Article by Mike Okada, Cannabis Life Network
In 2016, a New Brunswick man, Gerard Comeau, faced a $292.50 fine after being caught with 14 cases of beer and 3 bottles of liquor that he bought in Quebec, where alcohol is cheaper.
In the case, also known as R. v. Comeau, the provincial court judge threw out the charges against Comeau, and called New Brunswick’s ban on transporting alcohol across provincial borders unconstitutional.
This all comes down to an interpretation of Section 121 in the Constitution Act of 1867 which states: “All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.”
The judge interpreted Section 121 as ensuring free trade between provinces, and the ruling suddenly threatened to overthrow 95 years of provincial trade barriers and government-owned monopolies.
Now, the case is going to the highest in the land- the Supreme Court.
Cannabis Culture gets involved
The Supreme Court’s ruling will affect more than just alcohol- the ruling will have a huge impact on the cannabis industry, especially as the provinces work on getting their respective regulatory regimes ready for July 2018.
With different provinces choosing different models and methods, Cannabis Culture is intervening on behalf of cannabis business owners across Canada, according to a post from Tousaw Law Corporation, their legal representatives.
Cannabis Culture is fighting against the domination of government-owned monopolies in the cannabis industry, and according to their lawyers, “To allow for monopolies in Ontario and elsewhere is to explicitly consent to the criminalization of huge numbers of Canadians, and the ruination of large numbers of small businesses.”