Major Papers


cannabis, legalization, Ontario, Alberta, Conservative, Liberal


Recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018 and has created new business and income for the country. Focusing on Ontario, this paper analyzes how the province failed to benefit from legalization during its first year. As a result of the change in provincial government—which led to ineffective sales models, delays, and financial losses—Ontario has failed in cannabis legalization. Using the theory of federalism, this paper explores the division of power within Canada’s levels of government and its impact on cannabis legalization and sales. Further, this paper includes a case study on Alberta and its free-market success with alcohol and cannabis to assess Ontario’s rollout of cannabis sales and argues that, despite the failures of its first year, Ontario has potential for success in the future.

Primary Advisor

Dr. John Sutcliffe

Program Reader

Dr. Stephen Brooks

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Internship Paper

Convocation Year