Now that the legalization of cannabis in Canada and the start of retail cannabis licensing in BC is just around the corner, we at Rising Tide Consultants are busy familiarizing ourselves with the newly formed BC cannabis regulations and the dawn of a new era of retail cannabis licensing in Canada.

For the past 30 years, we’ve provided BC liquor licensing consulting services, initially in British Columbia, and now across Canada. We work with the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, and the Liquor Distribution Branch in British Columbia and applicable liquor regulation authorities in other provinces. During this time, we have helped countless Canadian businesses secure and maintain liquor licenses and we’re excited about providing the same expert services to businesses seeking cannabis licensing in Canada.

Cannabis Facts

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada and legal recreational consumption and retail cannabis licensing in BC and other provinces drawing near, we thought it would be fun to explore the history of cannabis production, use, support for cannabis legalization and other cannabis facts.

Recently, we came across a few facts in Marijuana Goes Mainstream – an American publication. The following are just a handful paraphrased from that source.

  • China grew hemp for its fibres as far back as 2800 BC.
  • Hemp was used to make paper, ropes, sails and clothing.
  • It is reported that in 1492, when Christopher Columbus sailed to the new world and what is now America, barrels of hemp seeds were amongst the ship’s cargo. We can assure you, there was no hemp or cannabis on board Apollo 11 when it made its successful voyage to another “new world” and Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon!
  • 88% of Americans support the legalization of medicinal marijuana and 84% support ending jail time for those caught with small quantities of marijuana for personal use, according to CNN.
  • 60% of Americans support the outright legalization of marijuana according to CNN.
  • Cannabis users consume an extra 600 calories daily! Bad news for cannabis users watching their waistlines, good news for fast food outlets, food growers, and weight loss programs.
  • It is reported that 55 million Americans have tried pot at least once and that 35 million Americans are regular users. That’s equivalent to the entire population of Canada!
  • It is reported that when Colorado legalized cannabis, 20% of the drivers involved in fatal crashes tested positive from marijuana, which is up 10% from before the state legalized the drug.
  • It is estimated that the total amount of black market marijuana sales in the United States in 2016 was $46.4 billion.
  • Two drafts of the United States Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper.

Legal Recreational Cannabis Use in the USA and Canada

In Canada, the federal proposed age for recreational cannabis use is 18, although provinces are setting the minimum age at 19, except for Alberta where it will remain 18.

In the USA, only 9 states have legalized recreational cannabis use and 29 have legalized medicinal marijuana.

In the USA, the 9 states where recreational cannabis is legal break down geographically as follows:

West Coast

Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Alaska

New England States

Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts (which is probably the most liberal of all 50 states).

The sole mid-west state is Colorado.

There are only four states that prohibit all forms of marijuana use: Idaho, South Dakota, Kansas and Nebraska. All other states permit some level of medicinal access or use. No state permits the transport of cannabis across its borders.

Just Say “Yes”

Attitudes about marijuana use have come a long way since the 1980s when President Reagan announced the “Just Say No” anti-drug initiative. Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, only 14% of marijuana users report they are Republicans.

Cannabis, a once taboo drug lumped in with other elicit drugs, is now going mainstream as most people support its legalization. In the USA and Canada, recreational cannabis, retail cannabis licensing and regulation will become like that of liquor. So far, no Canadian province has said “No” to retail cannabis licensing, but some municipalities have indicated that they are standing firm and will “just say no” to legalization. One such example is Richmond, BC, where city council voted unanimously to support sending a letter to provincial and federal authorities expressing their opposition of cannabis legalization.

While there will certainly be growing pains, refinement of regulations, and both positive and negative consequences, our collective journey into this new frontier has begun and Rising Tide Consultants is excited to be a part of cannabis licensing in BC and across Canada.

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