Article by Kelsey Johnson, iPolitics
Should Canada’s marijuana industry be eligible for federal agriculture funding?
That’s one of the questions Canada’s agriculture ministers are expected to tackle when they meet in Vancouver this week for their annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting, which comes three months before the consumption and possession of cannabis is set to become legal in this country.
C-45, the Liberal government’s Cannabis Act, received Royal Assent from Parliament at the end of June. As of October 17, the consumption and possession of marijuana will be legal, making Canada the second county in the world to legalize the drug.
“We will certainly be having discussion this week on that very issue,” Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay told reporters Wednesday.
“As you know, it will be grown and what (departments) it will be under and how it will be under the CAP (Canadian Agricultural Partnership) program would depend on the sectors involved, which means the provinces, the territories and the Government of Canada.”
Cannabis is on the agenda for Thursday after Quebec officials requested it be added. To date, the portfolio has largely been handled by the health and justice ministries.
However, with the sector expected to generate significant economic growth in Canada, questions are emerging within the agriculture community about whether the cannabis industry should also be considered an agricultural good.