Canada To Launch Billion-Dollar Marijuana Free Market This Week | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Canada To Launch Billion-Dollar Marijuana Free Market This Week

Canada is ushering in what it projects to be a $1.3 billion medical marijuana free market this week, as it replaces small and homegrown pot production with quality-controlled marijuana produced by large farms. The market could eventually serve up to 450,000 Canadians, according to government estimates.

As Toronto's Globe and Mail explains, a transition phase began Monday that will allow more price fluctuation and phase out home and small-scale production.

"In its place, large indoor marijuana farms certified by the [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and health inspectors will produce, package and distribute a range of standardized weed, all of it sold for whatever price the market will bear," the newspaper reports. "The first sales are expected in the next few weeks, delivered directly by secure courier."

Large-scale growers have begun applying for licenses to produce marijuana; one Ontario company hopes to grow cannabis in an old Hershey chocolate plant, Reuters reported last week. At least two large growers have already received their licenses.

The free market will likely establish a price of around $7.60 per gram of dried marijuana bud, according to "Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations" posted by Canada's health department. (And if you're wondering about that spelling, it follows a precedent set in Canada's controlled substances law.)

The health agency projects that the legal marijuana supply industry "could grow to more than $1.3 billion per year in annual sales" within 10 years. Officials say the illegal cannabis market "represents a multibillion dollar per year industry."

The Canadian government says the new plan will also reduce its own costs, on a website explaining some of the changes.

"The current program costs Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars each year because the $5/gram charged to program participants who choose to purchase from Health Canada is heavily subsidized," Health Canada says.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

'Historic Landmark' Status Complicates Corcoran Renovations

Plans by George Washington University to renovate the Corcoran Gallery of Art may be thrown for a loop after D.C.'s historic preservation board designated much of the interior of the building as a historic landmark.

NPR

In This Museum, Visitors Can Eat At The Exhibits

The Southern Museum of Food and Beverage in New Orleans chronicles the eats and drinks of the Southern states. And it may be one of the only museums where visitors can imbibe while viewing exhibits.
NPR

Staten Island Candidates Avoid Talk Of Eric Garner Case

In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.