Article by, Lift News
A minor tumult erupted on Parliament Hill during question period on Thursday, with clamor arising from house members as finance minister Morneau downplayed and dismissed ethics probing from Conservative MPs. After the Speaker called for order and steadied the house, NDP member of parliament Wayne Stetski turned the discussion to speak on behalf of farmers in his Kootenay—Columbia riding who have expressed concern that the government will not license growers who farm outdoors, and that licensing will go only to large corporate indoor growers.
“Indeed,” said Stetski in his address to the Speaker of the House, “Liberals on the health committee already voted down an NDP motion to allow provinces to develop production regimes that would support local economies.”
“As the government moves to legalize the recreational use of cannabis,” he continued, “will it stand with and support economically important, small-scale outdoor farmers across Canada and ensure that they have a future, yes or no?”
A response was volunteered by Bill Blair, legalization czar and MP for Scarborough Southwest, who inferred that the answer is “no”.
Touting the strict regulation of the production, distribution, and consumption of cannabis as set out in the federal framework, Blair’s response boils down to the reasoning that the licensing requirements are designed to ensure that what will be consumed by Canadians is of known potency and purity.
But that reasoning fails to consider that tobacco is already farmed outdoors in Canada, and is distributed with known potency and purity.
It also makes the incorrect assumption that outdoor-grown cannabis would necessitate being distributed and consumed in the traditional form of dried flowers, when in reality there are many uses for cannabis crops that may have a wider variation of potency and purity than crops grown indoors under controlled conditions. Here are just a few:
Plant-to-plant variation of potency becomes irrelevant when the entire crop is fed directly into a processing facility to be turned into cannabis cookies, cheeba-infused chocolate, and pot potato chips.
Roughly one month ago the Standing Committee on Health passed an amendment to allow cannabis edibles in Bill C-45. Just two weeks later reports emerged that the nation-wide demand for cannabis products is close to double that of previous estimates on which the federal government had based projections for supply requirements.