The NDP has a unique opportunity to capitalize on the explosion of the cannabis sector by running on a platform of unionizing the Cannabis industry in Canada. This sector has seen an explosion of very few really huge companies that were primed by the tweaks made under Stephen Harpers administration. A snapshot of the corporate marijuana-monopoly-oligarchy seedlings from that tweak in legislation is the following:
“April 2014, the Medical Marijuana Access Program was replaced by the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (or MMPR) by Health Canada. Under the MMPR, legal medical cannabis production is authorized to licensed producers whom Health Canada maintains a public database of. Patients wishing to fulfill a medical cannabis prescription must register with and order from a licensed producer of their choice. To receive prescription for medical cannabis, a patient must obtain a medical document from a healthcare practitioner and obtain Authorization to Possess from Health Canada. Individuals with an Authorization to Possess valid on March 21, 2014 fall under a grandfather clause and may hold a maximum quantity of dried herbal cannabis as specified by their Authorization to Possess or 150 grams, whichever is less.
During the time period between the slight switch made in legislation during the the final throes of the decade long Conservative reign; they also bottle-necked the process of companies applying for permits to be part of this new structure in which production was aimed to be moved to legal corporate regulated facilities.
For a key time frame in which a significant amount of the seed money from customers was obtained; those few corporations that got in very early or bought companies that did (only around 20-30 with only a few big players) set up a situation in which they are profiting from legislation they helped craft that allowed them to take over an existing market. The rest (hundreds) were stuck in bureaucratic limbo.
These early entrants (Canopy for example) were the best positioned companies to prove themselves at the day of legalization; and they failed miserably! They created an incredibly absurd amount of packaging for something that has always just come in a zip-lock or paper bag. They charged far too much for it before legalization but still half what would be paid “on the street”. For some strains. The ones that helped, for me, anyway. After legalization they disappeared. Some returned; with a tweaked label and a doubled price. For shame!
Those early companies that offered affordable medical cannabis are the same ones that doubled the price on strains purchased for years by the customers that seeded their company with the money they grew to monopolize the legal market. The Liberals left just enough time to say they were “working on it” then legalized it a year before re-election.
That handsome bastard set in stone the corporate background hand-jibbering that goes on in these situations as the usual way of doing business. This whole sector existed for decades. Since prohibition. All legalization did under the Liberals is steal money from local economies and use it to line government coffers and corporate bank accounts.
So. Unionize. Shut down the bloody pulp mills and pipelines and cover our breathtaking country in weed plants. We can literally use every part of the plants we grow in industries that have been held by by decades of absurd prohibition. Anyone notice how Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer hasn’t said anything about messing with the new cannabis laws?
I cannot help but wonder why that is…
Is it perhaps because he spent his thirties in minor (albeit significant) positions of power; using that influence to nudge his dear leader and his cause. The leader that dodged questions as much as any lying world leader; he just did it intelligently and craftily; coldly and without and semblance of feeling or soul. Kinda like this.
Anyway; as stated earlier – Dear Leader Harper set up the situation that has played out into a corporate monopoly. Just like the dominoes that the Conservatives set up in 2014 were meant to tumble gracefully into. Poof.
What do you think is going to happen when the United States legalizes? They did it state-wise first. We did it nationally first; but we really should take care not to underestimate this anticipated economic boom of international legalization. We could perhaps maybe possibly have millions of more bails of premium organic cannabis than we could ever consume in our country ready just in case the green-rush-floodgates on the American market open up the year after our election. Who do we want capitalizing on our cannabis market; let alone when the floodgates of money start flowing in from international buyers in commonwealth countries.
Prime the situation to benefit the individuals collectively; skilled tradespeople ready to go as soon as this grows. Skilled tradespeople with high paying production jobs as employees with extensive benefits packages and vacation time with a focus on positively contributing to our families and communities through legally enforced work-life balance and great wages by growing massive amounts of amazing pot in as micro or as macro a farm as they wish to build and work.
Then we export it.
The reason we unionize now is so that when that happens; the money doesn’t go into some shell company or into some investors fucking dividends. Fuck that. That money belongs in the same local economies that it has always existed in. If anything; a push should be made to ensure local organic cannabis is available to everyone. We must ensure that our money stays in the hands of our communities. Period.
Spent in our restaurants. Donated to charities. Encouraging entrepreneurship.
Unionize workers; pot shop and dispensary owners; but also people who work for the big corporate giants.
Remove / pardon / erase past convictions for non-violent drug offences.
Run on that platform, Jagmeet.
P.S. – Don’t vote for this Andrew goof. Look at him. He’s so goofy.