Cannabis Legalization: A Year in Review

It has been nearly a year and a half since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018. The government said that legalization was primarily intended to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth and to fight back against organized crime.

Today on BTH, we look back at cannabis legalization – can we look at this effort as a success? How have the different provinces decided to set up their systems?

We were joined by Senator Tony Dean, and Professor Michael J Armstrong from Brock University to discuss how legalization has unfolded and what still needs to be done to improve the system.

Tony Dean was appointed to the Senate of Canada as an Independent Senator in November 2016. He was formerly a professor at the graduate School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto, and is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. Dean has advised governments in Canada, and internationally, on public administration and public service reform and has chaired several expert panels at the federal and provincial levels. In 2017-2018 Dean sponsored Bill C-45, the Cannabis Legalization Bill, in the Senate of Canada.

Michael J. Armstrong is an associate professor of operations research in the Goodman School of Business at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He frequently writes about Canada’s cannabis legalization efforts, especially how government regulations interact with business practices to support or undermine policy goals.

Special thanks to Senior Producers Aryeh Ansel and Erin Anderson-Birmingham, Junior Producer Haobo Chen, and Executive Director Vienna Vendittelli for producing this episode.

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