Coming soonCultureEnforcementCannabis industry must band together to lobby for change: Jodie Emery

Emery's new lobbying group, Fair Cannabis, calls for unison from all players big and small
Michelle Gamage Michelle GamageJanuary 14, 20206 min

Jodie Emery is holding out an olive branch to an unlikely new partner, corporate cannabis. 

When Mugglehead caught up with her at the Lift & Co. expo she talked about a new project she’s working on. It’s a website, still in its infancy, that is designed to unite the cannabis industry in lobbying the government for better weed policy.

Read more: From weed home appliances too canned cannabis: Lift & Co. expo day 2 (photos) 

It’s time for the entire cannabis industry to join forces and realize they’re fighting the same battle against government interference and over-regulation, Emery said.

The new umbrella organization is called Fair Cannabis, and will help unite the scattered industry and bring together players from all corners of the market, she said.

It’s an advocacy and lobbying group working to reform Canadian cannabis laws, Fair Cannabis director Jeremiah Vandermeer said.

Current cannabis laws are harsh and restrictive for both consumers and the industry. Fair Cannabis aims to change that by first bringing the scattered industry together, and then organizing them to lobby for a fairer system, he said.

“[The government is] treating cannabis like it’s plutonium, or some nuclear substance, when really it’s a produce product and it should be regulated accordingly,” he said.

Read more: Founder of raided Victoria dispensary calls legal system ‘prohibition 2.0’

Read more: Victoria becomes first Canadian city to back exemption for unlicensed dispensary 

So how does Fair Cannabis plan to bring everyone together? By creating a single website that guides users through issues and breaks those issues down by region, Emery said.

Fair Cannabis will create a database where users can look up everything from what it takes to legally open a retail store to what constitutes driving high in their area, Emery said. The organization hopes to be able to launch the campaign and database within the next couple of months.

Fair Cannabis will connect advocates with advocacy groups

The database will also help connect people with interest groups.

The whole industry is struggling right now; you name it there’s a problem, she said. Costly overheads discourage entrepreneurs from entering the legal market and advertising restrictions mean new companies struggle to compete with recognized brands.

Cannabis users and businesses might feel this is unfair, but aren’t sure what they can do about it.

“Whatever your area of interest, that you want to fix for cannabis, there tends to be groups already out there doing something about it, but it’s hard to find these groups,” Emery said. Fair Cannabis would help connect people to groups like Fair Access to Marijuana or Cannabis Amnesty.

Once people across the industry, from business owners to users of all stripes, realize they’re fighting the same fight, the chance of them lobbying the government together increases.

“Fair Cannabis intends to bring people together…everyone who cares about fixing the laws and regulations for everyone’s benefit,” Emery said. “Then we can come together as advocates for everyone to see improvements. I have been a critic of the way legalization has been unfolding but we only makes this change by pointing out what is wrong and saying how to fix it, so that’s what we intend to do.”

Cover photo of Jodie Emery, courtesy of Cannabis Culture. 

 

michelle@mugglehead.com

@missmishelle

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