The Rotation: Vol. 25
Cannabis Act Review Finally Launched, Government-owned Cannabis Businesses Seeing the Most Profits and Vote to Legalize Psychedelics in Colorado Set for November
Canadian Government Set to Launch Cannabis Law Review After Long Delay
Originally set to take place in October 2021, 3 years after the Cannabis Act came into effect, Health Canada unveiled the first steps in the long-awaited review of its cannabis legislation, which is expected to take 18 months, reports The Globe and Mail.
- The review will examine the impact of cannabis legalization on public health, focusing on the consumption habits of young people and impact on Indigenous communities.
- The scope of the review has been broadened and will also assess financial, tax, regulatory and criminal-justice matters.
- More information on the review can be found here.
The Canadian cannabis industry has been waiting a long time for this announcement and for the review to start, so it’s good news to see it finally happen. There are certainly many stakeholders that feel the cannabis industry can’t afford to wait another 18 months before changes are implemented, particularly to the excise tax policy. However, it is important to remember that this is a legislative review and not a regulatory review, but it is encouraging that the scope of the review has been broadened, and therefore we remain hopeful now that the financial viability of the industry is going to at least part of the conversation.
OCS and SQDC Amongst Most Profitable Cannabis Businesses
According to MJBizDaily, the most profitable cannabis businesses in Canada are owned by various levels of government, and include the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), Société Québécoise du Cannabis (SQDC), BC Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB) and Cannabis New Brunswick.
- The most profitable marijuana business in Canada thus far has been the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), which expects to earn roughly CA$262.8 million ($200 million) over a three-year period, which ended in the March 2022 financial year, according to the province’s fiscal outlook.
- The government-owned cannabis businesses remit their profits back to their respective province.
- Private-sector profits have been few and far between due to bad investments, poor sales volume, mass destruction of inventory and overproduction that far exceeds demand.
For those following the cannabis industry closely, it may not come as much of a surprise that the government is raking in the most profits from cannabis legalization. However, it’s interesting to see how the tables have turned. At one point, government subsidiaries like the OCS were being heavily criticized and mocked for losing money selling cannabis. With that said, as private and public cannabis businesses continue to struggle to generate profits, as well as the recent fallout from the union strike in BC and data breach at the OCS, industry stakeholders are justifiably frustrated seeing government-owned businesses benefit the most from legalization.
Vote to Legalize Psychedelics in Colorado Set for November
Psilocybin and other naturally occurring psychedelics will appear on the ballot in the next general election in November, per Forbes.
- Known as the Natural Medicine Health Act (NMHA), the proposal would legalize the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, transportation, sale and purchase of psilocybin and psilocin, and other natural psychedelic drugs including dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine and mescaline not derived from peyote.
- The proposal, previously identified as Initiative 58, will appear on general election ballots as Proposition 122.
- Activists collected 100,000 more signatures than necessary to qualify the NMHA for the ballot.
- Natural Medicine Colorado received support from New Approach PAC, a political action committee advocating for drug policy and criminal justice reform initiatives nationwide.
Colorado, one of the most progressive states regarding the legalization of cannabis appears to be following suit with other states like Oregon, that have adopted similar decriminalization efforts for psychedelics recently. There are concerns however that this initiative is fueled by out-of-state interests, primarily the New Approach PAC, with some arguing that this is simply an attempt to cash in on psychedelic legalization. It is also being argued that this ballot initiative doesn’t provide adequate equity provisions, and that psilocybin treatment will prove prohibitively expensive for many adults. For more information on some of the concerns being expressed, check out this article by Leafly.