NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said cannabis-infused edibles should already be legal in Canada alongside other pot products, rather than in one year, when legislation says those ingestible products can become available on the Canadian market.
“I’m of the belief of full legalization immediately – and the federal government doing the research and the work to make sure that the suggestions around regulations, safe quantities and other details are addressed … so that good decisions can be made on the provincial level,” Singh told BNN Bloomberg in an interview Friday.
The Cannabis Act, which allowed for cannabis to be legalized for recreational use on Oct. 17, includes a provision that cannabis-infused edibles such as cookies or beverages be made available for sale one year later.
“If we should legalize, we should legalize everything entirely,” Singh said.
This isn’t the first time a member of the NDP voiced this sentiment. Last year, NDP MP Don Davies said the extra year of cannabis-infused product prohibition wasn’t needed because Canadians are still likely to purchase those goods but through unregulated channels.
A recent report by cannabis data provider Grizzle forecasts that edibles will be a billion-dollar business in Canada within the next two years. The market for non-flower cannabis in the U.S. is worth at least US$3 billion with candies, beverages and baked goods making up about 15 per cent of that total, or about US$450 million, Grizzle found.
Singh added that he’s focused on ensuring that people should have criminal records related to cannabis expunged, or erased completely, rather than be granted pardons, which is what the ruling Liberal Party has recommended in order to expedite the processing of pardons for people with minor cannabis-related crimes.
“It’s a travesty and a historical injustice,” Singh said. “If you look at folks who have been stopped for personal possession of cannabis, [it’s mostly] been Indigenous communities and racialized communities … even though the use has been the same across all demographics.”