We were incredibly lucky at the Vancouver Lift Cannabis Expo this past weekend to have heard from legalization and regulation task force Vice Chair Dr. Mark Ware. Dr. Ware discussed the task force's process and experience thus far engaging Canadians on the subject of legalization, as well as presented some preliminary findings.
The Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation was announced June 30th of this year and since then the nine person team has been engaging the public and various stakeholders across Canada and even the US. They received 28,000 responses via online submissions, held meetings with people all across Canada in nearly 30 different round table discussions with experts, associations, and organizations, as well as provincial and territorial government officials. They have also visited Colorado and Washington State, and various Canadian producers and distributors.
"Remember, we're undoing 100 years of prohibition. And these rules, these attitudes, these stigmas have been embedded in our society for a very long time. Going back in and taking this apart and rebuilding something is not trivial, and I think we have to recognize it's not a simple swipe of the pen that can fix all of this." -Dr Mark Ware, Vice Chair of the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation.
The task force will be presenting its findings to the government for review by the end of November. The government has committed to tabling legislation by the Spring of 2017, armed with the information presented to them by the task force. The passing of said legislation is expected by late 2017 or some time in 2018.
While the task force has yet to process the bulk of this data, Dr. Ware was able to speak on the overall approach they have taken, as well as share his own insight and experience as a cannabinoid researcher. He also answered questions from the audience for over 30 minutes. Q&A starts at 26:00.