Canada’s first year of cannabis legalization going out on a high

It was the advice given many times to maiden pot users, emboldened by Canadian legalization to take their first tokes over the past year:

“Start low and go slow.”

But that urging for baptismal moderation on an individual level — particularly regarding concentrations and consumption of the plant’s psychoactive THC component — could easily pass as a description of the entire cannabis rollout.

As the country approaches the first anniversary of legal weed on Oct. 17, a look back reveals that many important elements of the deployment appeared to lurch and stagger over their first steps.

From persistent supply shortages, to tardy store openings, to lagging online delivery times, the industry straggled through the ballyhoo of hype and anticipation that accompanied legalization.

“It was a slow process on many levels,” Rod Elliot, a cannabis watcher and senior vice-president of Toronto consulting firm Global Public Affairs, told the Star. “But in many ways the problems we encountered were pretty much predictable.”

Among the important aspects of legalization that have been slow to materialize is the more muscular “drugged-driving” traffic enforcement that many Canadians had demanded in the lead-up to the new laws.

One of the most persistent worries expressed nationwide as the enabling Bills C-45 and C-46 were being developed and debated was that legal weed would cause chaos on the roads.

Read more at The Toronto Star

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