On Wednesday, Canada will become the second and by far largest country to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.
While the new rules up north will look familiar in California, where the recreational cannabis market has been legal and growing since Jan. 1, they could accelerate Canada’s already significant role in the marijuana industry in California and the United States at large. Booming Canadian companies already have been buying up U.S. marijuana ventures, and American pot companies have expanded after getting investors from Canadian stock exchanges.
The start of marijuana sales in Canada also presents the first opportunity to study how legalization impacts issues such as public health, crime, road safety and the black market in a large, wealthy nation.
Many policymakers will be waiting to see if Canada will suffer repercussions for violating international treaties that expressly ban legalizing marijuana. And if that doesn’t happen, will other powerful nations — including the United