Article by Lisa Wright, Toronto Star
Longtime head shop owner Luke Reynolds sees recreational marijuana in Canada eventually rolling out “like Tim Hortons and Starbucks” on every corner.
“It will be government run and I think they’re going to crush all the little guys like us who started this movement in the first place,” said Reynolds, owner of PipeDreamz in Ajax, while selling his vaporizers and pipes for pot smokers at Lift, Canada’s biggest cannabis convention, Saturday in Toronto.
With legalization of recreational weed in Canada slated for July 2018, there was a lot of uncertainty in the air — among other distinct aromas — at the massive expo of all things herbal that runs through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
A new study released at the convention backs up some of the pot paranoia out there, with support clearly sliding for legalization of recreational marijuana since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced the July, 2018 launch date.
The latest Hill+Knowlton Strategies survey shows approval has dropped to 43 per cent from polling done this time last year, which found 60 per cent of Canadians support pot sales.
Recent recommendations put forward by the federal Task Force on Cannabis Legalization, coupled with the announcement that recreational marijuana will be legal sometime on or near July 1, 2018, “is making this whole issue real for people,” said Ivan Ross Vrána, senior director, Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
“People were excited at first. But today the flavour of public opinion has shifted,” he said, noting the public is “more guarded and uneasy” about the issue.
The report found 41 per cent of Canadians feel Ottawa is rushing legalization, while 53 per cent said they feel the federal government is underestimating the overall impact it will have on society.