01: High & Welcome (Legalization with Jack Lloyd)

The Dopist is a new weekly podcast helping you navigate and enjoy the cannabis landscape in Canada. Host Zoe Brownstone talks to the activists, artists and entrepreneurs shaping recreational cannabis. Follow @thedopist on Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

On the pilot episode of The Dopist, host Zoe Brownstone celebrates the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, with a Cannabis Act 101 chat with lawyer and activist Jack Lloyd. They discuss Canada’s path to legalization, laws pertaining to consumers and workers, and Jack’s long-term vision for legalization (show notes below).

Show notes:

Jack’s path to cannabis law (2:40)

* Jack worked in the cannabis industry, volunteering for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Canada, and editing at Green Candy Press – the largest publisher of books about cannabis

* He felt he could be more useful to the community as a lawyer rather than a political advocate and editor, and went to law school

Legalization in Canada (3:40)

* The commitment and resoluteness of the cannabis community has been the catalyst to dismantle 95 years of prohibition

* We stand on the shoulders of a great many activists, lawyers and cannabis community members, such as Marc Emery, Jodie Emery, Dana Larsen, Alan Young, Paul Lewin, Kirk Tousaw and other lawyers

* The Parker decision in the Ontario court of appeal is where legal cannabis was born

Legal consumption (6:10)

* Depending where you are in Canada, you are bound by certain rules in regards to where you can use cannabis

* In Ontario, you can use cannabis anywhere tobacco is lawfully used, following the smoke-free Ontario Act

* Recreational users can carry up to 30 grams of licit cannabis

* Medical users can carry 150 grams of medical cannabis, and purchase an additional 30 grams

* There’s no barrier to how much you can have at home

* You can grow four plants in your backyards, harvest them and share up to 30 grams with a consenting adult

* Previously, this would have been drug trafficking

Laws for OCS (11:20)

* The same function works on the Ontario Cannabis Store web site

* Anyone in your home 19 years of age or older may sign for a delivery

Legal concerns for consumers (13:05)

* It’s going to be difficult to determine licit cannabis from illicit cannabis

* If it can be proven that you have a high potency extract that was produced using an organic solvent, that will be deemed illicit – you might be charged with a form of drug trafficking, or production of a controlled substance

* You may produce your one carrier-free concentrates, using a device like a rosin press, or bake your own edibles using a fatty substance like butter or milk

Working in cannabis (16:30)

* The dominant narrative is that you can cross-over from the black or grey market to the legal market, and you’re encouraged to do so, but you may, or may not pass a security clearance to become licensed

* Budtenders working at unlicensed dispensaries faces the same jeopardy as prior to legalization

* In Ontario, if a dispensary plays ball and shuts down on October 16th, they have the opportunity to become licensed

U.S Border (20:35)

* In Jack’s experience, concerns over crossing into the U.S as a cannabis worker or investor are overblown

* The sheer act of having interacted with the cannabis plant at any time in your life could act as a barrier to entry to the United States, but this has been the same for the last 95 years

Future policy (22:30)

* In-person retail access in Ontario is only possible through illegal compassion clubs

* Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I and Newfoundland are ready to go, with Provincial replacements for in-person retail

* There should be coupled with medical compassion clubs, as certain patients don’t want to access their medicine as the same place that someone accesses their recreational cannabis

* The fight will continue for certain individuals who require in-person access

* A variety of cannabis derivative medicines will be a live issue, as they are unavailable through the licit market and many people rely on them to treat medical ailments

Long-term impact (25:10)

* Jack anticipates the emergence of a world-leading industry in Canada

* Canada has been a world-leader in cannabis genetics for 20 years, and we can now brag about it

* Jack hopes that legalization in Canada creates a tide that will spread globally