The Conservative Party of Canada is making no promises to uphold cannabis legalization if they win the next federal election.
"Today we're going to start to see the consequences of Justin Trudeau's legalization bill," Andrew Scheer—Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada—told Global News on Wednesday, the day Bill C-45 came in to effect, legalizing recreational cannabis across Canada. Scheer says that if his party wins next year's federal election, they will seriously examine the effectiveness of the new cannabis regime, and could go so far as to reverse legalization.
"The Conservative Party will do our due diligence, examine the consequences of this decision, and we'll examine the reality on the ground," Scheer told CTV Thursday.
However, even if the Conservatives do win power, it seems unlikely they will actually go so far as to repeal cannabis legalization, according to Jamie Shaw, a partner at the cannabis consulting agency Groundwork. Shaw says that if the Conservatives did try something like that, they would likely face a strong pushback from the provinces.
"I can't imagine provinces would be happy, having spent all their time dealing with cannabis legalization," Shaw said. "Getting their stores up and running, figuring out how it's going to work, then having the federal government say never mind."
Rielle Capler, a PhD cannabis policy researcher at the University of British Columbia, also thinks the Conservatives would have a tough time reversing cannabis legalization. Capler believes that if the Conservatives do get voted in next year, there wouldn't be much support from constituents for such an initiative either.
"I think a lot of (the constituents) will be involved in the industry," she said. "It's going to be in every fabric of society. It's going to be employing thousands and thousands of Canadians so their constituency won't be supportive of that stance."
So, as it stands, Scheer and the Conservatives probably won't be able to put this genie back in the bottle no matter how badly they want to.