In advance of the legalization of recreational cannabis usage in Canada on Wednesday October 17, SiriusXM Canada Talks will be airing a multi-part series exploring different aspects of Cannabis in Canada. The segments will air during Canada Talks’ live shows (National Post Radio, The Arlene Bynon Show, Canada Now with Jeff Sammut, and The Breakdown with Allison Dore).
The weekly segment topics will be:
- Week 1 (Sept 24-28): The legalization of medical cannabis in Canada years before the legalization of recreational cannabis
- Week 2 (Oct 1-5): The need for cannabis consumption sites (eg. smoking cafes/bars)
- Week 3 (Oct 8-12): Cannabis and Youth
- Week 4 (Oct 15-16): The business of (and money behind) legalized cannabis
Melissa Rolston is a Social Entrepreneur in the Cannabis Space. She is the CEO of TeamMD, a software company at the forefront of personalize medicine in chronic pain and chronic degenerative disease management, and the Founder of BTS Stories, a NFP dedicated to removing stigma from social justice issues present in our society today. She authors the following blog:
I am honoured to be the co-host for the upcoming series, Cannabis in Canada alongside Andrew Krystal from Canada Talks SiriusXM 167. During this series we will highlight important topics for Canadians as we become the first G7 nation to federally legalize cannabis, set to occur October 17th, 2018. As someone who has professionally grown up in health care and the cannabis industry I can tell you first-hand how fast it changes for business owners/workers, medical patients, and now soon to be the general public. Our goal for this series is to provide valuable education to our fellow Canadians as we transition out of prohibition.
Prior to the MMPR — Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations — being implemented on April 1st, 2014, the cannabis industry was a grass roots and community driven medical movement protected by the MMAR — Marijuana Medical Access Regulations. A stark opposite to the ‘big money’ commercialized market it is today operating under the ACMPR — Access Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which as of October 17th will become the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45).
With a new industry opportunity is born. New business ventures bring about job creation and job creation is a core piece when developing a greater economy. “We know that in the first year of legalization Colorado created 18,000 jobs. Colorado is 1/7 of the population of Canada, so if we reverse engineer the math, that would suggest we should see around 125,000 jobs created from legalization in the first year,” says Alison McMahon, CEO of Cannabis At Work. After a lengthy conversation with Chuck Rifici, CEO of Auxly Cannabis Group, he had this to say on how Canada will position itself on a global stage, “With a federally legal production system since 2013 and now legalization come October, Canadian cannabis companies lead the world in the scale and expertise, giving them a large head start and advantage to becoming winners in the global cannabis market as other countries join Canada in liberating the plant.”
A topic very near and dear to my heart which I’m looking forward to highlighting is Cannabis and Youth. We’ll be speaking with Dessy Pavlova, the chair of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Dr. Jenna Valleriani, a strategic advisor to the CSSDP who are known as the industry experts on this subject. We’ll overview great tips from the CSSDP Cannabis Youth Tool Kit such as non-judgmental, open dialogue that uses interactive approaches, support parents require to have an age appropriate and open conversation with their kids, and bring attention to overlapping issues of racism, social justice, and stigma. This specific episode will serve as a great guide for parents looking for options when having conversations with their children about adult and medical cannabis use.
As we transition into federal legalization we need to include those who have suffered from prohibition. The definition of amnesty is; an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offences, or, an undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offences during a fixed period. According to Statistics Canada, in the past 15 years, Canadian police agencies reported more than 800,000 cannabis possession “incidents.” Between 2008/2009 and 2011/2012, cannabis possession accounted for approximately 59,000 adult and 14,000 youth cases in Canadian courts and 25,000 adults and almost 6,000 youth convictions. The Cannabis Amnesty Campaign was launched this year with a goal to obtain 10,000 signatures and do just that; to include fellow Canadians who have been criminalized. If you visit all proceeds go towards their campaign.