In the last few weeks Canada finalized their bill legalizing cannabis use for adults and now they've released details on how exactly that might look different from the recreational legal states in the U.S. One major difference is going to be the large amount of government run marijuana stores in Canada. There will still be some private companies allowed in the industry but it's vastly different from the U.S. where governemt run cannabis shops are almost unheard of. The legal age to purchase cannabis in Canada will be 18 years old compared to 21 in legal states in the U.S. though many provinces will be raising that age up to 19. The tax system is another major difference from the U.S. as many states like California and Washington have such high tax rates on cannabis that some believe it's keeping the black market alive, but in Canada they want to cut the black market sales as quickly as possible by keeping product affordable and taxing around $1 per gram. Banking is another major difference as banks in the U.S. are mostly afraid to work with cannabis businesses while in Canada they will be treated as any other regulated business. In the first year of legal cannabis in Canada adults can expect to find products like dry flower buds, oils and seeds, but the government has said they need more time to decide how to regulate edibles. Potentially the biggest difference in Canada's program is the ability to order online and receive cannabis through the mail. Americans are in no way legally allowed to send or receive cannabis through the mail and can be charged with a felony for doing so.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that marijuana will be legal nationwide on Oct. 17. In the meantime, Canada's provinces and cities are working out issues concerning how cannabis will be regulated.
"It's this amazing case study for countries globally to see the amazing benefits that legalizing cannabis can have on things like the economy, eradicating the black market and getting cannabis out of the hands of minors," he said.