This is going to be a big year for cannabis legalization as the green lines of the world’s weed map shift for positive change in 2018. Leading the charge for marijuana legalization this year is the continent of North America. It has kicked off the year in style with the much anticipated legalization of recreational weed in California. Looking ahead, later this year Canada will be the first G7 country to legalize recreational cannabis use.
Cannabis Legalization in California
The state of California has a population of close to 40 million people and, if it was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy in the world. So this big news for the cannabis legalization cause, not just at state or national level, but potentially worldwide!
Some financial experts predict that the legal marijuana market in California will be worth an extra $5 billion to the Californian economy. However, as legalization of marijuana arrives it is likely that the new situation will take some time to adjust to, from both sides – policy makers and users.
Likely effects of Californian weed legalization –
1) Falling medical marijuana sales. As vital as cannabis is for many users with debilitating medical conditions, it is no real secret that a medical card opened the door to the medical dispensary and was therefore route 1 for recreational weed heads looking to score some high grade. The Los Angeles Times forecasts that medical cannabis sales will dip from $2 billion to $600 million as that correction occurs.
2) Higher prices. Legalization means taxation. The State will charge 15% tax on the retail value of cannabis products. However, weed consumers also fear the effects caused by local government crashing the party with added local taxes. A recent Fortune article suggested this could raise the price of a weed deal by up to 70% in some parts of the state.
3) Lots more paperwork. For those involved in the industry at least. Regulation means the need for licenses to operate in all aspects of the weed industry – from selling to consumers to shipping cannabis.
4) Tourist jackpot. California is set to cash in on a whole wave of cannabis tourism. Home to some of the world’s biggest tourist attractions already – from Disneyland to Hollywood, via the Nappa Valley and Golden Gate Bridge – a whole new tourist niche, seeing the state through a cannabis tinted lens, is about to open up!
5) More weed, better quality weed, weed free from paranoia at the point of purchase. All positive outcomes predicted for the coming year in CA!
Cannabis Legalization in Canada
At Paradise Seeds we have been monitoring the cannabis legalization movement in Canada for some time, and reported on the announcement that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government was going to legalize.
This year the promise becomes a reality and there is much debate about how the legalization will impact. The population of Canada is actually smaller than that of California (close to 36.5 million), but its legalization process will potentially have more significance for the world because it is a sovereign country.
With seven months to go until the official legal launch date (July) there is still a great deal of debate about what the legal weed scene in Canada will look like. While the Federal government is legislating for legalization (and a Canadian $1 tax per gram), it will be the country’s 10 provinces that have the ultimate say in what that legalization looks like.
An early illustration of this in practice is Ontario’s decision to make the legal age 19 to buy weed (the Federal Government suggests 18), while Quebec has said it will not allow residents to grow cannabis at home (even though the Federal recommendation is that citizens can grow up to four plants for personal consumption).
What is clear is that, between now and July, there will be lots of discussion and debate as the details are hammered out. Meanwhile, cannabis legalization is going to have an impact in all kinds of places and already they are asking the question, what is going to happen to the poor sniffer dogs after July?!