A task force of experts studying how the federal government should legalize recreational pot will make its recommendations Wednesday, but the public will have to wait to find out what’s in the highly-anticipated report.
It will be released publicly “at a later date,” according to a spokeswoman for the task force, which had been asked to report back by the end of November.
The federal government has promised to introduce legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in the spring of 2017. However, it could be some time before Canadians can purchase recreational pot. The legislation must pass through Parliament, and regulations have to be drafted. A couple of recent government reports estimate that marijuana could be on sale “as early as January 2018.”
The task force is studying a wide range of questions: Who should be allowed to grow, distribute and sell marijuana? How will it be taxed? How can the government ensure its quality, safety and potency and mitigate the health risks, especially for young people? What restrictions should be placed on packaging and advertising? Should Canadians be able to grow their own? Will edible products such as cookies and candy be allowed? How about potent products with a high percentage of THC, the psychoactive component of pot? What age limit will apply for purchasing?
Canadians have a lot to say on those subjects. The task force received nearly 30,000 responses to an online questionnaire. Nearly 300 organizations made submissions, from medical authorities to cannabis growers.
Industry insiders say they expect the task force will recommend handing over the controversial question of where marijuana will be sold to the provinces to decide.