October 29, 2020

Marijuana legalization Bill seeks to shame Canadian cannabis investors

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By Brandon A. Dorfman From PotNetwork

Image credit: https://wendymccormick.com

Hidden in the hoopla of last week’s Senate vote on , the Canadian legislation to legalize recreational marijuana was the addition of an amendment requiring cannabis companies to make public a list of all investors holding five percent or more of shares in the company. According to Senators who supported the amendment, the move is an effort to keep organized crime from using the industry to launder money anonymously.

“If we want to combat organized crime, we must prevent these groups from entering the legal cannabis market anonymously or through havens,” said Senator Claude Carignan, who proposed the amendment. According to the Senator, the issue is already prevalent in the medical cannabis industry.

Some in the cannabis industry see the amendment as unfair, a part of the continuing stigma that Conservative members of the Senate place on the industry. The Ottawa Citizen reported that industry executives questioned why marijuana would be singled out, mainly when money laundering can occur in any business. Terry Lake, an executive with Hydropothecary Corp. (CVE:THCX), told The Ottawa Citizen, “I am baffled by why one industry would be treated differently than investments in any other legal business in .”

cited Hydropothecary as receiving investments from unnamed sources in the and the Bahamas while debating the amendment. He went on to argue that law enforcement officials worry that recreational cannabis will attract organized crime. Police in Canada claim that organized crime is prevalent in the medical cannabis industry.

Some in public agree that the bill goes against privacy rights as well while arguing that it would do little to dissuade criminal activity in the industry.

“I don’t see how making it public furthers any objective unless we think that by publicizing this list we will scare criminals into not buying shares of these business because, heaven forbid, they are afraid of their names being out there,” Matt Maurer, a Toronto lawyer with a background in cannabis told The Ottawa Citizen.

Lake admits that Hydropothecary has investors from the Cayman Islands, but states that there is nothing out of the ordinary about the situation. He argued that there is nothing illegal about having investors from the Cayman islands and pressed Senators to come up with concrete examples of illegality in the industry.

“There is an insinuation that because it comes from offshore it’s related to criminal activity,” Lake told The Ottawa Citizen. There’s no evidence of that and really it’s smearing an industry without any facts to back it up.”

Bill C-45, which was passed by the Senate late last week, is now back in front of the House of Commons, who will decide whether to accept or reject the Senate’s amendments. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize cannabis in Canada by the end of this summer.

For more on this story go to: https://www.potnetwork.com/news/marijuana-legalization-bill-seeks-shame-canadian-cannabis-investors

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