Potential Delay in Legalization Doesn’t Faze Canada’s Top Pot Producer

The 420 Day festival on the lawns of Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on April 20, 2017. 

Photographer: David Kawai/Bloomberg

A potential delay in Canada’s plans to legalize recreational pot won’t kill the buzz for the nation’s burgeoning industry, according to its largest marijuana producer.

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government initially hoped to legalize marijuana by July, the fate of the law’s passage remains unclear because of delays in the Senate. Trudeau’s representative in the Senate this week threatened to try and fast-track it if the chamber moves too slowly.

“I never thought it was going to be July 1,” Canopy Growth Corp. Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton said Wednesday by phone, adding that legalization will probably occur by Aug. 1. “After 80 or so years of prohibition, I don’t find 30 days all that meaningful.”

Senators may “fuss” with the plans for a while so that legalization is delayed for a few weeks, but there isn’t any political will to have cannabis become an election issue, Linton said. Every additional minute the Smith Falls, Ontario-based company has to prepare before the market opens will help it build inventory to fulfill orders, he said.

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