FAIRFAX, CA - FEBRUARY 06: In this photo illustration, The Monopoly iron game piece is displayed on February 6, 2013 in Fairfax, California. Toy maker Hasbro, Inc. announced today that fans of the board game Monopoly voted in an online contest to eliminate the iron playing figure and replace it with a cat figure. The cat game piece received 31 percent of the online votes to beat out four other contenders, a robot, diamond ring, helicopter and guitar. (Photo illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Have We Lost Legalization?

What doesn’t the Alberta government get about legalization? 

To be part of their legal distribution industry, “an applicant that is or was a participant in the unlawful cannabis trade, including illegal retail or medical sales… will not be eligible for a retail cannabis licence.”

That’s not legalization.

Similar nonsense comes from the mouth of Justin Trudeau.  Legalization is about protecting youth and keeping it out of the hands of criminals. Not since before the election has he expanded on what exactly that means.

The “unlawful cannabis trade,” especially in British Columbia, are not biker gangs or violent thugs. The majority of the industry are normal people like you and me.

The gangs dealing with cannabis are also pushing harder drugs. Ending the drug war ends their revenue stream. It’s that simple.

Other than to maintain the rule of law (which we have plenty of) there is no need to create new cannabis legislation.

Let alone all new government infrastructure to sell the product. I think this comedy sketch from CBC demonstrates the point nicely.

Cannabis dispensaries and farmers aren’t the equivalent of Al Capone.

We’re the Cheech and Chong’s of society. I know that’s not the image every cannabis connoisseur will like, but that’s a stereotype that works to our advantage.

Because, like Cheech and Chong, we’re not going to hurt anybody. 

But with former Toronto police chief and MP Bill Blair in charge, with a revolving door of “Task Force” technocrats and Ottawa-licensed producers (and their law firms), it’s little wonder the debate on pot has gone the way it has.

The large LPs have more political clout than the “organized crime” of BC Bud. Yet, like their competition, rules are bending while we wait for the House and Senate to bat around new legislation.

An Israeli medical cannabis company, Globus Pharma, announced an agreement to supply cannabis to an undisclosed Canadian LP.

The agreement includes importing five tons of cannabis flower (at $3 per gram) and 500 kilograms of cannabis oil ($30 per gram).

Of course, it’s not all under the table. The undisclosed LP does have a licence to import and export cannabis in and out of Canada. And while Israel has no export laws regarding cannabis, Globus Pharma said it’ll likely produce this product in an undisclosed country in Africa.

Globus isn’t the only Israeli medical cannabis company in Canada. Medivie Therapeutic has also signed an agreement with an undisclosed LP for imports and exports.

All to ensure the LPs won’t be short come legalization. The idea is to starve the black market, remember?

When various levels of government talk about the black market, do they mean us? In Alberta, the answer is clearly yes.

In Ontario, at least before Doug Ford became premier, the answer was yes. The answer is now uncertain, but it’ll probably still be an astounding yes.

In Quebec, where the provincial government doesn’t even want you to grow your own, the answer is definitely yes. We are still organized crime.

But what of British Columbia, where the industry creates an estimated $6 billion annually? Where an estimated 16,000 individuals work in the industry, generating over $600 million in wages?

We might not be criminal in the near-future, but with micro-licensing from the federal government, liquor wholesaling from the provincial government, and a no-go on cross-border trade, we might as well be.