Chamber urges cannabis industry support and consumer education

Chamber urges cannabis industry support and consumer education

October 18, 2022 Off By administrator

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The federal government should encourage growth of the legal cannabis market and increase consumer education, says the president of the Brantford-Brant Chamber of Commerce.

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“By encouraging strong growth of the legal market for cannabis products, we can help our community displace the illegal market and the associated criminal elements that come along with it,” Paul Bisanti said.

But Bisanti said the chamber also is calling for increased funding for research and education for adult consumers of cannabis products.

The chamber recognizes that legal cannabis retailers, producers and the associated industry represent a small percentage of the economy, he said.

“More broadly, our community is struggling to manage a subset of the population that struggles with addictions and mental health,” Bisanti said “Having said that, the genie is out of the bottle in terms of recreational cannabis use, and we need to be a voice for responsible consumption and well managed growth of the sector as the legal market displaces the illegal market.”

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He said the chamber recognizes that the cannabis sector of the economy is a new and burgeoning one.

“Since Canada became the first G7 nation to adopt legal recreational use, we have a unique opportunity to explore the commercial upsides to a commodity market that has the potential to grow at exceptionally strong rates as other jurisdictions consider similar legislation.”

However, recreational cannabis sales cannot be uncoupled from concerns about responsible use and educational and legislative gaps that accompany any new sector, Bisanti said.

He said the proliferation of Internet connected smart devices requires new cyber-crime related legislation. New provisions for online gaming in Ontario similarly test the robustness of the legislative framework surrounding gambling in Ontario, he said.

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The federal government legalized, regulated and restricted access to cannabis  in October 2018. It is now conducting a review of the legislation, which will cover a range of issues, including public safety, access to cannabis for medical reasons, as well as education and awareness to support informed choices. Input is being sought from a variety of sources, including the public, provincial and territorial governments, the cannabis industry and public safety agencies.

In Brantford, there has been a huge growth in retail cannabis stores. The Alcohol…

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