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  • We are right on the eve of the legalization of trees

  • in Canada.

  • At 12 o'clock midnight, you can smoke what you want,

  • take hits from the bong.

  • Canadians, make some noise!”

  • It's a new era for Canadians

  • the full legalization of marijuana across the country.

  • It's been legal to consume cannabis here

  • for medical reasons since 2001.

  • But now, anyone in Canada over the legal age can get high.

  • And that means Canada's booming weed business

  • is about to get a whole lot bigger.

  • We went to see some of the producers who

  • are set to take advantage of this opportunity.

  • It's got kind of a citrusy and pine smell

  • both at the same time.

  • This is one of the Kushes.

  • It's got more of a turpentine, maybe

  • a little more earthy smell.

  • This is a very popular strain for us.

  • We call this deep purple, very fruity.”

  • Warren Bravo was a co-founder of Green Relief,

  • a medical marijuana company that

  • is now well-placed to enter the recreational space.

  • He's aiming to increase production 20-fold

  • over the next year and a half.

  • And that's nothing compared to

  • Canada's top marijuana producer:

  • Tweed Inc., a brand of big-time operation,

  • Canopy Growth.

  • One vault here can hold about $150 million

  • worth of cannabis.

  • Yeah, so in this facility, on this side

  • that we're touring here, we have

  • 24 flowering rooms and then about another 24

  • on the other side as well.

  • This is, at the end of the day,

  • what all of the fuss and excitement is about, I guess.

  • When we reached out the first time,

  • I think, you know, the New York Stock Exchange

  • probably, you know, rightly said, 'No way.'

  • You know, we're not having a cannabis company.

  • And then that education process started.

  • And if you try to break down these barriers,

  • and demonstrate we're a normal company

  • creating a normal product like anyone else.”

  • And it's a product that's becoming

  • a formal field of study, fast.

  • We're running the only postgraduate certificate

  • program in cannabis in Canada.”

  • Bill MacDonald teaches a class of 24

  • highly dedicated students, that includes

  • a former police officer.

  • It did take some reconciliation

  • because I was, obviously, on the other side.

  • But it's in society.

  • It's out there, now.

  • So, if we're going to have it and it's going to be here,

  • let's control it properly.”

  • That's the thingfor people who

  • were hoping for a free-for-all and one-love openness,

  • it's a disappointment.

  • Cannabis is going to be legalized

  • in certain contexts, but it's also going

  • to be very heavily regulated.

  • And my concern is that people don't recognize

  • the extent to which it will still, in certain contexts,

  • be illegal.

  • And that might bring them in conflict with the law.”

  • African-Canadian people, our community is very afraid

  • to now come out and actually be a part of this market,

  • because we've been criminalized for so long.”

  • Noni Haynes is part of a group leading

  • a discussion on new cannabis laws

  • at a local community center.

  • And who is making money from the weed?

  • Not the average person.”

  • “I don't know if you don't know,

  • we live in a capitalist society.

  • And, you know, within capitalism, anything goes.”

  • That's a very good point.

  • I mean, now is the opportunity.

  • If you capitalize on that, you have your business,

  • or you grow your business, you expand your clientele.

  • And you treat it like an actual corporation.”

  • A few days before legalization,

  • we came to a kind of marijuana farmer's market in Toronto,

  • at Planet Paradise.

  • In the past few years, this place

  • has been tolerated by police.

  • But now, fines have been ramped up,

  • and the organizers here are shutting shop,

  • worried about a crackdown.

  • We're planning on not really having anything like this

  • till we see where the law is going to go.

  • Because we don't want to have a bunch of issues ourselves,

  • right?

  • So we figured we'd have one last hurrah,

  • just to get people together and smoke.”

  • We travelled to an indigenous Mohawk territory,

  • another place where marijuana is openly sold illegally.

  • There are over 40 unlicensed dispensaries here.

  • Jamie Kunkel owns one of them, Smoke Signals.

  • He's not worried.

  • The amount of customers that we go through, I believe,

  • is going to increase because of the system that they've set up.

  • They're not providing the Canadian constituency

  • with a reasonable place to purchase this plant.

  • I personally think they've set themselves up for failure.”

  • Jamie is pointing to the fact that there

  • are no legal brick-and-mortar dispensaries

  • in the province of Ontario.

  • Lawful purchases must be made online,

  • and those do not include any of the cannabis-infused

  • products sold here.

  • Milk chocolate espresso beans,

  • milk chocolate almonds.

  • Jeez, you know, I was really looking forward

  • and hoping it was going to be the salsa.”

  • Canada is only the second country

  • in the world to legalize cannabis after Uruguay.

  • But it's the first major economy

  • to run this experiment.

  • And whatever it leads to,

  • Canada will be leading the way.

We are right on the eve of the legalization of trees

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B2 US TheNewYorkTimes cannabis marijuana canada legalization weed

Inside Canada’s New Weed Economy: Meet the Winners and Losers | Dispatches

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    Samuel posted on 2018/10/25
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