The head of the Liberal government’s cannabis legalization task force warned Canadians that the process will cost the country to set up.

“People — and I think the provinces, the territories and the government of Canada understand this — do not expect big revenues in the early years,” said Anne McLellan. “In fact, there are going to be up-front costs that governments at all levels are going to have to absorb.”

McLellan said jurisdictions with legal cannabis sales, like Colorado and Washington, needed to spend money on things like public education and training for bureaucrats to oversee the new system and to expect similar costs in Canada.

McLellan admitted, regardless of initiatives from the government, the black market for cannabis will never go away.

“What you try to do through pricing and other mechanisms is minimize the involvement of criminal organizations, but nobody should be naive and think you can eliminate criminal activity from these areas entirely. That’s not going to happen,” she said.

The task force leader said the government will try to find a “sweet spot” in taxation and price that will encourage the vast majority of cannabis sales to take place in the legal market.

McLellan said the world will be watching Canada as it moves to legalize cannabis.

“What people really need to understand is that this legalization initiative is pioneering work. Uruguay has done this, but [it’s] a small country, not a developed nation, not part of the OECD,” she said. “What happens here is going to be watched very, very carefully by the rest of the world.”

The task force recently completed a tour of Canadian cities, where they met with various stakeholders in the cannabis industry and, while all the feedback received will shape the recommendations going forward to the government in November, McLellan said the system won’t be perfect and will need to be tweaked as time goes on.

“People should expect that. Government should expect that. Civil society should expect that and quite honestly the media should not describe those tweaks as failures,” she said.

She said the task force is still working on details of the plan, including legal age limits and locations where cannabis should be sold. McLellan mentioned that provinces have suggested the legal drinking age should be used as a cut off for sales.


  • bob

    more money for more beauracraps..SUPRISE SUPRISE

    not sure how she thinks price is up to her..unless setting it very hi for her political buddies who own LP’s




    • Robert Wright

      I intend to carry on as usual legal or not I will take care of business and keep it discreet no sense attracting attention to yourself you don’t want your crop ripped off and you don’t want to attract the cops.

  • Robert Wright

    Mclellan the sight of her makes me sick it’s going to cost us because the government and their LP friends don’t want anyone but them to profit this is not about protecting the Children they were never in any danger from cannabis I would be more worried if my kid was using alcohol or the many opioids that are readily available on the street. Of course we would all like our kids to wait until their minds and bodies have matured but that’s wishful thinking most teenagrs are going to do the opposite of what their parents tell them.

  • Réal Guy

    How different would it be if Canadians had elected real organized crime instead of some “elite” politicians relying on bigotry originating from the Victorian era?…

    Anyway at 5 $/g it’s already boosting the profit margin beyond reason, knowing it’s not that expensive to become a self-sufficient grower at all – which is exactly why it’s banned since 1923 i guess: raise the cost to limit access and vice-versa – or just plain magic thinking.

    Lately on TV we started being told it’s going to cost about 15 $/g for “medical”, ah and RCMP has 140 drones while the harvesting season arrives soon, etc… In other words traditional media pre-digests “information” for us, pure and simple. I’m thinking of when Jean-Pierre Bony got DEADLY HIT by POLICE over CANNABIS in Montréal/Québec a few hours only from April 1st (to send a political “message”). It only took 5 months of Trudeau’s majority mandate, doubled with contemplative journalism, to reach this new level of chaos – imagine, the man was “known by police”… Then all focus could be shead in the opposite direction, conveniently, as to create a deceiving distraction. Etc.

    The so-called “experts” of Harper years are still in power apparently, although the political party which now rules happens to share their previous behaviours/attitudes while popular media thrives on controversy, always. Abstinence is those predator’s only possible answer when it comes to “save” the children on planet Itnoc (In The Name Of Children): it’s never been about finding true/durable solutions. But i’ve been a child too and i can’t ignore what permanent trauma some irresponsible interference from individuals in panick can actually cause, not to mention an improper method of consumption which they happen to favour since they won’t push on better alternatives – which is yet another “cost” to be paid by our Canuck youth if you ask me, and it’s not even accounted for. What’s the cost of maintaining obsolete toxic consumption models in adults knowing minors may eventually emulate those examples they see? What if it’s not cannabis that “harms” but an illicit/commercial drive to favour THC against the rest (weren’t non-natural ratios effectively promoted by decades of prohibition)?!! Etc. So, if i were captain Itnoc maybe i’d ask real experts to replace combusted paper + glue with something healthier for starters. But the bigot anti-cannabic prohibitionists can’t resist the urge to break the toys of others, creating much more harm than they will ever manage to prevent IMO.

    M’well, i mean, if their bigotry ever worked then how many children were “saved” last year and how much did this cost the Canadian treasury??? To the very least i got to wonder!… Under Trudeau’s Liberals ain’t it not actually children who eventually come to assume the real “cost” again? “Legaleezation” or not…