As Canada Moves To Legalise Marijuana, Shop Owners Ask – Why Wait?


Vancouver, Aug 16 – The Cannabis Culture Lounge has everything a pothead might need to feel right at home: US$3 (RM12) marijuana buds, bongs for rent, bags of Skittles and Doritos for sale, and black leather couches where customers can recline in zoned-out contemplation in a pungent haze.

Never mind that it is all technically prohibited by Canadian law.

Still, some enthusiasts have higher hopes for the business, which opened more than a decade ago as a kind of speak-easy for marijuana smoking – long tolerated by the city’s authorities.

The lounge began selling marijuana after Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister in November.

“This is what recreational marijuana legalization in Canada looks like,” said Jodie Emery, an activist and co-owner of the lounge and several medical marijuana dispensaries across Canada.

Trudeau has promised to make recreational marijuana legal in Canada as soon as next year, bypassing the nation’s strict medical marijuana regulations.

Under the latest rules for medical use, announced last week, patients must be registered, have a prescription and obtain their supplies only by mail from a government-licensed producer or by growing a limited amount privately.

Impatient to test the shifting political boundaries, entrepreneurs have opened hundreds of illicit dispensaries across Canada, selling products like organic marijuana buds and potent cannabis concentrates while local governments and police have tended to look the other way.

The marijuana boom they hope for has yet to materialise though the Canadian government is now doing preliminary work on a measure to govern recreational use.

The collision of money, politics and policing has made recreational marijuana a major test for Trudeau.

How he solves it will be watched closely in Canada and the United States, where federal law bans marijuana, but state laws are inconsistent.

“Canada is looking to hit a home run, rather than singles and doubles,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, based in the United States.

“What Mr. Trudeau is trying to do is something we can only dream about here.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: As Canada Moves To Legalise Marijuana, Shop Owners Ask – Why Wait?
Author: Staff
Photo Credit: None Found
Website: Malay Mail Online