Canada’s Liberal Party had an unforgettable election night on Monday, gaining a majority of seats in parliament and a new prime minister in Justin Trudeau, the untested 43-year-old former schoolteacher who is the son of Canadian political legend and longtime prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
The Canadian election results are trending this morning for a number of reasons — but one of the election’s down-ticket issues, the recreational legalization of cannabis, is already dominating many of today’s day-after headlines.
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And for good reason. In late-September, Trudeau said a Liberal government would get to work “right away” on policy that would legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana if they took power on election night.
And here we are on the day after the election with these headlines:
From The Guardian: “Justin Trudeau’s Canada victory is also a win for the nation’s marijuana industry.”
From The Independent: “Justin Trudeau: The rise of the feminist and pro-choice Canadian Prime Minister who wants to legalise marijuana ‘right away’.”
From Vox: “Canada’s newly elected Liberals may legalize marijuana. That could impact US drug policy.”
While Uruguay has already moved toward its own legalization model, making it the first of its kind in the world, the South American country is struggling to implement a regulated system. So will Canada beat Uruguay to the punch? Some pro-legalization industry insiders are already looking forward to an international cannabis market.
“While U.S. states led the way by becoming the first places in the world to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2012, it looks like Canada could soon leapfrog ahead of us and become the first country in North America to legalize cannabis nationwide,” legalization advocate Tom Angell said. “If that happens, it’s not only good news for Canadians who will be able to purchase marijuana from legal and regulated storefronts instead of being treated like criminals. It’s also likely to give reform efforts in the U.S. a bit of a boost — not that we really needed it, but a little friendly competition is always a good motivator.
“And legalization in Canada is also a first step to all kinds of interesting implications, like the prospect of President Obama’s successor discussing international marijuana trade issues with his or her Canadian counterpart in the not-too-distant future. It’s no longer a pipe dream to imagine a day when consumers and growers in Washington State and British Columbia, for example, could be ordering each other’s wares on the Internet for cross-border shipment.”
Angell had already taken to Twitter to celebrate on Monday evening.
Legal marijuana is coming to Canada. Congrats, Justin Trudeau. #elexn42 #cdnpoli
— Tom Angell (@tomangell) October 20, 2015
And he wasn’t alone.
Justin Trudeau wins Canada election. Canada could become the 2nd country to legalize marijuana. Mazel tov, Canada! https://t.co/gMIp5QTQ4w
— Ethan Nadelmann (@ethannadelmann) October 20, 2015
Congrats @JustinTrudeau You've won a full majority, and no excuse not to keep your campaign promises. Electoral reform, Marijuana, C-51, etc
— Ajay Fry (@AjayFry) October 20, 2015
If Justin Trudeau wins and his liberals win, that means marijuana will be legalized in Canada. I don't smoke dope but still cool
— EIGHT THOUGHTS (@Eight_Thoughts) October 20, 2015
When might this actual change take place? Judging from the Canadian stock market’s activity this morning, there’s already tangible change happening.
From The Guardian’s piece:
Among the biggest corporate winners from Justin Trudeau’s surprise victory in the Canadian election is the nation’s cannabis industry.
Shares in all of Canada’s major listed cannabis companies surged on Tuesday, as the market reacted to Trudeau’s pledge to legalise recreational cannabis use.
Canopy Growth Corp, the country’s biggest producer, saw its shares spike as high as 21% when the markets opened the morning after the Liberal’s victory party. Shares in the company, which owns medical marijuana brands Tweed and Bedrocan, had already risen by 29% in the past week.
Bruce Linton, chief executive of Canopy Growth, which claims to provide to 20% of Canada’s medical cannabis users, said: “I think what you’ll see perhaps, after this election … is a recognition that there is an opportunity to collect taxes on something that is already being sold into the market illegally or illicitly.”