In its cannabis platform, the federal Green Party guarantees to remove several restrictions — a ban on outdoor growing, a requirement to make use of plastic packaging and a federal minimum price — that don’t actually exist.
Here’s a reality check.
The document, released late last week, makes 4 guarantees. We had a glance, and located problems with three of them.
1) Lowering the federally set price for cannabis to make it competitive with illegal supplies.
There isn’t any such thing as a federally set price for cannabis, explains Brock University business professor Michael Armstrong. Once excise taxes are paid, legal sellers are free to set prices as high or low because the market will bear.
“The excise tax is a few dollar a gram, depending on jurisdiction,” he says. “That makes it difficult to cost low, but there’s nothing within the federal rules about pricing.”
“Politicians talked lots about $10 a gram as a goal, but there’s no minimum price. Quebec sells dry cannabis for $7.50 a gram in the event you buy an enormous package.”
2) Eliminating requirements for excess plastic packaging on legal cannabis.
Producers must follow strict and complicated federal rules on cannabis packaging. Most producers find the foundations easiest to comply with in the event that they use childproof plastic containers.
Consumers have complained about excess packaging, and concerning the undeniable fact that containers might be hard to recycle.
But nothing in the foundations actually requires using plastic, and a few producers, like The Green Organic Dutchman, ship dried flower in glass jars.
3) Removing the sales tax on medicinal products.
Several licenced producers run large-scale outdoor growing operations, like this one near Brantford, Ont. (48North)
4) Allowing outdoor production and imposing organic production standards.
Federal rules already allow outdoor cannabis production, and at the very least one, 48North near Brantford, Ont,, runs a big outdoor cannabis operation, seen above. This past spring, they planted a quarter of 1,000,000 cannabis seeds on a 100-acre farm.
Across Canada, thirteen producers are licenced to grow outdoors.
“Health Canada does require security,” Armstrong says. “They need fencing and security cameras around outdoor fields. Is that actually vital? It definitely adds an expense.”
“However the undeniable fact that the Green Party doesn’t seem to note that there’s outdoor production occurring is kind of unusual, yes.”
“Of all of the parties, I might have thought the Greens would have people who find themselves form of up-to-date on it.”
We reached out to the Green Party for a comment, and can update this story if we get one.