US (NY): What Buffalo Niagara can learn from Canada's cannabis industry experiment

As New York State gets ready to kick off the legal pot industry, cannabis industry professionals from Ontario have a few suggestions to bear in mind. Put simply, they said: Learn from our mistakes.

It’s been three years since the Cannabis Act of 2018 legalized the growth and sale of cannabis in Canada, and the city of Hamilton has seen both the positives and the negatives from the law and the regulatory framework that was put in place. The city went from about 80 illicit pot businesses to more than 100 legal retail stores.

There’s been a huge growth in capital investment in greenhouses and production facilities – both from new construction and repurposing abandoned buildings. And there are job opportunities for hundreds of workers.

"When in our lives do we have a chance to join a brand new industry? It’s a fabulous occasion for people to learn new careers because there aren’t that many people that have experience," said Karine Cousineau, director of government relations and sustainability for the Green Organic Dutchman, a publicly traded cannabis company that was started in Hamilton but is now based in Mississauga.


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