The Green Party’s cannabis platform makes zero sense

Published on September 26, 2019 · Last updated July 28, 2020
Elizabeth May/Twitter

At first, the Green Party’s cannabis platform might have sounded appealing to cannabis fanciers, if for nothing else than the promises to lower the price of legal recreational cannabis and reduce wasteful over-packaging.

Elizabeth May revealed the Green Party’s position on cannabis policy as part of its 88-page election platform, released on Monday.

On a closer look, however, the platform is riddled with errors that reflect a misunderstanding of cannabis laws and the industry itself.Join the Leafly Canada CommunityThere is no “federally set price for cannabis” that may be lowered, to begin with, and there are no “requirements for excess plastic packaging on legal cannabis.”

Rather, many LPs have claimed overpackaging is an unavoidable side-effect of meeting Health Canada packaging regulations.

The Green Party platform promises to “allow outdoor production,” which is already a reality.

The first LP license was issued to family-owned Good Buds in May, while in June, Aleafia boasted of completing planting at Canada’s first legal outdoor facility.

The platform also promises a Green government will “impose organic production standards”—apparently across the whole of the Canadian cannabis sector.

BC Independent Cannabis Association President Courtland Sandover-Sly responded to the suggestion by saying, forcing every cultivator to go organic “would devastate the industry.”

The platform isn’t all bad ideas—removing sales tax from medical cannabis products is an idea supported by every medical activist and patient in the country as well as members of all political parties.

Reclassifying hemp off the Prescriptions List and into a natural health product is largely uncontroversial as well, and many familiar with the industry would agree Health Canada has “[treated] the production of cannabis as uniquely dangerous,” leading to security requirements many feel are excessive.

However, with three of their five policy points referring to circumstances that do not exist, the Greens risk appearing not to understand cannabis issues on basic levels.

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Jesse B. Staniforth
Jesse B. Staniforth
Jesse Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.
View Jesse B. Staniforth's articles
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