Trudeau's Health Minister Says Canada's Legalization Will Differ From Colorado, Washington

Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott told CBC News the Trudeau government will carve its own path on how a legalized cannabis market will be implemented and regulated.

In an interview with CBC News, Jane Philpott said the government will look abroad for best practices, but said she doesn't see a perfect model anywhere.

Rather than merely copy the regulations from states like Colorado and Washington, Philpott and her colleagues will craft ones that differ from those states.

Canadians have had a lot of unanswered questions about how legalization will work since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rose to power in October. Legalization was a high-profile plank in his election platform.

The Health Minister didn't talk about specific plans, but did reflect on what the next steps will be.

Philpott said the government will create a task force to consult with legal authorities, public safety officials and Health Canada scientists, who already have a role in regulating products with health risks such as tobacco.

Philpott doesn't say how long this is going to take, but she says scientists in her department are already briefing her on the subject.

This should be encouraging news for all sides of the legalization debate, as it suggests the approach to regulating marijuana will be based on current scientific data, in addition to what legal authorities, interest groups and members of the general public tell the government.

She also doesn't talk about where marijuana will be sold. Some provincial public officials have suggested selling it in provincial liquor stores, but that may not be the most prudent course of action.

The Conservative opposition didn't respond to a request for comment from the CBC, which raises a series of questions. Are they finally recognizing the majority of Canadians are in favor of legalization and softening their previously hardline views? Does this mean they may allow legislation bills to pass without a strong fight?

And the last, and perhaps most important question? What will Canada do with all that sweet tax revenue?

As Canadian comic Rick Mercer explains, it could be overwhelming.

h/t CBC News.

Banner Image: Jane Philpott is sworn in as the Minister of Health by Janice Charette, Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet. November 4, 2015. From Justin Trudeau's Flickr Account.

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