Media Releases Sep 22, 2022

National Cannabis Working Group applauds comprehensive approach to Cannabis Act Review but public health and safety concerns remain


(OTTAWA) –September 22, 2022 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce National Cannabis Working Group (NCWG) is pleased to see the federal government take a comprehensive approach to its statutory review of the Cannabis Act, however details will be crucial to guarantee public health and safety.

The broad scope of the review, as announced by Health Canada, will ensure Canada’s updated cannabis rules continue to uphold the goals of cannabis legalization and facilitate the growth of the legal cannabis sector. However, to effectively displace the illicit market and protect the public health and safety of all Canadians, law enforcement, businesses, industry and all levels of government will need to continue to work together.

Canadian companies and their employees will continue to collaborate to ensure they can fully benefit from this growing industry while still meeting the Act’s vital health and safety objectives.

“As the first G7 economy to legalize recreational cannabis, Canada has a narrow ‘first-mover’ advantage in a growing global industry,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “Today’s announcement demonstrates the government’s commitment to implementing a world-class regulatory framework that will continue to foster a sustainable and equitable framework for legal cannabis.”

We are pleased to see the government’s leadership reflected to support this important sector of our economy. Since the legalization of recreational cannabis for adult use in 2018, direct and ancillary cannabis businesses have contributed $43 billion to the Canadian economy, while creating tens of thousands of jobs across the country. The majority of those positions were created during the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to that success, assumptions that existed pre-legalization need to be updated to reflect new economic and market realities, including the proliferation of retail stores in some provinces, development of innovative new cannabis products and the persistence of the illicit market.

NCWG members are encouraged that the review will take into account economic and social considerations, and will be looking for Health Canada to create an environment that will facilitate the long term sustainability of the sector.

“As the first major economy to develop a national legal framework for adult use cannabis, the industry understands that it will take a few years of trial and error to settle on balanced and reasonable rules, regulations and processes,” said Nathan Mison, Chair of the National Cannabis Working Group. “That is why we began consulting the industry in 2020 – to prepare for this statutory review and help the government make necessary improvements to the Cannabis Act.

The NCWG appreciates the scope of the review and looks forward to working with all stakeholders to provide innovative solutions that help the sector grow while displacing the illicit market and protecting public health and safety.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce — The Future of Business Success
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is Canada’s largest and most activated business network — representing 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade and more than 200,000 businesses of all sizes, from all sectors of the economy and from every part of the country — to create the conditions for our collective success. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the undisputed champion and catalyst for the future of business success. From working with government on economy-friendly policy to providing services that inform commerce and enable trade, we give each of our members more of what they need to succeed: insight into markets, competitors and trends, influence over the decisions and policies that drive business success and impact on business and economic performance.

About our National Cannabis Working Group
Our National Cannabis Working Group develops, reports on and advocates policy matters that will improve the growth and competitiveness of the Canadian cannabis industry. It incudes members throughout the legal cannabis sector including licenced producers, retailers and ancillary businesses.

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Contact
Emily Walsh

ewalsh@chamber.ca