Two Big Misses in Cannabis Announcement, Says Green Leader

For Immediate Release – December 11, 2017

“There were two big misses in the provincial government’s announcement of cannabis regulations last week,” says Green Party of Nova Scotia Leader Thomas Trappenberg.

Firstly, “Nova Scotians we have heard from are frustrated that a monopoly was given, and to a government corporation. This was an ideal opportunity to support entrepreneurship, and they blew it.”

Social media reaction on Thursday and Friday indicated there are already many local entrepreneurs who have been developing business models based on the coming legalisation. BC, PEI, and other jurisdictions are working to provide opportunities for private retail sellers of recreational cannabis. Nova Scotia has a robust entrepreneurial spirit, and this was a prime opportunity for grassroots job creation.

The second error is one of omission.

Neither the federal government nor any provincial government have indicated a willingness to address the racial injustices committed during the so-called war on drugs. An overwhelming number of those targeted and incarcerated for possession-related infractions have been First Nations or Black Canadians. Many families have been torn apart and many lives have been ruined by incarceration for marijuana possessions charges.

“At the very least pardons could be offered to Nova Scotians charged with cannabis possession offences since medicinal marijuana was approved,” notes Trappenberg. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure a fair and equitable treatment of minority groups in our province. This could be a huge step.”

Opportunities to build local agriculture also seem to be slipping away as large, centralized companies purchase smaller ones. Toronto brokerage Catalyst Cultivator Corps recently announced their purchase of Antigonish’s THC Dispensaries Inc.

“Regulating legal cannabis sales is a great way to build a stronger economy and improve social justice while weakening organized criminal groups. It’s too bad the government chose to create their regulations without really listening to Nova Scotians.”

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