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The Liberals finally began reviewing betting legalization late in the year

The five-person review committee will advise the Cabinet on the impact of legalization on many issues, including the health and consumption habits of young people.

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Finally, starting a year later than required by law, the government’s 2018 review of the legalization of cannabis was officially launched Thursday with an announcement that it would be expanded to include impacts on the environment, “indigenous peoples, communities exposed to racism, and women.”

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Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a press conference Thursday that early assessments of how legalization is necessary to frame future cannabis policy in Canada.

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“The review will ensure that the law adapts to the current situation and continues to meet the needs and expectations of Canadians,” he said.

The five-person review committee, chaired by veteran public servant Maurice Rosenberg, will advise Cabinet on the impact of legalization on many issues, focusing on young people’s healthy habits and cannabis consumption, the impact on Indigenous communities, and the home cultivation of cannabis plants.

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Other members of the review committee will be announced at a later time.

A veteran of the Canadian government for three decades, Rosenberg has served as deputy minister in the governments of Paul Martin, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper, under the portfolios of Justice, Health and Foreign Affairs.

He said the uncharted territory exposed through cannabis legalization in Canada in 2018 underscores the importance of this legislative review.

“The cannabis law is a dramatic departure from the prohibition and criminal law approach that has been the way we have dealt with cannabis for the past 100 years or so,” he said.

“This review can be useful in examining the extent to which the legislation and measures taken to implement it are successful in achieving its public health and safety objectives, and in enabling the creation of a diversified and competitive cannabis industry.”

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After retiring from public service in 2013, Rosenberg served as President and CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation until 2018.

On Thursday, it was announced that the commission’s scope would expand to include issues such as the law’s economic, social and environmental impacts, progress in deterring the black market, how legalization has changed access to medical marijuana, and “impacts on indigenous peoples, communities and women” who face greater harm or barriers. In participating in the legal cannabis industry.

George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Canadian Cannabis Council, said he was pleased to see the review expanded to include issues that directly affect the industry.

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“Our primary concern will remain a commitment to act urgently on urgent matters, rather than necessarily having an 18-month process at the reporting stage,” he said.

Omar Khan, senior vice president of corporate and public affairs at cannabis retailer High Tide, told the National Post it was encouraging to see the review expand its scope, and that the government appeared keen to crack down on the illicit market.

Many in the cannabis industry have felt neglected by this government over the past four years

Omar Khan

“Many in the cannabis industry have felt that they have been ignored by this government for the past four years,” he said.

“Today’s announcement is the first step toward changing that perception.”

Khan said many small players won’t be around in 18 months to see the review through, and he was happy to hear Toronto-area MP Nathaniel Erskine Smith – co-chair of the all-party government cannabis rally – suggest that short-term solutions to the industry’s serious problems may Come.

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Sources say the review, which was supposed to take place last year under the cannabis law, was supposed to be announced last week, but was postponed after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The launch of the review also came with the release of an online engagement paper titled Assessing progress: legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada.

The review will include input from the public – those who wish to express their views can participate in Online survey Until November 21.

Experts say one area where Canada’s pot laws fall short is nutrients – government-imposed 10mg THC limits make high-potency black market products a more attractive option.

Erskine Smith told reporters that the goal of any legalization framework is to replace and eventually resolve the illegal marijuana trade.

“I would always add that we should treat Canadians like responsible adults,” he said.

“We need to give Canadians an option to do this, and responsible adults who don’t have a choice will look for cheaper alternatives, and they’ll look for ways where there are greater options.”

• E-mail: bpassifiume@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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