Is Justin Trudeau overrated

Canada in the grass frenzy

As the first leading industrial country in the world, Canada has now legalized the cultivation and sale of cannabis. The business with the products of the supposed miracle plant is already flourishing.

Smith Falls - It almost looks like an ordinary nursery - if it weren't for some special features. All the workers in the greenhouse, who tear the leaves from the one-meter-high plants and throw them into plastic bags, wear hairnets and gloves, and many also wear face masks. Visitors must put on a protective suit. A chip card with a security code is the door opener. Safety and hygiene are important. Because a sensitive commodity grows here: cannabis.

The greenhouse is owned by Tweed, a major Canadian producer of medicinal marijuana. Tweed and parent company Canopy Growth Corporation are based here in Smith Falls, a small town west of the capital Ottawa. Both are expanding. It grows and thrives on around 17,000 square meters in more than 30 halls. Soon the acreage in Smith Falls alone will be twice as large. The Canopy holding, with its more than a dozen daughters, owns around 100,000 square meters of licensed cannabis cultivation space. With the expansions that have already started and those planned, the aim is to have more than 560,000 square meters of acreage in a few years, says a spokesman.

Personal possessions are limited to 30 grams

The cannabis expansion has the blessing of Canadian lawmakers. As of October 17th, the drug will be completely legal to sell and use in Canada. Both houses of parliament have approved a corresponding law. So that the law can finally come into force, the governor general of the country has to give her okay - a purely formality. The new regulation stipulates that adult citizens can buy hashish by ordering or in authorized shops. Personal possessions are limited to 30 grams.

The cannabis business has been promising for a long time. The use of products made from the intoxicating plant has been permitted for medical purposes such as pain therapy since 2001. There are currently around 200,000 cannabis patients in Canada. The investment house Eight Capital estimates that there will be four times as many in 2024. In mid-2016 there were around 30 companies in Canada that had licenses to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes. There are currently 90 who are confident that they will soon benefit from the demand for “recreational marijuana”.

The local job market is flourishing

Convinced that there would be changes in the legislation, Canopy founder Bruce Linton was looking for a production facility back in 2012 - and found it in Smith Falls. The 51-year-old, who comes from the telecommunications industry, believed in his chance: “The city had lost hundreds of jobs, but there were still large empty halls with a connection to the electricity network. Exactly what we needed. ”His planning worked. In the past year alone, the number of employees in Smith Falls doubled to around 350. “Our city is benefiting from this development,” says June Forsyth, who works where the flowers are dried and vacuum-packed. She puts a bag on a pallet. Content: marijuana.

Hashish made to order or in authorized stores

Despite the economic importance cannabis can acquire, legalization of marijuana is primarily driven by other considerations. The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to dry up the illegal market, deprive organized crime of profit, control sales and, if possible, prevent minors from consuming the substance. “It was too easy for our children to get hold of marijuana - and for criminals to make a profit from it. Today we are changing that, ”Trudeau wrote after the last parliamentary vote on Twitter.

The average base price for a gram of marijuana will be between seven and nine dollars (up to six euros). A consumption tax of one Canadian dollar (0.65 euros) per gram is to be levied, plus value added tax of around 13 percent. Three quarters of the tax revenue from sales goes to the provincial coffers, the rest to the federal government.

In Germany, where medical marijuana can only be obtained from pharmacies, the price per gram is around twice as high. Canopy supplies 900 pharmacies in this country through its subsidiary Spektrum Canabis in Sankt Leon-Rot in Baden-Württemberg. In mid-2016, the Canadians had received a license from the German authorities for export and were able to start deliveries in March 2017 after the approval of medical marijuana consumption in Germany.

If you don't want to smoke the substance, you can take capsules

The sweet smell of stoner doesn’t strike you at the cannabis farm in Smith Falls, Canada. "You need a source of heat so that the active ingredients can develop," explains Caitlin O’Hara, who leads visitors through the halls. “So if you're sitting in the office and working, or working the plants and packing flowers, there's no risk of getting high,” she says. O’Hara is convinced of the benefits of cannabis products from her own experience. A few years ago she suffered a back injury and treated herself with cannabis.

Doubts about the medicinal effect

Critics point out, however, that cannabis should not be overestimated as a herbal miracle cure: There are only a few scientific studies on the success of treatments with cannabis. Eight Capital is not deterred by this. The investment house sees “an evolving growth story” in the sector. It estimates that marijuana use could be worth the equivalent of six billion euros, with two billion euros for medical purposes.

A cart full of bags of cannabis flowers is pushed past the visitors. An employee opens the thick steel door to the vault. All products are stored in this specially secured hall. "As secure or even more secure than a vault in a bank," says Caitlin O’Hara. The supplies are growing slowly. They want to be ready to supply the market by the middle of the year.

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