Canada leads on applying privacy law to cannabis sales

Selling recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on 17 October 2018 resulting in attention to the retailers’ video surveillance and collection of other personal data from
customers and staff. Stewart and Merrill Dresner report.

Since 2001, pharmacies in Canada have been permitted to sell cannabis products for medicinal purposes when prescribed by a doctor. now, legalisation of recreational cannabis has normalised and created an estimated annual Can$7billion industry.

With around a million users of recreational cannabis in the province of British Columbia (BC), the sudden change in 2018 in selling from illegal venues to licensed shops in many towns and cities has led to a cultural shift. Possession of up to a maximum of 30 grams is no longer an offence and the government is now receiving tax revenues in the same way that it does from the sale of alcohol.

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