I'm going to continue speaking about the importing and exporting, because that's clause 11, and we're talking about the punishments for violating that. There are a few things that I think are important to put before colleagues at this table.
I talked to a very large licensed producer who is producing for the medicinal market now who told me that their company is contacted every week by a foreign business or foreign jurisdiction that wants to learn from them or go into business or partner with them. I'm reminded of Kirk Tousaw's testimony, where he looked pointedly at the committee and said, “You politicians are talking like you're creating a market. You're not creating a market. The market exists.” There is a $7-billion to $10-billion market in Canada right now, regardless of what we do. What we're really doing with this legislation is trying to modernize the regulatory framework. I congratulate the government on taking steps towards this, because we're trying to take that illicit market into the light and recognizing that not only can we shed the harms of criminalization, but we actually can regulate this properly and make it a legitimate business.
We export sprits and wines in this country. We're all proud of Canadian wines that have a global reputation as we're sending it around the world. In fact, I think the Conservatives have taken the lead on showing the problems we have with overly restrictive transportation of beer across borders. We can't even buy beer in one province and take it across the border to another province.
In my view, and maybe the Conservatives don't necessarily share this perspective, the trend on cannabis is that we're moving towards ever more legalization. Canada's being a leader in that regard, getting ahead of the curve, would position us well. We have to remember that in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado they legalized cannabis by citizens' initiatives. This is what the people wanted. I think in many cases the populations are ahead of the politicians on this, and I think the world is moving in this direction.
What I'm hearing from the market and the business people involved is that if we regulate this properly and move forward, Canada not only can legalize and legitimize the illegal market here in Canada, and create tax revenues and get healthier and save our justice system a lot of grief, but we can actually position Canada to be a leader in a very lucrative and growing product on the world stage.
I want to conclude, Mr. Van Kesteren, by saying that I don't say it's good necessarily. I say cannabis is what cannabis is. It is an adult-use substance that alters consciousness. It also has significant medicinal advantages that are beyond doubt. It's a product that adults use, whether we want them to or not, and the criminalized approach is simply not an appropriate way to regulate that substance any longer. That's why I'd like to see this legislation changed.
I'm going to move that subclause 11(1) be amended to allow the minister to make regulations that would permit the exportation of cannabis covered by this act. I don't know if you want language on that right now, or if the concept is good enough.
Perhaps I'll draft it for tomorrow morning.