov/PreventionWellness/marijuana/Documents/oha-8964-technical-report-marijuana-contaminant-testing.pdf

Mowgli Holmes, et al. “Microbiological Safety Testing of Cannabis.” Cannabis Safety Institute (2015); online: http://cannabissafetyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Microbiological-Safety-Testing-of-Cannabis.pdf

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Cannabis May Have Other Public Health Benefits Not Yet Fully Understood ■■

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55

56

2015 meta-analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed mixed results from studies performed to date on the efficacy of medical cannabis for certain conditions. Moderatequality evidence supported suggested benefits for pain management of chronic and neuropathic pain, and spasticity from multiple sclerosis. Low-quality evidence supported suggested benefits for anxiety, insomnia, and appetite stimulation in patients with HIV. The conclusion was that more studies needed to be performed with large robust, randomized clinical trials, but that these would be difficult with substantial regulatory hurdles still in place.55 One potential benefit that requires more study is in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by veterans. Anecdotal reports abound regarding the efficacy of cannabis for this condition, particularly among those experiencing suicidal thoughts. Two researchers have been attempting to study these effects, but have after six years only received institutional review board approval that is conditional on Drug Enforcement Administration approval.56 Part of the difficulty in performing this research is due to strain unavailability from the only federallyapproved cultivation center, while sources of the needed strains can be found in many states that have authorized medical and adult use.

Penny F. Whiting, et al. “Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Journal of the American Medical Association (June 2015)), online: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2338251 Marijuana for Symptoms of PTSD in U.S. Veterans, online: http://www.maps.org/research/mmj/marijuana-us

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Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada

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Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Creating a Sustainable Industry through Inclusive Growth


“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” ―Carl Sagan


Cannabis Legalization in Canada  

Creating a World-Class Sustainable Industry Through Inclusivity, Transparency and Evidence-Based Policy

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