The Globe and Mail reports in its Wednesday edition that the long walk up to the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada is over. The Globe's Ian Brown writes that it lasted 95 years, when cannabis was banned in Canada in 1923 in a bout of anti-immigrant nativism. No one knows for sure what is going to happen next.
Will the black market disappear? Apparently not.
Will the police enforce the new legal regime by cracking down harder on thousands of unlicensed producers? The big producers hope so, having declared the black market their mortal enemy -- although not before raiding its ranks for growers and technicians.
Will vast weed factories such as Aurora and Canopy produce pot anywhere near as good as that of the small craft growers who established the legendary reputation of, say, British Columbia's finest bud sommeliers? Will stoned drivers wreak havoc on the highways? Last spring, in the prelegal frenzy, the accounting firm Deloitte predicted the cannabis market in Canada could be worth $22.6-billion a year. Canadians still spend more on shoes, and users would have to smoke twice as much to reach half the Deloitte estimate. Of course, that was in the prelegal, Wild West days -- back in, er, February.
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