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28 Mar 2017

Marijuana legalization: Canada moves one step closer

The ruling Liberal government in Canada is all set to announce legislation that will legalize marijuana in the country by July 2018.

The law, based on recommendations of a federally-appointed panel led by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan, will be declared around April 10.

Here's a look at marijuana policies around the world, and which is the right way to go for countries.

In context

Marijuana: Should it be legalized?

Here you can light a joint without worry

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first nation to legalize marijuana consumption, production and sale. Argentina, Australia, Chile, Germany, some American and Indian states, Italy, Jamaica, Philippines and Spain are some places which have either legalized marijuana fully or partially, or where it is tolerated.

Legalizing marijuana has its benefits


Legalizing marijuana has its benefits

Studies show that legalizing marijuana could help individuals escape addiction by keeping them away from the criminal justice system.

Since it will inevitably be used even in countries where it's illegal, it will be better to regulate marijuana use instead of ignoring it, which might cause social nuisance.

Legalization will also bring in major revenue to the government.

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However, marijuana legalization comes with drawbacks too

Legalizing marijuana is likely to encourage higher use and lead to higher number of addicts. Improperly formulated regulation policies might enforce impractical limits on which drugs are legally allowed and in what quantity.


How can marijuana use be regulated in the economy?

Canada has mandated a minimum age of 18 to buy marijuana, and Ottawa will issue licences to sellers, but states will have authority on distribution and price.

Households can have a maximum of four plants for personal consumption.

Till a framework is implemented, current laws will apply and possession and trafficking will continue to be illegal.

You can buy weed on Canada's Wall Street

Since last month, it has been possible to buy weed on the Toronto Stock Exchange known as Bay Street - Canada's Wall Street. One can invest in the "WEED" stock ticker adopted by Ontario-based Canopy Growth, one of the world's leading cannabis companies.

India's love affair with cannabis


India's love affair with cannabis

In India, cannabis is illegal at the federal-level, but states like West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar, Odisha and the northeast have partially legalized its use, or tolerate it.

In November'15, Uttarakhand became the first state to allow farmers to cultivate hemp.

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act left out 'bhang' from the definition of cannabis; which has now become an accepted practice during festivals.


Marijuana in business: Start-ups turn to the bud for profits

Start-ups are turning to marijuana as the base for their business model. Canada's Canopy Growth became the first marijuana company to achieve market capitalization of over $1bn.

While some like Printabowl cater to demands for weed-themed items, others like Gateway and PreciseCannabis help other cannabis start-ups with funding and PR.

GrowBuddy, WeedTraQR and New Frontier track global trends on the different aspects of marijuana.

Cashing in on medical marijuana

Medical marijuana

Cashing in on medical marijuana

According to Factbook, $1.6-1.9bn worth of marijuana is sold for medical use in the US. Firms are looking at it as an alluring cash machine.

After Uber partnered with a Colorado shop for home delivery of medical marijuana, Sidecar launched devoted services especially to it.

Eaze, another medicinal marijuana delivery start-up, received $10mn in funding, including Snoop Dogg's fund Casa Verde ventures.

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