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JADEO Canadian Cannabis Market 1 week ago / Toronto, Ontario


Can I Advertise Cannabis On Instagram?

There are two things that all Canadian advertisers need to keep in mind when it comes to advertising cannabis on Instagram. The first is Bill C-45 - the Cannabis Act - and the second is Instagram’s policies.

Instagram’s Terms and Conditions for posting about cannabis aren’t very clear. Instagram suggests that you cannot create posts promoting illegal drug use, but cannabis is legal in Canada so we should be in the clear, right? Wrong. While cannabis is legal in Canada, it’s only legal to advertise to consumers over the age of 18 or 19 years old, depending on the province. However, Instagram is open to anyone that is over the age of 14.

Further along in the Instagram T’s and C’s, we see that Instagram also has the right to take down any content that violates community guidelines. Essentially, Instagram has the right to take down your posts or delete your account at any time based on their ever-changing community guidelines.

Okay, so can you do paid ads on Instagram for cannabis and target Instagram users that are 19+? No, at this time Instagram blocks paid ads for cannabis or that link to a site that mentions cannabis, but you can build your brand organically. Posts, stories, interacting with other Instagram users - these are all things that are fine to do on Instagram. The only thing is, make sure you have a backup plan.

So what are the workarounds?

  1. Make sure your Instagram content is ‘G-rated’. As long as you aren’t posting videos of cannabis consumption, you SHOULD be fine. No promises. Unfortunately, this also means users might have a tough time figuring out just what your brand is and what you do.
  2. Create a backup Instagram account. Many cannabis influencers, such as Natalia Chiles (@hiighvibes), maintain more than one Instagram account because they have had their accounts shut down before.
  3. Post your G-rated content to Instagram, but create your main content on a cannabis-friendly social media site, like JADEO.co, instead. This will allow you to create your content in a safe space, where it won’t be removed.
  4. Skip the hassle of Instagram shutdowns all together and become a thought leader on JADEO. JADEO.co is the best alternative to Instagram for cannabis businesses. You’ll be able to post photos, write articles, and share relevant news stories, all while building a following in a cannabis-positive space.

Related comments

  • From Janelle Simone

    Great tips!

  • From Lindsay Le Blanc

    It's such a complicated landscape of advertising, helpful to have things broken down.

JADEO Canadian Cannabis Market 2 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario

"The spirit (of microcultivation licences) was to get the small growers involved and to get the black market to convert over to the new market," said James Walsh, president of the BC Micro Licence Association. "In reality we're just not seeing it." https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/aspiring-craft-cannabis-producers-running-into-unexpected-roadblocks-1.4210780

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Aspiring 'craft' cannabis producers running into unexpected roadblocks

CTVNews

Yan Boissonneault's daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped breathing, and he frantically performed CPR while his friend James Gallagher called 911. Years later, the men still become emotional remembering that day.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/aspiring-craft-cannabis-p...

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JADEO Canadian Cannabis Market 2 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario

A variety of news outlets are predicting 2019 as the year that the Canadian Cannabis Industry will truly flourish - with increases in production, more licenses being given, and more products hitting the market. Thoughts?

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  • From Janelle Simone

    I can believe this. We only experienced cannabis legalization for less than 3months of 2018. With all products not being legal as yet. When we get all the products to market we will really begin to see the full scope of legalization and the cannabis market.

JADEO Canadian Cannabis Market 3 weeks ago / Toronto, Ontario

"If those figures are extrapolated to assume steady sales over an entire year, cannabis sales in Canada could climb north of $1 billion." https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/cannabis-canada-daily-pot-sales-hit-43m-in-first-two-weeks-of-legalization-1.1187411

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Cannabis Canada Daily: Pot sales hit $43M in first two weeks of legalization - Article - BNN

BNN

How much cannabis was sold in the first two weeks of legalization? About $43 million, according to Statistics Canada, which broke out the figure when it released its October retail sales indicator on Friday. If those figures are extrapolated to assume steady sales over an entire year, cannabis sales in Canada could climb north of $1 billion.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/cannabis-canada-daily-pot-s...

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Shared by Michael Joseph

Michael Joseph 1 month ago / Hamilton , Ontario

Shoppers Drug Mart is granted online sales privileges for medical cannabis. Is online the best method, or should retail stores in Canada be split up to incorporate recreational, and medicinal sales for cannabis? Thoughts? https://globalnews.ca/news/4743416/shoppers-drug-mart-medical-marijuana-online/

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Health Canada grants Shoppers Drug Mart permission to sell medical marijuana online

Global News

TORONTO - Shoppers Drug Mart has been granted a licence to sell medical marijuana online. Health Canada 's list of authorized cannabis sellers and producers has been updated to reflect that the pharmacy can sell dried and fresh cannabis, as well as plants, seeds and oil.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4743416/shoppers-drug-mart-m...

