William Watson: A Look at Canada’s Marijuana Market After Legalization (Opinion)

CANADA: The Boards may engage in advertising campaigns, sending out glossy magazines informing consumers which types of marijuana go best with which types of food, wine and munchies.

So. what will the marijuana market look like after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau legalizes the drug in 2018?

Well, you can bet it won’t be a question of your dealer renting a storefront, putting up a shingle and running his heretofore underground cash business out in the open. Former dealers will be encouraged through the Marijuana Purveyors’ Readjustment Act to take up other forms of work. They will be offered both financial compensation for the loss of their business and training vouchers good for coaching in C.V.-writing, succeeding at job interviews and rising before noon.

Marijuana won’t be sold in the open market. Provincial and territorial Cannabis Control Boards will take over all aspects of marketing. Board stores, naturally, will be unionized and therefore subject to regular closure due to job actions. Negotiations with the unions will determine what percentage of jobs will be reserved for former dealers, but in no case will their share exceed 10%. The union will approve all other hiring, with first refusal going to public-sector employees whose jobs have been made redundant or who choose to move. In terms of summer hiring, special consideration will be given to the children of Board employees and local politicians.

Cannabis will be sold only to persons 18 years and over. All purchasers will have to show proof of age. The Boards may engage in advertising campaigns, sending out glossy magazines informing consumers which types of marijuana go best with which types of food, wine and munchies. As at most provincial and territorial liquor control boards, periodic “sales” of different brands and types will be limited to price reductions of 5%. Which advertising companies get Board contracts will be subject to approval by the designated provincial cabinet minister.

The provincial and territorial Cannabis Control Boards will have the exclusive right to sell marijuana. No Board may have fewer than six vice-presidents. Sales outside Board stores will be illegal and punishable by criminal sanctions. Sales will be subject to GST, PST and/or HST. At the insistence of brewers and distillers and to create a level playing field in recreational intoxication, cannabis sales will also be subject to whatever rate of excise taxation applies to beer and spirits.

Read full article @ Financial Post