Canada Scored A C Average On The Cannabis Legalization Report Card

How Canada Can Improve When It Comes to Legal Cannabis

When the Canadian government legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018, many Canadians were excited. It seemed like a pipe dream. Canadians would be able to get high without the pressure of law enforcement, and there’d be hope for a budding cannabis market, too.

Stoners from Canada’s neighbor down south express jealousy, understandably – especially those coming from states that still have strict anti-cannabis laws.

From the outside looking in, Canada seems like a weed utopia. But is Canada’s cannabis framework all that it’s cracked up to be?

According to a new report from the Cannabis Council of Canada, the legal cannabis industry’s performance is mostly mediocre.


What Is The Cannabis Report Card?

The Cannabis Council of Canada sought feedback from 2,000 Canadians regarding the development, growth, and integrity of the legal cannabis industry. The council is led by former Minister of Health George Smitherman.

The council recently released a report card, grading various issues surrounding cannabis in Canada. Here’s how the country scored.

Canada’s Highest Grade? B+


Canada didn’t earn a single A on the council’s report card, but it did nab a few decent grades.

Among them are support for cannabis legalization, keeping cannabis away from children and youth, government leadership, and justice and law enforcement – all of which scored a B+.

There are plenty of good indicators sprinkled in the report. For example, about 85 percent of Canadians were reported to have a strong awareness of the risks associated with driving under the influence of cannabis.

A Few Factors Earned Average Scores

Three of the report card’s ten factors earned Canada grades in the C range. For jobs and the economy, Canada earned a C+. In other words, the cannabis industry’s job market has had its ups and downs. Many companies had to lay off staff, but sustained growth in the retail sector, which helped offset that initial job loss.

Canada also received a C in consumer awareness and C- in combatting the illicit market. These grades mean that Canada’s plans for a successful cannabis market are moving a little slower than expected.

Here’s Where Canada Needs Improvement

Three of the factors graded in the D range. The first is medical patient access. Some medical patients have reportedly claimed they are being pushed towards unregulated markets to afford cannabis products.


Cannabis amnesty also earned a D grade. About 70 percent of Canadians indicated support for erasing criminal records for cannabis possession, though less than 3 percent of Canadians have had success with the Cannabis Record Suspension Program so far.

The third D grade was earned in the research, development, and innovation category. Research is a difficult process to get moving. With more research licenses hopefully being issued in the future, Canada has a chance to turn these grades around and sustain its position as a global leader in.

Research into cannabis, while improving, is still difficult to conduct. Researchers have called on the government to expedite the issuance of research licenses to sustain the country as a global leader in cannabis research.