When Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, many viewed it as a ground-breaking model for the rest of the world. After all, it was the first major industrialized nation to create a comprehensive program to move cannabis from a long-standing illegal product that benefited criminal enterprises to a safe, highly regulated market.
However, five years on and the shine has worn off. Canada’s ground-breaking model is showing cracks. In several aspects, state-led cannabis programs in the United States are already advancing far beyond what Canada is doing.
Unlike more innovative programs in the United States, Canada has failed to embrace the technology needed to analyze and oversee this vast, complex market. A lack of visibility into what’s driving the current challenges in Canada’s cannabis market is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in forgone revenue and limiting policymakers’ ability to make good decisions.