Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s promise to legalize recreational marijuana “right away” may have sent tingles of excitement for many potheads, but they better hold their horses because it won’t happen that fast.
Experts say that concocting tax rules and regulations for recreational marijuana does not happen overnight. Furthermore, there is no assurance that legalization will eventually lead to a significant marijuana tourism industry, given the fact that more and more states in the US are also going forward with their legalization efforts.
At present, marijuana enthusiasts in the US can get their fix from Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon, which means there’s no need to travel to another country for the sake of dope. Also, domestic pot tourism remains to be a small-scale affair, with no one tracking how successful pot tours and weed-friendly accommodations known as “bud & breakfasts” have become.
“It’s like Amsterdam,” said Hugo St-Onge, spokesman for Montreal-based political party Bloc Pot. “For 40 years, it was the center of the world for weed users. In 10 years, so many states will change their laws that people won’t need to travel to get it.”
Still, this hasn’t dampened the spirit of those looking to enter Canada’s marijuana tourism industry, even if it has not yet taken off.
“Since legalization has become a possibility, our phones have been ringing off the hook,” said Michael Mayes, CEO of Chicago-based marijuana consulting company Quantum9. “Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, private equity firms have all been reaching out to us.”
After all, there are several incentives. Bruce Linton, CEO of medical marijuana provider Canopy Growth Corporation, said that the existing medical marijuana system can provide a framework for recreational use regulations. There is also the potential revenue of $5 billion Canadian annually, as predicted by Aaron Salz of Dundee Capital Markets.
“I think they’ll announce something before the year is out and begin working to have a system in place by the next election four years from now,” Linton said. “There’ll be a process of which provinces come on-stream, getting it right and, by the next election, pointing to the good news about all the taxes that have been collected.”
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