Have you heard of the USCC? With the USA as our direct neighbours, it’s true we are affected by their lawmaking, and in a big way. We share one of the largest land borders on the planet with these people! It’s about time the U.S. makes cannabis federally legal so us Canadians can start to relax when we want to cross the border. This is why it is great to hear about the launch of the U.S. Cannabis Council, or USCC for short.
The U.S. Cannabis Council exists to promote social equity and end federal weed prohibition. The council is currently comprised of CEOs, company founders and big business people. It is clear that this large, non-for-profit organization is certainly the most influential coalition of its kind in the United States of America, and probably the world.
Who is involved in the USCC?
Some of the brands and companies which are represented in the USCC are:
Acreage Holdings, Flowhub, Keef Brands, Marijuana Policy Project, The Grove Cannabis Dispensary, Native Roots Cannabis Co., PharmaCann, Canopy Growth Corporation, DNA Genetics, MedMen and dozens more.
The mission of the council, from the interim CEO Steve Hawkins, is to be a “unified voice advocating for the rescheduling and legalization of cannabis”.
Christian Sederberg is the acting Board Chairman of the USCC. Mr. Sederberg is also a partner at one of the biggest cannabis law firms in the country. He believes strongly in the importance of the mission of the USCC. He states, “the cannabis industry has mobilized to make our message clear – we must reschedule and legalize cannabis, and it’s critical that it is done the right way… After so many years working towards meaningful reform, it’s inspiring to see the diverse group of partners who have formed this collective voice, and together, we are hopeful that true, meaningful federal cannabis form is within reach.”
As Canadians, the formation of the USCC is sweet nectar to our ears. Organizations like this reach for a world that makes our border crossings easier. Furthermore, letting us easily smoke weed on holiday down south. However, the sentiment is also a little bittersweet. Here in Canada, cannabis has been legal since October of 2018. Unfortunately, the hopes of the underground cannabis industry of integration into a legal space were in vain. These grassroots, activist-based organizations and dispensaries spent years, some decades, working and pushing for legalization. Only to be pushed aside in the final moments.
Where is the transition?
This disenfranchised group does not have a clear pathway to transition into the white market, and to legal sales, or, as Mr. Sederberg puts it, ‘meaningful reform’. The Canadian government decided anyone in any kind of authority or ownership position in the grey market was the leader of a criminal enterprise. Therefore, they believe these people shouldn’t be allowed to operate a legal dispensary. Even though they are the reason we are here in the first place. Sigh. This closes to door firmly shut for long-standing, knowledgeable cannabis professionals who grow incredible cannabis. Many years of experience inform these canna-pros of what their customers need; backed up by years of sales trends. In the current legal space, the door is shut for these people. However, the door swings wide open for big business, deep pockets and total ignorance of what quality cannabis looks like.
Decades of experience in the field not utilized by the legal market
Large scale ‘licensed producers’ striking multi-million dollar supply deals with provinces before ever even growing one cannabis plant. The master growers of the black market possess decades of experience, however they are criminals through the eyes of the federal government. Therefore it was no surprise that these companies experienced huge setbacks and losses in their first forays into growing, which, even under the best circumstances, is a tricky task.
Hopefully in the next decade of the blooming cannabis industry, the restrictions will loosen. Real professionals will hopefully enter the industry again and move it in the right direction. A direction of inclusivity and growth. That is, the growth of high quality Canadian cannabis.