A very big vote is set to take place this week in Canada. On Thursday Canada’s Senate is going to vote on cannabis legalization.
The vote is going to be the most recent step in what has been a long process of trying to pass legalization in Canada.
Current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on legalization and after he was elected cannabis advocates all across the globe expected reform to occur relatively quickly.
However, the push for legalization has taken longer than expected. Canada’s House of Commons already passed legalization and Thursday could see the same occur in the Senate.
A cannabis legalization vote delay was defeated on Monday
Conservative senators in Canada tried to delay Thursday’s legalization vote earlier this week but were unsuccessful.
The exact time of the vote on Thursday will depend on how many Senators want to speak on the measure. An actual vote could not come until very late at night.
If the legislation is passed it will automatically be sent back to the House since the Senate has already made dozens of changes to the House version of the measure.
Assuming the House signs off on the changes, which is far from guaranteed, the legislation would move forward and almost certainly be signed into law.
How big will Canada’s industry be if cannabis is legalized?
Until the final version of the legalization legislation is approved, it’s tough to say what every detail of legalization in Canada will look like.
However, estimates are already out as far as how large Canada’s industry is expected to become.
Legal adult-use cannabis sales are expected to begin 8 to 12 weeks after final approval of legalization.
According to a new report Canada’s cannabis industry is expected to be worth $7 billion dollars by 2019.
The same report estimates that roughly two-thirds of current cannabis consumers will move their purchases from the unregulated market to the regulated market.
Consumer purchasing habits will largely depend on how much legal cannabis costs in the regulated system.
What would cannabis legalization mean for the global cannabis movement?
Canada would not be the first country to legalize cannabis if that’s what proves to be the case. Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for adult-use.
But legalization in Canada would be just as big of a deal as Uruguay in many ways due in large part to how intertwined the country is in the global economy and its geographical location.
The United States is of course Canada’s neighbor and legalization in Canada would hopefully speed things up south of its border.
Cannabis exports are already flowing out of Canada, and legalization in Canada would further its industry and therefore further Canada’s lead in the global cannabis space.
The Green Flower team is rooting for a successful vote on Thursday as well as a smooth reconciliation process between the two chambers’ version of the bill!