How Entrepreneurs Can Help the Government in Legalizing Marijuana

Article by Dan Kelly, Financial Post

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My friends from high school and university undoubtedly are laughing at the thought of me writing a column on cannabis. Even my eight-year-old son is beginning to realize I am a bit of a nerd, wondering why daddy never touches a beer like other parents. My personal experience with tobacco, alcohol and drugs consists of one puff of a cigarette at age 13 outside of my Winnipeg junior high (sorry mom) and an average of less than five drinks a year.

Yet, about a month ago, there I was at a Government of Canada consultation on marijuana legalization and regulation led by Anne McLellan, a former deputy prime minister. From the start, it was made clear the consultation was on the “how” not “if” of legalization.

Leading a member-driven organization whose mandate is exclusively business issues, not social policy, I worried I would have little to add. The one survey the Canadian Federation of Independent Business conducted on how recreational marijuana should be sold provided no clear direction. Many of the comments actually suggested there are divisions among business owners on whether legalizing marijuana is a good idea in the first place. For example, many small business owners expressed concern about the workplace safety and health implications of legalizing it.

Still, while we have limited experience with cannabis regulation, CFIB has a wealth of experience on regulation in general – including how to get it right and what not to so. This includes experience with liquor and tobacco regulation, which offers some guidance – albeit imperfect.

Read full article here.

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