Roadmap to Cannabis Retail: The Three Canadian Models

Author: Lou Brzezinski, Partner

On October 17, 2018, Canada became the second country in the world, and the first G7 nation, to legalize recreational cannabis.[1] The Cannabis Act[2] and Regulations create a strict legal and regulatory framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. Under the newly in force Cannabis Act, provinces and territories are responsible for determining how cannabis is distributed and sold within their jurisdictions. This means that each province and territory has been tasked to create its own set of rules governing the “how, where and when” of their individual cannabis distribution and retail system(s).[3] Since the Liberals officially announced on April 20, 2016 that the government would move forward in legalizing cannabis,[4] the provinces and territories have been working toward this goal for varying amounts of time. Post-legalization, each province and territory is at a different level of preparation and readiness.

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