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From aluminum to zinc and everything in between, join BNN for the latest insight into the hot world of commodities and the companies that produce them, including interviews with mineral and mining entrepreneurs from Canada and around the globe. Whether it's a gold play in the Andes or a hot offshore oil prospect, BNN has you covered on commodities. 

 

Email: commodities@bnn.ca

Apr 13, 2017

'First day of the rest of reality' for legalized cannabis: Canopy Growth CEO

Canopy Growth CEO: 'First day of the rest of reality' for legalized marijuana

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The head of Canada’s largest publicly-traded cannabis company believes, when it comes to regulating legalized recreational marijuana, legislators will likely find a happy medium between alcohol and cigarettes. In an interview on BNN, Canopy Growth Chief Executive Officer Bruce Linton said he expects lawmakers will use Thursday’s announcement as a framework for legalization, and will develop a more sophisticated system as talks with provinces and industry players evolve.

“This is the first day of the rest of reality for Canada in terms of managing this,” he said. “I think what they’re setting out is a framework that we’re all going to evolve through just like we did for the medical system.”

Linton said constant deliberations and meetings will be the key to developing a functional and secure system.

“When we started back in 2013 creating a medical system, the regulator and the regulated met probably once a week to go through ‘how will we change the security protocol, how will we manage things like the measurement of weights through the whole system?’” Linton said. “I think what’s going to happen is there’s going to be a lot of evolution, a lot of discussion, and there’s going to be a lot of ‘how do we manage this?’”

Linton said he anticipates recreational cannabis rules will ultimately be somewhere between that of two other government-regulated substances.

“[I think] it’s going to land somewhere between cigarettes, where the downside exceeds any taxes, and alcohol, where we’re saying ‘manage it, and do responsible things.’ I bet we land about the middle,” he said. “I think it will be a good outcome, because we won’t have strawberry-flavoured stuff targeting kids, but we will have clear packaging.”

Speculation the federal government will mandate plain packaging has caused much consternation among industry players, who argue they would be unable to differentiate their product from that sold on the black market.

Linton said he’s hopeful the new regulations won’t interfere with his company’s business relationship with Snoop Dogg, which is considered a key brand differentiation.

“There was a bit of a hedge there: in the event that we weren’t going to be permitted [branding], and I think we will under these rules, he just won’t be able to show a lifestyle…a surfboard kind of ad,” Linton said. “I think we’ll be able to continue working with him.”

“Really, we looked at it and said ‘if we’re not allowed to in the future, [it’s very hard for] everybody who knows Tweed and Snoop Dogg are associated [to] forget that.’”