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Stoners cheered when Canada legalised cannabis. How did it go so wrong?

Growers have gone bust, and the black market is still thriving

The lights shone more brightly than anything I’d ever seen. One million blinding watts strafed across the leaves of countless cannabis plants that peeled off in neat rows in every direction. The warehouse was as pristine as a pharmaceutical facility, and as we strode around in crisp white nylon overalls and box-fresh wellies, the atmosphere was surreal – interstellar, almost: – it felt as if we were on a mission to Mars. It was definitely a glimpse of the future.

It was 2017 and I had been invited to visit this legal medical cannabis “grow” in the town of Gatineau, near Ottawa. I was in Canada after writing a paper for the drug-law reform thinktank Volteface

, proposing an online-only, legal cannabis market in the UK as a way to break the logjam between the UK’s two million cannabis smokers and those who fear legalisation. I was meeting with Canadian police and politicians to hear more about that country’s plans to completely legalise cannabis the following year.

Were cannabis activists’ hopes of a regulated cannabis market just a pipe dream?

Big, shiny grow facilities cost C$20m or C$30m to build and grew loads of cannabis – but there was nowhere to sell it

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Source: Stoners cheered when Canada legalised cannabis. How did it go so wrong?


About the author

Ben Maudsley

Ben Maudsley

Ben likes to teach passionate youngsters guitar lessons and has his own company. Cannabis history is his second hobby so he started to perfect not only his musical skills but also his writing skills by writing for Hemp Stash News. Ben is our staff journalist.

He can be reached out at: Ben.Maudsley@hempstashnews.com

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