Premiers Focused on Public Health and Safety in the Legalization of Cannabis
SASKATOON, July 11, 2019 /CNW/ – The federal government legalized cannabis in October 2018. Premiers remain focused on protecting public health and safety, and combatting the illegal market for cannabis. Provinces and territories are responsible for significant aspects of this complex undertaking, and substantial costs have been incurred.
Premiers discussed the considerable progress provinces and territories have made in developing cannabis distribution, retail and oversight mechanisms under very tight federal timelines. However, they emphasized the need for the federal government to quickly address several outstanding concerns to support the health and safety of Canadians:
- The federal government is responsible for the licensing of producers. Increased federal attention to the ongoing inadequacy of cannabis supply is necessary as it impacts the ability for PTs to meet the demand for safe products and to reduce illegal market activity.
- Increase federal leadership in reducing the size and scope of the illegal market through strategies aimed at both bringing producers and consumers into the legal market, and at enforcement against illegal sales, particularly online.
- With the coming legalization of the sale of edibles, extracts and topicals, the federal government must provide clear guidance on Health Canada regulations for products that are considered “appealing to youth.”
- Support provinces and territories in public awareness and education campaigns related to the health risks of the new classes of cannabis.
- Commit to fully addressing provincial and territorial resource requirements for drug-impaired driving enforcement and prosecution, including the further development and approval of useful and reliable tools to assess drug impairment, training for police services, and prosecution aids.