June 17, 2024
Conservatives should pitch radical changes to Liberals’ weed plan
The CannTrust scandal sheds light on leniencies granted to cannabis legal market offenders at the mercy of Canadian shareholders.
The CannTrust scandal sheds light on leniencies granted to cannabis legal market offenders at the mercy of Canadian shareholders.

Kate Robertson has covered Canada’s cannabis industry for three years. She has written for the Globe and Mail, The Guardian, NOW Magazine, as well as cannabis-focused publications such as Leafly and Weedmaps.

Conservative pundits are already blaming Justin Trudeau’s Liberals for the latest scandal to hit Canada’s burgeoning cannabis industry. After a whistleblower tipped off Health Canada that Ontario-based CannTrust had grown cannabis plants in unlicensed rooms, a Globe and Mail investigation indicates that company executives were not only aware of the situation since last fall, some of them suspiciously sold off $6 million in shares the same day the chairman was notified of the unlicensed grow. Insider trading, in other words.

“The legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use was an opportunistic, ill-considered, policy by the Liberals,” wrote Financial Post columnist Diane Francis on July 30. “Corporations went public in haste, and this first scandal should make investors cautious.”

Sorry, but it’s way too late for investor caution. Thousands of Canadians, many of whom have never and will never even try cannabis—people like my electrician and my next-door neighbours—have invested their hard-earned coin in Canadian weed companies, convinced by mainstream media and [mostly] men in suits that the industry is a legitimate one.

Scandals like CannTrust’s—along with OrganiGram, Bonify, Aphria, Agrima, and yes, Canopy Growth—affect a lot of Canadians. They, along with the sizable and sophisticated illicit market, are solid ammunition to direct at the Liberal party.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer has walked back statements he made last year about re-criminalizing cannabis (likely from pressure from the numerous members of the weed world that are card-carrying Cons), the last thing the industry desires is more regulatory oversight and expensive rules to comply by.

What’s not too late is for Conservatives to politicize challenges with the Liberals’ weed plan in this October’s election and pitch radical changes to the program.


See Also:

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(2) Poll finds one in four Albertans favour separating from Canada — nearly equal to rate in Quebec

(3) As Freeland privately apologizes to ex-ambassador to China, Liberals quash investigation into alleged ‘muzzling’

(4) Six Nations elected council back at the office after a 2-month barricade

(5) Canada’s passive playbook on China takes too many pages from Beijing