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Advertisement

Sandy Perlman Canadian Cannabis Market 1 month ago / Ontario

Please delete if not Appropriate. I’m a pastry chef and I trying to figure out the best strains within the gov cannabis site would be best for me to use. Any and all help is appreciated. I know the process just not the cannabis in the gig store

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  • From Janelle Simone

    Hi Sandy, I find what strains to use really is a personal preference. In general, I enjoy Girl Scout Cookies (GSC), Sour Diesel and Blue Dream. I recently tried Kinky Kush as well and it wasn't bad. The OCS currently has Blue Dream, GSC & Kinky Kush.

  • From Janelle Simone

    Also, if you're looking to use it for pastries, I would recommend looking at the terpenes in the strains. Some of them compliment terpenes found in everyday food items. That may help you better choose a particular strain.

michgrazi Canadian Cannabis Market 1 month ago / Ontario


Explaining Cannabis' Drastic Reversal in Canada

On October 17th, 2018, the Federal Government of Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis nation-wide (ontario.ca). Prior to cannabis’ criminalization, it enjoyed a long history of use for social, religious, and medical purposes (Savelli, 2018a). Despite this, the drug was made illegal in 1923 as outlined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act(Fischer, Ala-Leppilampi, Single & Robins, 2003) without any significant public debate (Savelli, 2018a), even prompting the United Nations to include its criminalization in a drug control treaty signed by Canada (Brewley-Taylor, 2017). Ninety-five years later, and this once illegal drug has come full circle. It is now enjoyed by many Canadians publicly and even grown privately by citizens who are allotted four plants on their property at a time (ontario.ca). I argue that this drastic cultural shift was facilitated by changing social factors coupled with a lack of objective reasoning supporting cannabis’ initial criminalization.

Fischer et al (2003) regard the criminalization of cannabis use in 1923 as “a solution without a problem” (p. 267). They further go on to describe this phenomenon as “a sudden political occurrence, without an apparent rationale, creating criminal status for a drug that would remain virtually unknown and irrelevant for almost three decades” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 266). To provide historical context, prior to the criminalization of cannabis in 1923 was a similar prohibition of opium in 1908 following the Opium Act(Fischer et al, 2003). Scholars argue this legal document was a response to the fear of the migrating Chinese who were associated with opium, prompting not only racial, but economic and moral conflict during a developmental time of industrializing Canada (Fischer et al, 2003). The law is theorised by Fischer et al (2003) to have originated in hopes of containing the “Asian problem”, thus engineering Canadian social order (p. 267). This ideological framework of the criminalization of a substance being associated with racist ideologies is present in the cannabis narrative as well. Its criminalization had less to do with the substance’s harms or potential addictive nature, and more to do with who was using it.

Prior to its criminalization, Fischer et al (2003) remind us that cannabis use was not a significant issue in Canada, avoiding media problematization (unlike opium and cocaine). In the early 1920’s, cannabis use appeared in the Hispanic labour force and within urban populations in the United States (Fischer et al, 2003). Despite this, its moral panic did not begin until the 1930s, when support for drug prohibition was falling and the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics subsequently constructed marijuana as a menace (Fischer et al, 2003), thus further reinforcing the social aspects of this phenomenon that are not unique to Canada. Scholars argue that the advent of marijuana’s criminalization within a Canadian context can be attributed to a novel published in 1922 by Canadian women’s rights activist Emily Murphy, entitled The Black Candle(Fischer et al, 2003). In this novel, Murphy argued that marijuana was the “new menace”, using American propaganda to frame cannabis as a drug that turned its users into “raving maniacs…liable to kill or indulge in violence…” having the “mentality…of idiots” leading to the “ultimate death of its addicts” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 268). Murphy also linked the drug to “blacks and Orientals” theorizing they used the drug to “seduce white women” and enslave the white race, further linking cannabis to interracial sex and violence (Savelli, 2018a). Fischer et al (2003) argued that her writing “powerfully influenced” government officials to criminalize the substance, but I additionally propose that this piece of propaganda was used to legitimize a mentality rooted in racism and fear of the other. Despite theorizations, researchers still have no concrete legal explanations as to why cannabis was added to the schedule of theOpium and Drug Actin 1923 (Fischer et al, 2003), thus further solidifying this codification as a social phenomenon.

