The cannabis industry in Canada is currently undergoing an important government evaluation. But questions remain about the scope and impact of this review.
George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada (C3), told the Investing News Network (INN) he hopes the evaluation will be a thorough process that allows cannabis companies to discuss realities.
C3 is an association representing the business interests of publicly traded cannabis companies such as Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC,TSX:WEED), Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQ:ACB,TSX:ACB), Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY,TSX:TLRY) and the Valens Company (NASDAQ:VLNS,TSX:VLNS).
“It’s very, very rare in a sense that an industry gets an opportunity for a legislative review of how things are going. That’s quite exceptional,” Smitherman said. “And accordingly, it’s really, really vital that as a regulated sector, we take all opportunities to talk to the government about how things could evolve to be better.”
Trina Fraser, a partner at Brazeau Seller Law, told INN at last year’s Lift Expo in Toronto that industry participants would be eager to share their perspective in dialogue with Health Canada — if they are allowed to do so.
“Even if we do get that ability to consult, I’m not sure that Health Canada or the federal government see the scope of the review the same way that industry does,” Fraser commented.
Both Smitherman and Fraser pointed to the following as some of the most important issues for the Canadian cannabis industry at the moment: increased access to medical patients, an overhaul of the excise tax duty regime and problems with packaging and restrictions on THC limits for adult products.
The biggest names in the Canadian cannabis market are already moving to make their voices heard. At the end of January, BNN Bloomberg reported that several publicly traded cannabis companies had officially held meetings with policymakers in an attempt to lobby for the changes they wish to see and how they could be implemented.
C3’s Smitherman told INN his long-term goal is for the lobbying efforts of Canadian cannabis players to result in steady progress for the industry in the face of the unregulated market.
“We would hope to see improvement in a variety of ways that create the effect of allowing us to be more successful in competing with the illicit market,” Smitherman said.
Watch the video above to hear more from Smitherman and Fraser about the Cannabis Act review process. You can also check out more videos by clicking here and looking at our YouTube channel.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.