Two years to the day after the federal government legalized cannabis, a Winnipeg marijuana professional who is currently suing the province over the right to grow pot plants at home said legalization has been a boon for government coffers — and offers a model to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, Canadians and Manitobans’ attitudes toward the drug have changed too, Canopy Growth employee Jesse Lavoie said.
“I’d say acceptance is a big thing, a lot of people who were really against it now see that there’s an industry, tax dollars — it’s not as harmful as they thought it would be, so I think people’s attitude toward it has changed in a positive way,” Lavoie said.
The booming industry — In July, licensed marijuana stores sold more than $231 million in product, a 15-per cent increase from June’s sales, which marked the biggest monthly jump since the country legalized cannabis — has come a long way since Oct. 17, 2018, Lavoie said.
Lavoie, a former prison guard who cold-called his way into a job at Toronto-based Namaste Technologies before he was head-hunted to work for Canopy Growth, wants to see changes to the regulations surrounding the industry and cannabis itself in Manitoba and the country at large.
In a previous interview, Lavoie said he suffered for years from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, due to an incident at his prison job, and used cannabis to help.