Moving into the mid-1930s, increasing attention was paid to cannabis by Canadian politics and media. Such attention mostly revolved around scares, as there were a mere 25 marijuana offences recorded between 1930 and 1946 in Canada (Fischer et al, 2003). Though its criminalization still relied mostly on moral panic, in the 1950’s cannabis was closely associated with the inner city (Savelli, 2018a). This shifted concerns from being rooted in racist ideologies against Mexicans, to new concerns over urban environments and the inner city (Savelli, 2018a). Despite further codification of cannabis’ evils, specifically in the Narcotic Control Actof 1961 (which outlined maximum sentences of seven years in prison for possession and life imprisonment for supply offences), its popularity was increasing (Fischer et al, 2003). Fischer et al (2003) describe cannabis in the 1960’s as “prevalent symbolically and fashionably, amidst the emerging counter-culture, liberation, and anti-authoritarian movements in that period” (p. 269). Cannabis was also seen to have challenged drug-user stereotypes that previously promoted its criminalization, as users were open and elicit about their use of this drug (Fischer et al, 2003) and its perceived benefits.

During this time of radical hippie culture, social order was once again threatened. Tough on crime political agendas were backed by new addiction science, which suggested that cannabis use may harm well-being, productivity and lead to crime (Fischer et al, 2003). Thus, this once again shifted Canada’s anti-cannabis campaign away from literature based on racial attitudes and fear of the lower class, towards rooting itself in “science” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 269-270). The number of drug arrests for cannabis annually grew from around 10,000 in 1972 to 29,000 in 1974, with most users under twenty-five, white, and from the middle class or wealthy (Fischer et al, 2003). Martel (2006) highlights that during the 1970s, inaction of the federal government on drug related issues was often criticized by the public. In 1973, the BC Alcohol and Drug Commission purported the idea of not just restricting drugs but also focussing on drug dependency or “addiction” (Martel, 2006), thus pushing anxieties of marijuana use to the forefront, causing the previously mentioned sharp increase of arrests in 1974.

Millhorn (2009) notes that Canadians have become even more accepting of marijuana since the 1970s. Yet, as neo-conservatism was on the rise in the mid-1980s and the War on Drugswas in full effect in the United States, there was no intention to revise cannabis prohibition (Fischer et al, 2003). Increasingly, the adverse consequences of criminal prohibition were starting to be viewed as problems bigger than cannabis itself (Fischer et al, 2003), thus prompting both political and social tension amongst Canadians. The introduction of Bill C-7 as a successor to the Narcotic Control Act “generated widespread opposition…from a wide spectrum of witnesses - lawyers, addiction researchers, medical and public health experts, even the Canadian Police Association critiqued the bill for its broad punitive approach to drug use and for its failure to provide for more appropriate cannabis-use control” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 273). As the number of arrests grew, so did criticism over this overly punitive approach, thus prompting interest groups at the turn of the century to push for cannabis’ decriminalization by focusing on its medical capacities (Fischer et al, 2003).

There was even growing pressure from Canadian courts to revise the drug’s criminalization; people who used cannabis for chronic illnesses argued its criminalization was against their right to life, liberty, and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Fischer et al, 2003). This prompted the Ontario Supreme Court in 2000 to declare that federal regulations governing the use of marijuana for medical purposes are unconstitutionalbecause ‘‘although patients can possess marijuana with written permission from their doctor, they currently have no access to a legal supply of the drug’’ (Millhorn, 2009, p. 134). As the notion of medical marijuana grew rapidly in popularity, the Canadian government allowed smaller licensed non-governmental cannabis retailers to distribute the drug through a mail order system, which prompted an upward surge in cannabis dispensaries since 1999 (Bear, 2017). During the early 2000’s, public opinion regarding marijuana use in Canada was evolving. There was almost unanimous support from Canadians for using marijuana medically, and there was 50% support in 2003 for legalizing the drug completely (Fischer et al, 2003). Fischer et al (2003) note that the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugsconcluded that "cannabis in itself poses very little danger to users and to society as a whole" and that "in addition to being ineffective and costly, criminalization leads to a series of harmful consequences" thus recommending legalization in 2002 (p. 277).

In 2015, a new Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau came to power with one of the main promises of their platform being the commitment to legalize cannabis across Canada (Bear, 2017). The potential business industry of cannabis was promising, as this drug could make $22 billion in government revenue based off of the 14 million Canadians who may consume it (Bear, 2017). Not only was this legalization promoted through its economic benefits, but in the words of the Liberal party, “to ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana” (Bear, 2017, p. 97). Becoming what Rehm, Crépault, and Fischer call a “leader as an experimental society” (2016, p. 174), on October 17th, 2018, the Liberal government fulfilled its promise and legalized the recreational use of cannabis on a nation-wide basis. They also birthed their first online recreational cannabis-distribution business, which is said to be moving into brick and mortar stores as cannabis further enjoys its legality during the new year (ontario.ca). Crépault (2018) reflects on the legalization of cannabis, stating that the Canadian government needs to take a public health approach to this endeavor, remaining “aware of [their] position as producer and reproducer of certain discourses and practices” within the nation surrounding this newly legalized drug (p. 13). Deeming public health as a site of power, Crépault further states that the legalization of cannabis should shift social policy to focus on structural factors that underlie drug-related harm rather than commercial interests (2018). He also suggests that cannabis legalization can begin a trend towards analyzing how legalization and regulation may benefit users of other psychoactive substances beyond cannabis, thus purporting the notion that such political shifts could ameliorate social and health related harms associated with substance use (Crépault, 2018). This, Crépault (2018) believes, relies on “legislators, regulators, but also medical and allied health professionals, including public health workers, and other experts” (p. 4).

