Canada's Cannabis Rollout Will Be a 'Patchwork'

October 9, 2018

By Jacqueline Corba

Canada is set to become the first nation in the G7 to legalize marijuana for recreational use at the federal level on Oct. 17.

"It's a little bit like a patchwork like it is in the United States, except it's under the umbrella of legality," Cannabis Wire co-founder and editor Alyson Martin told Cheddar's CannaBiz on Tuesday. "It will be legal countrywide but it is going to have a province-by-province roll out."

Each province can set the eligible age for marijuana consumption, Martin said.

Despite a murky rollout, marijuana companies based in Canada are booming in the public market.

Shares of Tilray ($TLRY), a medical marijuana producer, are up a staggering 475 percent over the last three months ahead of Canada's legalization.

"It's historic," Poseidon managing partner Morgan Paxhia said in a separate interview. His company invests in companies involved in the cannabis industry.

"That pool of capital, that significant size, we believe is indicative of what's to come in the United States."

About 16 percent of Canadians aged 15 or older have reported using marijuana in the last three months, according to Statistics Canada. That's about 4.6 million people in a nation of about 36 million people.

California, which legalized cannabis at the start of 2018, itself has an even bigger population of 40 million. Does its change in law signify anything about the wider U.S.? Possibly.

According to a recent Pew Research poll, 62 percent of Americans are currently for legalizing the drug, a slight increase from a year ago, but double the percentage from 2000.

Millennials are among the most ardent supporters, with 73 percent in favor of legalization, according to Pew.

For Martin, that suggests that legalization in the States is inevitable.

"That's way above the threshold that pollsters really look at to have a safe margin for it to pass. I think what it is going to signal more to lawmakers in states that want to legalize by legislature versus ballot box that there's real, serious support here."

For full interview click here.