Brett Wilson: We expect the NHL to be very strict on cannabis
W. Brett Wilson doesn’t often give the Liberal government credit, but he’s willing to make an exception for cannabis legalization.
“When Trudeau decided to legalize cannabis - and I would give the federal Liberals credit for one file in about 20 – but the one file they did get right was cannabis,” the Canoe Financial chairman told BNN Bloomberg on Friday.
“I always believed that the size of the market was multiples of what the government was forecasting – the $5-6 billion – based on anecdotal evidence, conversations with friends left, right and centre, it was pretty obvious to me. I believe the Liberals got in on the strength of their cannabis platform.”
However, Wilson said that there’s still work to be done on the regulatory side once legalization occurs on Oct. 17.
“There’s still some questions to come,” Wilson said. “The cities are saying: ‘We don’t want people smoking outside.’ Well someone could take an edible and never demonstrate any smoking outside, so to speak.”
“So there’s still confusion over regulatory environment, compliance, workplace safety, road and transportation safety. Those things are all still evolving and evolving rapidly.”
Part of that evolution was highlighted by the Canadian military’s new restrictions, announced Friday. Members of the Armed Forces will not be allowed to consume cannabis while on duty, but use of recreational marijuana will be allowed as long as members follow the federal and provincial laws. Military members could face discipline or even charges for breaking the new slate of rules.
Wilson also said regulations are still being contemplated when it comes to one of his side ventures. Wilson is a minority owner of the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators and said he expects the league to take a firm stance on cannabis.
“I actually don’t know where the NHL is relative to [its cannabis policy], but I suspect they’ll come down fairly firmly on the side of no product in the [players’] system, whatsoever,” he said.
However, he said it’s not a point that’s come up so far.
“It hasn’t come up as a conversation, either at the management/ownership level, and certainly not in the very few conversations I’ve had with players,” he said.
“We talk about hockey, not cannabis.”