Op-Ed By Grace Shaw, The Mob’s Press

Cannabis. The sheer mention of it incites controversy.

It has the power to spark intelligent conversation and debate, influence social justice and politics, and evoke a myriad of emotions for many depending on your generation and frame of reference.

Whether you love it or loathe it, One thing still remains: the topic of cannabis is highly relevant and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. 

Canada has anticipated the day when it would see this reality come to full fruition. The long awaited arrival of the legalization of cannabis will be in full effect on October 17th 2018.

We will be the second nation after Uruguay to take this step. Working out how most of the fine details that are going to affect our consumers is largely up to the 10 provinces, and this consequently leaves the federal government staring at a formidable to-do list.

Thus far it is Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick that have offered up ideas of how they will operate and regulate their marijuana markets.

For some this is a godsend, and for others the enthusiasm isn’t as overwhelming.

The released details surrounding what places/areas will be 420 friendly are very accommodating and reasonable. The province of Ontario plans to have 40 fully operational stores by October 2018, and foresees 50 by the year 2020. The first four stores will be located in Toronto, Kingston, Guelph, and Thunder Bay. It will be very interesting to see how these continued shifts will influence our society and government.

This is a very promising opportunity for improving local economies.

So what is this going to mean for us going forward?

This means more jobs for Canadians

For example, in Calgary Alberta, where I am located – Calgarians have already been eagerly lining up for potential job opportunities in the Cannabis Industry at the job fair held by new retail company 420 Premium Market in the BMO Centre at Stampede Park.

The grocery store, liquor stores, and gas station retailers have also received city approval for around 11 locations and the approval process is still unfolding.

When all of this is finally implemented Albertan’s will be able to purchase products through privately run retail stores, or government operated online sales. There will only be one online store to purchase your pot through which is a website operated by the AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.) This decision was allegedly due to concerns raised by Albertan’s about strict control over the age verification processes.

Home delivery is a promised feature to be available through some official government website(s) and in addition to this, consumers will be permitted 30 grams of cannabis per transaction and legal possession.

Similar to tobacco products, educational flyers, information signage and warning labels will be embedded in the retail stores; to encourage informed responsible use.

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Although our knowledge of this whimsically healing plant may abound, I’m sure there is still so much to discover about the many faces of marijuana. Despite the former onslaught of attacks against recreational and medicinal legalization it is now abundantly clear that these efforts will not prevail.

Aside from it’s psychoactive and medicinal benefits it is no secret that weed is an extremely valuable modality for restoring the human body. As co-founder of Rethink Breast Cancer, Alison Gordon is credited with growing a new generation of young breast cancer supporters, compelled by her groundbreaking communication and pharmaceutical expertise in the healthcare realm. Today, Alison is applying her skills to business plan in this new era of the cannabis industry. She is on the Board of Directors for 48North’s the Cannabis Canada Council. For more information on what Alison is doing you can visit her website here.

There was a time when this reality seemed distant and unlikely, with so many fears surrounding how it would affect our society, and if we would simply degrade like stereotypical couch potatoes.

It is promising to see how far we have come in our views surrounding legalization and it reflects how we are evolving past our former seeds of doubt. I truly believe that this suggests a massive shift in global consciousness far greater than anything proceeding it.

This is a hugely historical change for us and it’s vital for to remember that cannabis isn’t inherently evil. Money isn’t inherently evil. Guns aren’t inherently evil.

I don’t think things of these nature are ever inherently bad, it’s simply the intentional force behind them that determines whether they are good or evil.

It is our responsibility to set an example with the decisions we make and to set our personal boundaries in a way that is healthy.

As long as you don’t let substances run your life or control you than it’s okay to indulge with moderation.

What will be next for our country?

Only time will tell.