O Canada: The second nation to legalize marijuana

Although Canada neighbors the United States, it is unfair to assume that the country and its constituents share our same values. While 30 states in America have legalized medical marijuana, only 9 of those states (including the District of Columbia) have legalized recreational marijuana. On the opposite side of the border, our Canadian neighbors have adopted a policy that legalizes the use of marijuana everywhere, not by provinces and territories. In June of 2018, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana use, behind Uruguay who did so in 2013.

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Current map of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana and medical marijuana. 30 states have legalized medical marijuana and 9 have legalized recreational marijuana.

The Cannabis Act, also known as Bill C-45, comes from a campaign pledge from Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to keep marijuana away from underage users and to reduce the related crime. The Cannabis Act was first introduced on April 13th, 2017 and was passed in the House of Commons in November of the same year. Bani Sapra, a writer for CNN, notes that,

“Although the Canadian government had initially stated its intent to implement by July 2018, provinces and territories, who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for marijuana sales, have advised that they would need eight to 12 weeks after the Senate approval to transition to the new framework.” – Bani Sapra, CNN, 2018

While Donald Trump utilizes Twitter to provoke response or simply to tile up his constituents, it is clear that the prime minister of Canada uses Social Media in a much more positive manner. On July 19th, after the bill’s passing, the prime minister took to Twitter to share his appreciation for the bill and his optimism that it will be the answer that they have been looking for all along.

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Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, tweets his support for the Cannabis Act, also known as C-45

The justice minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, was also in support of the bill, even stating that it is a, “… historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada”. Trudeau and Wilson-Raybould are consistent in their belief that the bill will help to protect the youth from cannabis risk, while keeping profit out of the reign of one-off criminals and factions of organized crime. Though the country has chosen to legalize marijuana use nationally, there are still rules and regulations on how to do so within the confines of the law. Bani Sapra provides a great list in her article on CNN for those that are interested in consuming marijuana in a legal fashion:

  • Adults can carry AND share up to 30 grams of legal marijuana in public.

  • Adults are allowed to cultivate up to FOUR plants in their household and make products such as edibles for personal use.

  • Consumers are expected to purchase marijuana from retailers regulated by provinces, territories, or federally licensed products.

  • Marijuana WILL NOT be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

  • Canadian government has also implemented changes to the countries impaired driving laws, to create repercussions for operating a vehicle under the influence of cannabis.

The Cannabis Act set the floor for the minimum age of a consumer to be 18 years old, opposed to the 21 years that the United States uses for both alcohol and cannabis consumption. The production, distribution, or sale of cannabis as a minor will be constituted as an offense. Provinces and territories are free to increase the minimum age of consumption, however, the Canadian government has made it clear that 18 is the desired age that will make C-45 an effective law.ย Related image

Although the Canadian government has been consistent in voicing it’s praise for the bill in order to decrease cannabis related crime, I am sure that that is not the only desired result. By legalizing marijuana nationwide, I am positive that the Canadian government is aware that they are officially entering a financially rewarding industry. The Cannabis Act, or C-45, is expected to spark a billion-dollar industry in Canada. Sapra notes that total spending on marijuana can surge up to 58%, particularly because consumers will be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the component.

On our side of the border in the United States, it is clear that the marijuana industry is growing, even without nationwide legalization. Sapra states that,

“In the United States, BDS Analytics estimated that the pot industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017. The revenue from the sales is equivalent to the entire snack bar industry.” – Bani Sapra, CNN, 2018

Our Canadian neighbors have taken advantage of the growing industry early, and many Canadian companies have begun to become the center of United States investment. Canopy Growth Corp., Aphria Inc., and Aurora Cannabis Inc., have begun to lead the early charge in mass production and distribution. Though the United States and Canada differ, one thing is clear: Canada has figured out an effective bill that decriminalizes marijuana, while protecting the youth from cannabis use at too early of an age. Possibly the United States will take a page out of their book, yet it seems that there is a much more uphill battle for legal marijuana here in the United States.

Please comment your suggestions, ideas, or viewpoints on the current state of legal marijuana adoption in America. Why do you think it hasn’t happened?

Article: Canada Becomes Second Nation in the World to Legalize Marijuana

 

Artist Feature: Snoop Dogg Is More Than Just An OG In The Rap Game

Growing up in Los Angeles, I have always been a fan of Snoop Dogg. Growing up in Long Beach, Snoop Dogg has created timeless music for the West Coast, and has been an active member of the community as well. Coincidentally, I actually have experienced the charitable person that Snoop Dogg is, having played in his youth football league growing up in the city. Though he did not come up in the best situation, having an unstable presence of a father in his life, Snoop Dogg made the most out of what was given.

Growing up, Snoop Dogg, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, ran into the law frequently due to his affiliation with the Rolling 20’s Crip gang in East Long Beach, but I can assure you that he has never been just a “gangster”. Since dropping his debut album, Doggy Style, in 1993, Snoop Dogg has continued to alter his life. Now, the infamous Westcoast rapper has been at the pinnacle of the rap game, and has been active in finding new ways to make money off of what he enjoys: Marijuana.

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The Original Cover Art for Snoop Dogg’s Debut Album “Doggy Style” (1993)

Debuting in 1993, Snoop Dogg is considered one of the original rappers of the Gangster Rap era in the early 90’s. His status as an OG is not cemented solely by his tenure in the rap game at this point, as he is one of the most successful artists to be involved in the business of cannabis as well. Snoop Dogg’s company, named Leafs by Snoop, was launched in November of 2015, and since has gained considerable traction. Using capital that he had accumulated during his music career, the rapper was able to begin selling his own cannabis pens, strain, and other related products.

Though it is known that the artist has been very successful in his cannabis adventures, new developments in his charge have landed him on our blog. There is a great article by Sean Williams of The Motley Fool that speaks to just how much money the artist has been able gather for the cause. Williams points out a major figure that influences Snoop Dogg’s success, and it isn’t simply his status as a superstar. Williams states that,

“Cannabis research firm ArcView recently noted that legal pot sales in North America climbed 33% in 2017 to $9.7 billion, and they’re expected to grow annually by 28% through 2021, hitting $24.5 billion a year in the process. You’d probably struggle to find an industry with more consistent growth prospects.” – Sean Williams, The Motley Fool, 2018

One unique aspect about the cannabis industry is that it is not simply the direct growers that have been able to capitalize of the legalization of marijuana, but the ancillary players as well. Snop Dogg has been on the forefront of capitalizing on what he has always loved to do, and has co-founder a venture capital firm that focuses on investments in the cannabis space. Casa Verde Capital (translated to “green house”) is currently the leading venture capital firm focusing exclusively on the cannabis industry.

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Photo of the Casa Verde Capital Logo. Currently the firm has more than $45 Million in Investments.

Before closing to new investors, Casa Verde Capital had raised $45 million. Its reason for closing to the public was sos it can look for large investments of more than $1 million or up only. The firm plans to follow up with closing that requirement, and making all investments $3 to $5 million instead. TO date the company has made 8 investments in total and plans to continue growing!

Article: Snoop Dogg’s Marijuana Fund is Budding After a $45 Million Capital Raise