Why Marijuana Legalization Is Getting The Cold Shoulder From Canadian Executives

Ron Strider

Well-Known Member
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised marijuana legalization in his 2015 campaign, and he's making good on that promise. By July 2018, our neighbors to the North are expected to legalize recreational cannabis throughout the country.

Trudeau made the promise because it had broad support from the people. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Nanos Research/CTV News, 66% of Canadian voters either supported or somewhat supported legalizing recreational marijuana.

However, Canadian executives, particularly in the oil sector, aren't happy...

Canadian oil companies are concerned about their employees operating under the influence of marijuana.

Several industry leaders base their opposition on experiences in the Colorado oil industry, a state where marijuana is legal for medical and recreational use. According to a May 1 CBC News report, Precision Drilling CEO Kevin Neveu said his company has failed more workers in Colorado for drug use after legalization than before.

He also said costs have increased for employees who need drug counselling or for workers who fail a drug test and must be sent home.

And according to CBC News, the drug tests can be very expensive. Randomly drug-testing employees can cost anywhere from $85 to $325 per test.

Enform, an oil industry training organization, also criticized Trudeau in April for failing to cover how workplace regulations can be unified from province to province. Mark Salkeld, the president of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, told CBC News that marijuana legalization in Canada poses an even bigger problem for the oil industry than other sectors because of the harsh operating environments of oil fields.

These are legitimate concerns that need to be addressed.

However, it won't derail the pot stock boom that is about to take place in Canada.

Because cannabis will be legal across the country, medical marijuana sales are expected to skyrocket. Statista projects medical marijuana sales in Canada in 2017 will reach $233 million. By 2020, that will increase 217% to $739 million.

According to CIBC World Markets, marijuana tax revenue from all marijuana sales could be $5 billion annually in Canada if illegal cannabis sales are curtailed.

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