Conclusively, by analyzing the past hundred years of Canadian attitudes towards cannabis, it is evident that social shifts facilitate the ways that drugs are perceived, thus influencing how such drugs are reflected in political legislation. The arbitrary criminalization of cannabis in 1923 despite little popularity across Canada reflects the ways in which cannabis was racialized into a dangerous menace based off who was using it. Jumping almost one-hundred years into the future to 2018, and the Canadian government is hailed as revolutionary, progressive thinkers for legalizing cannabis’ recreational use thanks to Supreme Court Cases, cannabis’ medical capacities and a shift in social attitudes. In short, few policies relied on scientific evidence of concrete harms or benefits of cannabis when denouncing or endorsing the drug. Rather, the shifts in social attitudes that occurred in the 95 years between criminalization and legalization of cannabis are responsible for such a drastic reversal.

References

Bear, D. (2017). From Toques to Tokes: Two challenges facing nationwide legalization of

cannabis in Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 42, 91-101

Brewley-Taylor, D. (2017). Canada, Cannabis Legalization and Uncertainty Around the United

Nations Drug Control Conventions. Society for the Study of Addiction, 113, 1224-1230.

Crépault, J. F. (2018). Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Reflections on Public Health and the

Governance of Legal Psychoactive Substances. Frontiers in Public Health, 6(220), 1-7.

Fischer, B., Ala-Leppilampi, K., Single, E., & Robins, A. (2003). Cannabis Law Reform in

Canada: Is the “Sage of Promise, Hesitation and Retreat” Coming to an End? Canadian

Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 265-295.

Millhorn, M. (2009). North Americans’ Attitudes Toward Illegal Drugs. Journal of Human

Behaviour in the Social Environment, 19, 125-141.

Ontario Government. (2018). Cannabis Legalization. Retrieved from

https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization

Rehm, J., Crépault, J., & Fischer, B. (2017). The Devil is in the Details! On Regulating Cannabis

Use in Canada Based on Public Health Criteria. International Journal on Health Policy

Management, 6(3), 173-176.

Savelli, M. (2018a). “Narcotics: Racialization and Spatialization”. HLTHAGE 2L03.

Department of Health Studies. McMaster.

Related comments

  • From Connor Christine

    Wow, thank you for sharing! This article is super interesting to me, as I am someone that is new to the cannabis industry within the last few years. Crazy to see how the the view on Cannabis has changed over the last 100 years, and to see where we sit currently in Canada.

  • From Louis

    Can’t wait to see the next 100 years

  • From Brianne Campbell

    Very well said! Knowing the history behind the criminalization of cannabis is the first step in breaking the stigma. Thank you for sharing!

JADEO Consumption and Safety 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Warns Customers of Canada Post Data Breach

In a letter sent to customers, The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) acknowledges that they were made aware of a data breach by Canada Post on November 1st.

About 2% of orders had their information accessed by an individual. Information accessed includes postal codes, the name or initials of the person who signed for the order upon delivery, the date of delivery, the OCS reference number and the Canada Post tracking number.

The delivery address, payment information and contents of the order were not accessed, the OCS said.

“Since November 1, the OCS has worked closely with Canada Post to identify the cause of this issue and to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer delivery information,” CEO Patrick Ford said in the letter.

In a statement released to CityNews, Canada Post acknowledged the breach, saying “both organizations have been working closely together since that time to investigate and take immediate action.

“As a result, important fixes have been put in place by both organizations to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer information.

“We have also shared with OCS that we are confident that the customer who accessed the information only shared it with Canada Post and deleted it without distributing further.”

This breach affects approximately 4500 customers and deals another hard blow to the Ontario Cannabis Store which has been riddled with stock and fulfillment issues since day one.



Related comments

  • From Brianne Campbell

    This is nuts! Can we please replace the private fulfillment company the province hired and work with UPS/FedEx for shipping already?

    • From Janelle Simone

      The OCS is taking hit after hit. Privatization can't come soon enough!

