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In Canada, medical marijuana has been legal but highly regulated for more than a decade. Patients with doctor approval could grow or have someone else grow small quantities or request limited amounts from Health Canada, the national healthcare department. But the conservative-led government voted earlier this year to effectively scrap that system in favor of a privatebut also strictly regulatedsystem, targeting the flow of legal marijuana into the black market and shedding Health Canadas role in marijuana production. Health Canada will phase out the current system, under which it sells registered users marijuana grown by Prairie Plant Systems , by the end of March. Instead, starting Tuesday, medical marijuana users, or aspiring users, can send in an application directly to sanctioned corporate producers , along with a doctors note (or in some cases, a nurses note). If approved, they can place an order, pay the market price (the black market price is about $10 a gram; officials say the medical marijuana price will drop below that within a year), and wait for the secure courier to deliver their weed. (MORE: Majority of Americans Support Legalization of Marijuana ) There are nearly 40,000 people registered to use the drug under the current system in a country with a tenth the population of the U.S., and the government expects that number to balloonup to 450,000 by 2024and fuel what could become a $1.3 billion domestic pot industry. But the government expects that the privatized system, with only heavily-vetted producers (so far there are two licensed distributors, of at least 156 applications), will help ensure a higher level of oversight. Were fairly confident that well have a healthy commercial industry in time, Sophie Galarneau, a senior official with Health Canada, told the Canadian Press. Its a whole other ball game. The new regulations have failed to win over advocates for legalized marijuana, who have faced strong resistance from the conservative government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In November, even as two states in the United States voted to legalize recreational marijuana, the Harper government passed strict minimum penalties for people who grow as few as six marijuana plants. They treat pot like its plutonium, says Blair Longley, head of the single-issue Marijuana Party that fielded five candidates in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Speaking to TIME, Longley says hes concerned the market-based system, whichnixes the right to cheaply grow marijuana at home, will make marijuana less affordable for patients. We always knew that marijuana would get legalized in the worst possible way.

Canada Rolls Out a ‘$1 Billion’ Privatized Medical Marijuana Industry

Pipelines are required in virtually every direction and, at present, the only alternative available is to transport more oil using rail cars,” says Mr. Prentice. He notes that few in Canada saw this infrastructure challenge coming even five years ago. We were secure in knowing we had a steady, stable client to the south that would buy all that we could produce. But with U.S. energy independence nearing reality, Canada needs to make tangible progress toward addressing its infrastructure problem. To continue to grow the industry and build these facilities will require continued foreign investment adds Mr. Prentice. “Because, simply stated, our ambitions and resources exceed our supply of domestic capital.” He notes that over the last five years foreign direct investment has accounted for 26 per cent of the capital injected into Canadian energy projects through M&A activity. But over the past year, in-bound foreign investment in Canadian energy has dropped off dramatically. Foreign investment is down 92 per cent this year at $2 billion , compared with $27 billion in the same period in 2012. Mergers and acquisitions activity in Canadian energy is similarly below historic levels – just $8 billion in 2013, compared with $66 billion in 2012, year to date. To address this, Mr.

Canada renews ties with Somalia

It has claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on a highend shopping mall in Nairobi, which killed at least 65 people, including two Canadians. Some analysts have seen the mall attack as a sign the group has shifted tactics to more insurgency-type activities following those losses as well as a bout of internal fighting. Baird acknowledged the gains that have made against al-Shabab in recent years, but added the work is not finished and “in the face of such attacks of despicable terror, we must strengthen our resolve.” Meanwhile, Adam, who is the first Somali foreign minister to visit Canada in recent memory, sought to dispel perceptions her country remains gripped by war and instability. In addition to al-Shabab’s shrunken influence, she noted there have not been any incidents of piracy off Somalia’s cost in more than a year. Somali pirates were considered a scourge in the Indian Ocean several years ago, when they seized several large vessels and held them for ransom, prompting an international military response. “This is a new Somalia,” Adam said. “A Somalia with hope. A lot of challenges. But these challenges are opportunities.” Adam echoed Baird’s assertions of a new era, saying her country was excited to “reignite this flame of partnership” and indicating Somalia is planning to open an embassy in Canada in the near future. The $6 million announced by Baird Tuesday is on top of $37 million Canada has already pledged in humanitarian support to the Horn of Africa. Canada previously contributed $1.5 million for counterterrorism training in the region, and spent $10 million to deploy a Ugandan police unit to the capital Mogadishu last year. Nearly 2,000 Canadian soldiers served in Somalia from 1992 to 1995 as part of a U.S.-led UN mission.