During Canada’s debate whether to legalize recreational cannabis, throughout 2016 and 2017 many Conservative naysayers were on a warpath to express their deepest concerns over ending prohibition
Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu provided the following fear tactics during a reading in the House of Commons:
“We have already established that this legislation would put marijuana in the hands of children, not just with the 15 joints that 12-year-olds can have but with the four plants per household, so little Johnny can put some in the toaster oven and smoke it up.”
Despite Gladu’s humorous ignorance of how weed seems to work, many of her colleagues in the Conservative Party share her sentiment that pot should never be legalized. This includes former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has indicated he would like to run again for Canada’s leadership, telling a crowd of a few hundred outside of the Conservative Party headquarters in Ottawa, “I can no longer stand idly by while this child runs this country into the ground.”
What if the conservatives were to win Canada’s October 2019 election? Could marijuana prohibition make a comeback?
What would happen if US President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions decide to enforce federal law with more extreme measures? Would the industry get sent back to the prohibition age?
Too Big to Prohibit
At this point in the industry’s progression, bringing back full-stop prohibition would be next to impossible. Cannabis has just become too big to fail.
A perfect example is a recent announcement from Planet 13 Holdings, a company that has broken ground on a new 40,000-square-foot Las Vegas facility dedicated solely to cannabis. Once complete, the entertainment complex will be the world’s largest space for marijuana enthusiasts.
This juggernaut of ganja will house a 16,500-square-foot dispensary and feature interactive art and light shows, including 15-foot-tall LED lotus flowers, LED flooring and even laser graffiti for people to paint on the walls at will.
“We plan to redefine the cannabis experience,” said Planet 13 Director of Marketing David Farris. “This is an attraction and an experience that’s really a one of a kind opportunity. We want people to spend some time there, take photos and take it all in. It is something that is special and unique.”
The Planet 13 retail location is not the only indication that legal marijuana has become enormously profitable. In Colorado, retail stores have expanded into chains that in some cases rival that of department stores. Places like Native Roots, LivWell, and The Green Solution have 48 locations collectively.
Then we have Canada. The country has officially legalized cannabis at the federal level and pot is scheduled to be in stores across the country Oct. 17, 2018.
The cannabis is coming from licensed producers in Canada, some with massive football-field-sized grow facilities. The expected result of this multibillion-dollar sector in the Great White North is a significant increase in cannabis-friendly business across the nation. This is coupled with a consumer base that already rivals wine in annual profits.
The business of weed is big, growing and spilling into North America’s mainstream culture and consumerism in a way that isn’t easily undone.
And perhaps the smoking gun is the fact that the US under Trump and Sessions currently has taken no real movement towards shutting down the industry, aside from strongly worded but weak-willed statements.
In Canada, even if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau loses the next election, it is unfathomable to believe that the incoming government could take steps to end the revenue generated from cannabis without a major public backlash.
Conservatives in favor of ending cannabis legalization at any cost should take note, this joint has already been smoked.