Advertisement

JADEO Canadian Cannabis Market 1 week ago / Toronto, Ontario


Can I Advertise Cannabis On Instagram?

There are two things that all Canadian advertisers need to keep in mind when it comes to advertising cannabis on Instagram. The first is Bill C-45 - the Cannabis Act - and the second is Instagram’s policies.

Instagram’s Terms and Conditions for posting about cannabis aren’t very clear. Instagram suggests that you cannot create posts promoting illegal drug use, but cannabis is legal in Canada so we should be in the clear, right? Wrong. While cannabis is legal in Canada, it’s only legal to advertise to consumers over the age of 18 or 19 years old, depending on the province. However, Instagram is open to anyone that is over the age of 14.

Further along in the Instagram T’s and C’s, we see that Instagram also has the right to take down any content that violates community guidelines. Essentially, Instagram has the right to take down your posts or delete your account at any time based on their ever-changing community guidelines.

Okay, so can you do paid ads on Instagram for cannabis and target Instagram users that are 19+? No, at this time Instagram blocks paid ads for cannabis or that link to a site that mentions cannabis, but you can build your brand organically. Posts, stories, interacting with other Instagram users - these are all things that are fine to do on Instagram. The only thing is, make sure you have a backup plan.

So what are the workarounds?

  1. Make sure your Instagram content is ‘G-rated’. As long as you aren’t posting videos of cannabis consumption, you SHOULD be fine. No promises. Unfortunately, this also means users might have a tough time figuring out just what your brand is and what you do.
  2. Create a backup Instagram account. Many cannabis influencers, such as Natalia Chiles (@hiighvibes), maintain more than one Instagram account because they have had their accounts shut down before.
  3. Post your G-rated content to Instagram, but create your main content on a cannabis-friendly social media site, like JADEO.co, instead. This will allow you to create your content in a safe space, where it won’t be removed.
  4. Skip the hassle of Instagram shutdowns all together and become a thought leader on JADEO. JADEO.co is the best alternative to Instagram for cannabis businesses. You’ll be able to post photos, write articles, and share relevant news stories, all while building a following in a cannabis-positive space.

Related comments

  • From Janelle Simone

    Great tips!

  • From Lindsay Le Blanc

    It's such a complicated landscape of advertising, helpful to have things broken down.

michgrazi Canadian Cannabis Market 1 month ago / Ontario


Explaining Cannabis' Drastic Reversal in Canada

On October 17th, 2018, the Federal Government of Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis nation-wide (ontario.ca). Prior to cannabis’ criminalization, it enjoyed a long history of use for social, religious, and medical purposes (Savelli, 2018a). Despite this, the drug was made illegal in 1923 as outlined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act(Fischer, Ala-Leppilampi, Single & Robins, 2003) without any significant public debate (Savelli, 2018a), even prompting the United Nations to include its criminalization in a drug control treaty signed by Canada (Brewley-Taylor, 2017). Ninety-five years later, and this once illegal drug has come full circle. It is now enjoyed by many Canadians publicly and even grown privately by citizens who are allotted four plants on their property at a time (ontario.ca). I argue that this drastic cultural shift was facilitated by changing social factors coupled with a lack of objective reasoning supporting cannabis’ initial criminalization.

Fischer et al (2003) regard the criminalization of cannabis use in 1923 as “a solution without a problem” (p. 267). They further go on to describe this phenomenon as “a sudden political occurrence, without an apparent rationale, creating criminal status for a drug that would remain virtually unknown and irrelevant for almost three decades” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 266). To provide historical context, prior to the criminalization of cannabis in 1923 was a similar prohibition of opium in 1908 following the Opium Act(Fischer et al, 2003). Scholars argue this legal document was a response to the fear of the migrating Chinese who were associated with opium, prompting not only racial, but economic and moral conflict during a developmental time of industrializing Canada (Fischer et al, 2003). The law is theorised by Fischer et al (2003) to have originated in hopes of containing the “Asian problem”, thus engineering Canadian social order (p. 267). This ideological framework of the criminalization of a substance being associated with racist ideologies is present in the cannabis narrative as well. Its criminalization had less to do with the substance’s harms or potential addictive nature, and more to do with who was using it.

