Both Canada and the United States are leading the world in recreational and medical marijuana cultivation, legalization, and research. Canada is currently preparing to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide by July 2018, while individual states in the U.S. are just introducing recreational programs. The United States and Canada are both clearly forces in the growing cannabis industry, but their marijuana programs and regulations vary in a number of ways.
The first major difference between marijuana regulations in Canada and the United States is the government issuing the laws. In Canada, the medical marijuana program is federally regulated, and the recreational program will be once it’s officially introduced in July. Meanwhile, America relies on separate state programs that vary significantly in their individual laws because marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under federal law. Medical marijuana research is also very different in Canada and the U.S. because of federal regulations. Clinical trials are conducted in Canada by licensed producers who have spurred more research in the industry, while medical marijuana research in the U.S. faces several major barriers from federal agencies. Hopefully the United States will follow Canada in legalizing marijuana nationwide, but for now individual states will continue to push for reform.