Article by Ian Burns, Lawyers Daily
It has been two years since Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use, and now one of the country’s largest business organizations is reaching out to market participants to gauge their opinions on how the regime has worked so far and where change may be needed.
By law, the federal minister of health must start a review of the Cannabis Act by October 2021. But the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s national cannabis working group is undertaking an industry review of the Act, with a goal of providing recommendations on how to improve Canada’s legislative and regulatory frameworks for cannabis.
The review is being led by Eric Foster, the head of Dentons’ Canadian cannabis practice. He said the Act has been an effective piece of legislation but it would be naive to say it has been perfect.
“The government effectively created legislation to put four corners around a particular industry before it had started to fully develop, so now we have an opportunity to make meaningful change for the benefit of not just the industry but all Canadians,” he said.
Ryan Greer, senior director of cannabis policy at the chamber, said Canadian companies have learned first-hand about which parts of the law have worked and which haven’t.
“Through this review, the industry will provide thorough recommendations to the federal government about what changes are needed so industry can better compete with the illegal market, create more jobs, maintain Canada’s leadership in global markets and help the government achieve its health and safety objectives,” said Greer.