Prior to its criminalization, Fischer et al (2003) remind us that cannabis use was not a significant issue in Canada, avoiding media problematization (unlike opium and cocaine). In the early 1920’s, cannabis use appeared in the Hispanic labour force and within urban populations in the United States (Fischer et al, 2003). Despite this, its moral panic did not begin until the 1930s, when support for drug prohibition was falling and the US Federal Bureau of Narcotics subsequently constructed marijuana as a menace (Fischer et al, 2003), thus further reinforcing the social aspects of this phenomenon that are not unique to Canada. Scholars argue that the advent of marijuana’s criminalization within a Canadian context can be attributed to a novel published in 1922 by Canadian women’s rights activist Emily Murphy, entitled The Black Candle(Fischer et al, 2003). In this novel, Murphy argued that marijuana was the “new menace”, using American propaganda to frame cannabis as a drug that turned its users into “raving maniacs…liable to kill or indulge in violence…” having the “mentality…of idiots” leading to the “ultimate death of its addicts” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 268). Murphy also linked the drug to “blacks and Orientals” theorizing they used the drug to “seduce white women” and enslave the white race, further linking cannabis to interracial sex and violence (Savelli, 2018a). Fischer et al (2003) argued that her writing “powerfully influenced” government officials to criminalize the substance, but I additionally propose that this piece of propaganda was used to legitimize a mentality rooted in racism and fear of the other. Despite theorizations, researchers still have no concrete legal explanations as to why cannabis was added to the schedule of theOpium and Drug Actin 1923 (Fischer et al, 2003), thus further solidifying this codification as a social phenomenon.

Moving into the mid-1930s, increasing attention was paid to cannabis by Canadian politics and media. Such attention mostly revolved around scares, as there were a mere 25 marijuana offences recorded between 1930 and 1946 in Canada (Fischer et al, 2003). Though its criminalization still relied mostly on moral panic, in the 1950’s cannabis was closely associated with the inner city (Savelli, 2018a). This shifted concerns from being rooted in racist ideologies against Mexicans, to new concerns over urban environments and the inner city (Savelli, 2018a). Despite further codification of cannabis’ evils, specifically in the Narcotic Control Actof 1961 (which outlined maximum sentences of seven years in prison for possession and life imprisonment for supply offences), its popularity was increasing (Fischer et al, 2003). Fischer et al (2003) describe cannabis in the 1960’s as “prevalent symbolically and fashionably, amidst the emerging counter-culture, liberation, and anti-authoritarian movements in that period” (p. 269). Cannabis was also seen to have challenged drug-user stereotypes that previously promoted its criminalization, as users were open and elicit about their use of this drug (Fischer et al, 2003) and its perceived benefits.

During this time of radical hippie culture, social order was once again threatened. Tough on crime political agendas were backed by new addiction science, which suggested that cannabis use may harm well-being, productivity and lead to crime (Fischer et al, 2003). Thus, this once again shifted Canada’s anti-cannabis campaign away from literature based on racial attitudes and fear of the lower class, towards rooting itself in “science” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 269-270). The number of drug arrests for cannabis annually grew from around 10,000 in 1972 to 29,000 in 1974, with most users under twenty-five, white, and from the middle class or wealthy (Fischer et al, 2003). Martel (2006) highlights that during the 1970s, inaction of the federal government on drug related issues was often criticized by the public. In 1973, the BC Alcohol and Drug Commission purported the idea of not just restricting drugs but also focussing on drug dependency or “addiction” (Martel, 2006), thus pushing anxieties of marijuana use to the forefront, causing the previously mentioned sharp increase of arrests in 1974.

Millhorn (2009) notes that Canadians have become even more accepting of marijuana since the 1970s. Yet, as neo-conservatism was on the rise in the mid-1980s and the War on Drugswas in full effect in the United States, there was no intention to revise cannabis prohibition (Fischer et al, 2003). Increasingly, the adverse consequences of criminal prohibition were starting to be viewed as problems bigger than cannabis itself (Fischer et al, 2003), thus prompting both political and social tension amongst Canadians. The introduction of Bill C-7 as a successor to the Narcotic Control Act “generated widespread opposition…from a wide spectrum of witnesses - lawyers, addiction researchers, medical and public health experts, even the Canadian Police Association critiqued the bill for its broad punitive approach to drug use and for its failure to provide for more appropriate cannabis-use control” (Fischer et al, 2003, p. 273). As the number of arrests grew, so did criticism over this overly punitive approach, thus prompting interest groups at the turn of the century to push for cannabis’ decriminalization by focusing on its medical capacities (Fischer et al, 2003).

