There are a bunch of things to iron out before weed can be legally sold and enjoyed in Canada.
Some of them were disclosed yesterday as part of a submission that will be tabled before the Ottawa Board of Health on Oct. 17. The one that stands out the most concerns the minimum age at which Canadians will be able to legally purchase marijuana from say, Shoppers Drug Mart or Loblaws.
The magic number appears to be 25.
That’s the recommendation given by Ottawa’s public health agency, which echoes that of the Canadian Medical Association.
“We wanted to ensure that we’re reducing access for youth,” said Gillian Connelly, manager of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with OPH, who also suggested rigorous enforcement and penalties for violations.
“One of the things that the research clearly demonstrates is that early access to cannabis can have detrimental effects for brain development and the brain develops up to age 25.”
There is, of course, a considerable counterargument.
“Every market which is not available for the legal organized suppliers is a market available for the other guys,” says Bruce Linton, the founder and CEO of Tweed, one of the largest medical marijuana producers in Canada, who believes the minimum age to buy weed should be in line with that at which one can purchase alcohol.
While cool moms can pick up their pot next to the organic greens at the supermarket, their teenage sons and daughters have to deal with sketchy dudes selling shake in the alley, so the argument goes.
Other recommendations that will be submitted next week include prohibiting the advertising of weed, smoking bans at the workplace, indoors, and in public space, as well as child-proof packaging for edibles.