Report: MMJ producers would also supply Canada’s rec program

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Canada’s 36 federally licensed medical marijuana producers would become the initial cultivators for the country’s proposed legalized recreational program under a plan delivered to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sources told the Globe and Mail newspaper.

A task force responsible for recommending how the country’s proposed marijuana legalization system will be regulated delivered its report to Trudeau’s government Wednesday. But the proposals won’t be made public for several weeks, the newspaper reported.

The report recommended a heavily regulated adult-use production system and that the “final word” for distribution would be given to the governments of Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories, according to the paper’s sources.

The provincial and territorial governments also regulate how alcohol and tobacco are sold within their borders, with some allowing private distribution and others maintain state-run stores for alcohol and tobacco.

The Trudeau-led government has said it will introduce legalization legislation in spring 2017 for recreational marijuana. Medicinal cannabis was legalized in Canada in 2001.

The government’s legalization team will have to contend with competing pressures to provide safe cannabis access, which is something existing MMJ producers say they are already doing, and resist being dominated by corporate cannabis, the Globe and Mail reported.

Led by one-time Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan, the nine-person task force included medical, law enforcement and academic experts.