There was even growing pressure from Canadian courts to revise the drug’s criminalization; people who used cannabis for chronic illnesses argued its criminalization was against their right to life, liberty, and security of the person under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Fischer et al, 2003). This prompted the Ontario Supreme Court in 2000 to declare that federal regulations governing the use of marijuana for medical purposes are unconstitutionalbecause ‘‘although patients can possess marijuana with written permission from their doctor, they currently have no access to a legal supply of the drug’’ (Millhorn, 2009, p. 134). As the notion of medical marijuana grew rapidly in popularity, the Canadian government allowed smaller licensed non-governmental cannabis retailers to distribute the drug through a mail order system, which prompted an upward surge in cannabis dispensaries since 1999 (Bear, 2017). During the early 2000’s, public opinion regarding marijuana use in Canada was evolving. There was almost unanimous support from Canadians for using marijuana medically, and there was 50% support in 2003 for legalizing the drug completely (Fischer et al, 2003). Fischer et al (2003) note that the Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugsconcluded that "cannabis in itself poses very little danger to users and to society as a whole" and that "in addition to being ineffective and costly, criminalization leads to a series of harmful consequences" thus recommending legalization in 2002 (p. 277).

In 2015, a new Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau came to power with one of the main promises of their platform being the commitment to legalize cannabis across Canada (Bear, 2017). The potential business industry of cannabis was promising, as this drug could make $22 billion in government revenue based off of the 14 million Canadians who may consume it (Bear, 2017). Not only was this legalization promoted through its economic benefits, but in the words of the Liberal party, “to ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana” (Bear, 2017, p. 97). Becoming what Rehm, Crépault, and Fischer call a “leader as an experimental society” (2016, p. 174), on October 17th, 2018, the Liberal government fulfilled its promise and legalized the recreational use of cannabis on a nation-wide basis. They also birthed their first online recreational cannabis-distribution business, which is said to be moving into brick and mortar stores as cannabis further enjoys its legality during the new year (ontario.ca). Crépault (2018) reflects on the legalization of cannabis, stating that the Canadian government needs to take a public health approach to this endeavor, remaining “aware of [their] position as producer and reproducer of certain discourses and practices” within the nation surrounding this newly legalized drug (p. 13). Deeming public health as a site of power, Crépault further states that the legalization of cannabis should shift social policy to focus on structural factors that underlie drug-related harm rather than commercial interests (2018). He also suggests that cannabis legalization can begin a trend towards analyzing how legalization and regulation may benefit users of other psychoactive substances beyond cannabis, thus purporting the notion that such political shifts could ameliorate social and health related harms associated with substance use (Crépault, 2018). This, Crépault (2018) believes, relies on “legislators, regulators, but also medical and allied health professionals, including public health workers, and other experts” (p. 4).

Conclusively, by analyzing the past hundred years of Canadian attitudes towards cannabis, it is evident that social shifts facilitate the ways that drugs are perceived, thus influencing how such drugs are reflected in political legislation. The arbitrary criminalization of cannabis in 1923 despite little popularity across Canada reflects the ways in which cannabis was racialized into a dangerous menace based off who was using it. Jumping almost one-hundred years into the future to 2018, and the Canadian government is hailed as revolutionary, progressive thinkers for legalizing cannabis’ recreational use thanks to Supreme Court Cases, cannabis’ medical capacities and a shift in social attitudes. In short, few policies relied on scientific evidence of concrete harms or benefits of cannabis when denouncing or endorsing the drug. Rather, the shifts in social attitudes that occurred in the 95 years between criminalization and legalization of cannabis are responsible for such a drastic reversal.

References

Bear, D. (2017). From Toques to Tokes: Two challenges facing nationwide legalization of

cannabis in Canada. International Journal of Drug Policy, 42, 91-101

Brewley-Taylor, D. (2017). Canada, Cannabis Legalization and Uncertainty Around the United

Nations Drug Control Conventions. Society for the Study of Addiction, 113, 1224-1230.

Crépault, J. F. (2018). Cannabis Legalization in Canada: Reflections on Public Health and the

Governance of Legal Psychoactive Substances. Frontiers in Public Health, 6(220), 1-7.

Fischer, B., Ala-Leppilampi, K., Single, E., & Robins, A. (2003). Cannabis Law Reform in

Canada: Is the “Sage of Promise, Hesitation and Retreat” Coming to an End? Canadian

Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 265-295.

Millhorn, M. (2009). North Americans’ Attitudes Toward Illegal Drugs. Journal of Human

Behaviour in the Social Environment, 19, 125-141.

Ontario Government. (2018). Cannabis Legalization. Retrieved from

https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization

Rehm, J., Crépault, J., & Fischer, B. (2017). The Devil is in the Details! On Regulating Cannabis

Use in Canada Based on Public Health Criteria. International Journal on Health Policy

Management, 6(3), 173-176.

Savelli, M. (2018a). “Narcotics: Racialization and Spatialization”. HLTHAGE 2L03.

Department of Health Studies. McMaster.

Related comments

  • From Connor Christine

    Wow, thank you for sharing! This article is super interesting to me, as I am someone that is new to the cannabis industry within the last few years. Crazy to see how the the view on Cannabis has changed over the last 100 years, and to see where we sit currently in Canada.

