1. Potency regulation: Think about this the next time you’re at the liquor store. Spirits are either 20% by volume or 40%, with one or two exceptions. Beer and wine are subject to similar limits, though beer seems to be moving beyond the standard 5%. Would similar standards be applied to THC? Required minimum and maximum standards would be regulated and policed.
2. Similarly, would there be only approved strains? Strains and potency outside the government established standards could be rejected and declared illegal.
3. I would be surprised if Canadian authorities eventually permit recreational use. If anything, there may be changes to the existing medical use laws. Otherwise it will be business as usual for the recreational users.
4. Health Canada has “experts” who currently inspect licensed grow facilities. Where did they obtain this expertise? What counts as being an expert? I suggest that it’s about inventory control and accounting for every gram and plant produced. Each plant may be identified by bar code and tracked. It’s all about security, command and control. Perhaps the government has standards for all of the processes involved with production, packaging and distribution.
5. With regulations and controls as they are in the medical weed community, are smaller growers making decent money? I doubt it.
6. In the Canadian market, foodstuffs named “organic” are roughly twice the price of mass produced fruits and vegetables. Would we see an organic weed market develop? Users with higher than average incomes could afford this more pure product. Medical users on disability pension or those of lower income would not have access (of course, this assumes that organic weed is “better” than its alternative).
7. Development of new marijuana products. These would be subject to proposals, fees, trials and controls. Who is permitted to develop products should this new economy be further opened up? I am uncertain about the current processes. It is secret knowledge, apparently.
8. Marijuana paraphernalia. Head shops have been operating in Canada for many years. Their businesses have been thriving under the current legislation. They would get a boost should more lenient legislation be approved in the House of Commons.
9. The children, won’t someone please think of the children? Under the current laws studies have demonstrated that more Canadian children and teens have used marijuana than ever before. If there was a change in the laws similar to Colorado, there would be a large government expenditure on educating youth and their parents on the hazards of use and abuse. Education or propaganda. Time will tell.
10. Research. There are many claims (in popular culture these are anecdotal) extolling the virtues of medical marijuana and only a handful of acceptable studies are existent. There will be calls for more studies (biological/social/economic) yielding contradictory evidence. This is a political issue and, as yet, has little to do with actual scientific data. That research is still nascent.
11. Backlash. In Canada, we do not have a clearly defined religious right that votes as a unified block. With a growth in religious fundamentalism, I suspect that these groups may merge in a concerted effort to resist the current trend in marijuana politics.