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University Advancement | October 2018  

 

Intersections: Talking weed with a Ryerson expert

Brad Poulos motions with his hands as he talks.

Brad Poulos engages the crowd during his talk Weed is legal: What does it mean for you?

 

Brad Poulos knows all about weed. The cannabis expert (and instructor of the G. Raymond Chang School’s course titled “The Business of Cannabis”) kicked off Ryerson’s first Intersections event at the Angus Glen Golf and Country Club in Markham on Sept. 20. The breakfast talk covered a range of topics from the history of cannabis to up-to-the-minute impacts like restricted U.S. border crossings for users and investors.

Poulos’ presentation gave attendees a solid overview of what the new legislation,
enacted on Oct. 17, entails:

 

  • Licensed retailers can sell cannabis and cannabis oil and accessories.
  • Individuals can purchase or possess up to 30 grams of cannabis.
  • (According to the province’s recent announcement) Cannabis can be consumed in the privacy of one’s home, backyard or balcony as well as anywhere that tobacco can legally be consumed.
  • Four plants are permitted per household.
  • Cannabis lounges are not permitted.
  • Providing cannabis to a minor is still illegal.

 

Here are some key insights Poulos shared during his talk:

On the potential the cannabis industry brings to Canada:

“If we build all the expertise, the technology, the know-how, the reputations, the brands, we can be a local leader. There’s billions and billions of dollars coming into this industry and if we get it right in Canada, it’s a huge opportunity. If we don’t, it’s the next BlackBerry.”

 

On impaired driving:

“Canadian people want a breathalyzer. They don’t care about science, the science says a breathalyzer doesn’t help. We don’t yet understand how cannabis metabolizes in the body the same way we do with alcohol. The only fair way to deal with this is to measure for actual impairment by performing physical tests.”

 

On consuming cannabis on school grounds or places of employment:

“What is your alcohol policy? Your cannabis policy should be the the same thing.”

 

On crossing the U.S. border:

“[If you are asked about using cannabis when crossing the border] Refuse to answer. As a practical matter, refuse to answer the question. If you just refuse to answer the question, the worst they can do is refuse you entry that day. If you admit to working in the industry or being a major investor in the industry, you can be banned for life.” Poulos added that answering questions honestly without narrowing in on the specifics of one’s business could be helpful— ie: admitting to working for a “health and wellness” company instead of a cannabis grower.

 

Don’t miss the next installment of Intersections: The World According to Trump: U.S. Foreign Policy and a New Global Order on Oct. 18 in Pickering.  Dr. Arne Kislenko, history professor at Ryerson University looks at Trump’s governance, foreign policy and its broader impact on the world as we know it.

Intersections: Mind and Action on the Road is Ryerson’s new speaker series that brings cutting edge research and ideas from the university’s most innovative professors, thought leaders and researchers right to your doorstep. See if there’s an Intersections event coming to a location near you!

 

See more photos of our first Intersections event on our Facebook page.