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Insiders want New York to learn from Canada’s canna-mistakes

Canadian cannabis industry heavyweights had a long list of tips to share with the Buffalo News about the tough legalization lessons learned north of the border thus far.

The Don’ts…

Canada’s Liberal government had three goals when it came to legalization: decrease youth consumption, shrink illicit cannabis activity and protect public health. But it forgot how economics and business success could help meet those goals.

“The government has been much busier trying to spend the money from the revenues than trying to help us create more revenue, which is sad,” said Karine Cousineau, director of government relations and sustainability for The Green Organic Dutchman.

Along with the economics, insiders advised that the state shouldn’t forget criminal record expungement and that they don’t overregulate the details like marketing, potency and branding.

…And the dos

While most sources cited too much regulation as an impediment to the industry, there was one area they called for more: cultivation licensing.

“We built all the capacity that we could need, and then some,” said George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada. “Our national government never established any limits on the amount of cannabis that could be grown.”

They also advised that US banks should engage with the industry and that the government should “deal with” the illicit government, although specifics on how weren’t offered.

What’s next

It’s already legal for the 19.5 million people in New York state to possess up to three ounces of weed, but it likely won’t be legal to sell until 2023, when the regulations are estimated to be finalized and come into force.

If you want to learn more about all things New York cannabis, join Business of Cannabis and Prohibition Partners for Business of Cannabis: New York in late September in NYC.

Learn more about Business of Cannabis: New York.

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