Ottawa Opens Up Cannabis Industry to People, Seeds From Previously Illicit Market

Article by Mike Hager and Daniel LeBlanc, Globe and Mail

Ottawa opens up cannabis industry to people, seeds from previously illicit market DANIEL LEBLANC PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER MIKE HAGER OTTAWA AND VANCOUVER. The root system from a cannabis cutting. TIJANA MARTIN/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The federal government has set the final rules for the cannabis market in Canada, allowing people who worked in the illegal trade to join the new industry and giving producers the right to grow marijuana from seeds that originated in the illicit market.
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The official regulations, unveiled on Wednesday, confirm the government’s effort to create a relatively broad industry of legal cannabis growers and create new sources of competition for the existing group of licensed medical marijuana producers.
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At the same time, the government announced that it will start collecting more detailed data on investors in privately held cannabis producers as part of its effort to prevent organized crime from infiltrating the industry. Still, the new measure fell short of a past government commitment to request greater disclosure from publicly traded companies, explaining that they are already subject to securities regulators.
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The new regulations will shape the market for legal cannabis that will open across Canada on Oct. 17. The government had telegraphed its intentions for the rules earlier this year, meaning the official announcement did not shock the industry.
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Despite an expected initial supply crunch, federal officials said they are confident Health Canada has increased its licensing of enough medical marijuana companies over the past year to meet the demand for recreational products.
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Easing the rules for new producers, Health Canada has lifted a provision under which licensed growers could only obtain their “starting materials,” such as seeds and clones, from existing licensed producers or foreign legal sources. The change means that seeds and strains that were popular on the illicit market will now be able to find their way into government-run and government-regulated stores.

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