October 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of Canada’s cannabis legalization framework, and many have taken the opportunity to opine on its progress. A common theme is that one year in, legalization is “a dud” because the black market remains strong. In this type of analysis, the persistence of the black market seems to be the main criterion for assessing legalization. But Bill C-45 had two main objectives: not just replacing the illicit market with a legal, regulated market, but also mitigating the health impacts of cannabis legalization. This latter objective often seems to be an afterthought.
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