  • From Louis

    Can’t wait to see the next 100 years

  • From Brianne Campbell

    Very well said! Knowing the history behind the criminalization of cannabis is the first step in breaking the stigma. Thank you for sharing!

JADEO Consumption and Safety 2 months ago / Toronto, Ontario


The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) Warns Customers of Canada Post Data Breach

In a letter sent to customers, The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) acknowledges that they were made aware of a data breach by Canada Post on November 1st.

About 2% of orders had their information accessed by an individual. Information accessed includes postal codes, the name or initials of the person who signed for the order upon delivery, the date of delivery, the OCS reference number and the Canada Post tracking number.

The delivery address, payment information and contents of the order were not accessed, the OCS said.

“Since November 1, the OCS has worked closely with Canada Post to identify the cause of this issue and to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer delivery information,” CEO Patrick Ford said in the letter.

In a statement released to CityNews, Canada Post acknowledged the breach, saying “both organizations have been working closely together since that time to investigate and take immediate action.

“As a result, important fixes have been put in place by both organizations to prevent any further unauthorized access to customer information.

“We have also shared with OCS that we are confident that the customer who accessed the information only shared it with Canada Post and deleted it without distributing further.”

This breach affects approximately 4500 customers and deals another hard blow to the Ontario Cannabis Store which has been riddled with stock and fulfillment issues since day one.



Related comments

  • From Brianne Campbell

    This is nuts! Can we please replace the private fulfillment company the province hired and work with UPS/FedEx for shipping already?

    • From Janelle Simone

      The OCS is taking hit after hit. Privatization can't come soon enough!

Janelle Simone CannaBasics 2 months ago / Scarborough, Ontario


Update: Did Janelle Get Her Order From The OCS?

On the eve of legalization, I stayed up anxiously awaiting the opening of my provinces one and only store - www.ocs.ca. I was able to successfully gain access at 12:01am.
My initial thoughts? It was fairly easy to navigate. Some product segments left a lot to be desired, while others seemed to have a fairly good selection.

The checkout process was quick and seamless, and I was offered the $5 flat shipping fee that had been advertised days before. The checkout process had no mention of Canada's Post potential strike action - so one has to assume the OCS has a plan in place to mitigate any delays as a result.

I do however think this store will be intimidating to persons who are new and exploring. I know www.OCSlearn.ca was launched to help minimize that and provide education, but I still think the info isn't as helpful as they would like it to be.

I did notice that within minutes of the store being open things started selling out immediately. When I finally decided to checkout at about 12:15am items in my cart had to be removed as they were already sold out.

So this brings the question, as Ontario's one and only store, can they in reality keep up with the province's demand? It doesn't seem that way. This provides an opportunity for the black market, which is what legalization was intended to counteract.

Anybody else able to order successfully from the store? What are your thoughts?

****UPDATE****

It's been 11 days since ordering and while my order has been accepted it's still yet to be processed. With the goal in mind that the legalization of cannabis was supposed to inhibit the black market taking 2-3wks to get 3grams of cannabis does not facilitate that goal.

****FINAL UPDATE****

Around the 18th day I got a notice that the products I ordered were in a batch of products that had been incorrectly labelled by the LP's and correcting the error was causing a delay, and that I would receive a refund for my shipping.

After a 28 day wait I finally got a ship notification, and The OCS did same day delivery so I got my order finalllllly. The products I received had minimal packaging in comparison to previous footage I had seen of consumers showing tons of packaging and highlighting the environmental issue. Maybe the OCS took heed and made changes? or perhaps its dependent on the products/brands you buy/

All in all I was satisfied with the products I received. Would I order from the OCS again? I'm not sure, this left such a sour taste in my mouth. Not just the delay but the way in which it was handled from a consumer perspective. So whether I will order from them again or not, I'm not sure yet. I think the disappointment needs to wear off.

Related comments

  • From Connor Christine

    It was a mediocre experience for me. I 100% agree with you that this would be intimidating for those that don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. Hell, I even confused myself a few times. The brand packaging is hard to decipher, and the description of the product is lacking. For those who don’t stay up to date with the law, and don’t understand the restrictions there are on cannabis and cannabis brands... I feel like they will be so confused.

    • From Janelle Simone

      Agreed. I got a little confused too and I have some knowledge so I can only imagine what the experience may be like for someone who is completely new.

  • From Kenneth Joaquin

    Loved reading about your experience. Similar to mine, I logged in at around 1:00 am, just to find that most of the products were sold out. As Connor also mentioned, it was very confusing with regards to packaging. I, myself, am not too familiar with what I was looking for which made it a bit difficult. Ultimately, I purchased a few products and waiting to see how the delivery process goes.

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