Trudeau prepares to tackle pot politics


OTTAWA – As Justin Trudeau prepares to tackle the politics of legalizing pot as part of his Liberal government’s legislative agenda, industry experts say he will have access to a world-class marijuana framework set up under the Conservative government.

Chuck Rifici, co-founder of Canada’s first publicly traded marijuana manufacturer, says Canada has already established a renowned production and distribution system under the medicinal umbrella.

Rifici — also a volunteer chief financial officer for the Liberal party’s national board of directors — credits the Harper government for the country’s expansive marijuana infrastructure.

In 2013, it announced Health Canada would no longer produce pot for patients — a decision that sparked the creation of commercial industry for medical marijuana.

Trudeau’s Liberals have promised to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana in Canada.

The first step in that process will be to establish a provincial, territorial and federal task force to hear from public health, substance abuse and public safety experts.