Cam Battley is a top executive at one of Canada's biggest marijuana companies, but he isn't sticking around to savor the country's historic pot legalization. He's off to Germany on Friday and Australia next week—a sign of what a leader Canada has become in the global pot industry, and of the reverberations its decision to legalize could have internationally, the AP reports. "It's a special moment, not just for Canada, but for the world because my strong conviction is that the rest of the world will follow suit," says Battley, chief corporate officer at Aurora Cannabis. "We're not known as wild and crazy. We're known for good public policy and I think they will follow our lead."
Canada's approach allows provinces to shape their own laws within a federal framework, including setting the minimum age and deciding whether to distribute through state-run or private retail outlets. That offers other countries a model somewhere between the more strictly regulated system in Uruguay, the only other country with legal sales, and the more commercial version in some of the nine US states that have approved recreational marijuana. New Zealand, Mexico, and Italy are among other countries mulling legalization. "This is the genie out of the bottle," says John Walsh of the advocacy group Washington Office on Latin America. "Because of Canada's reputation for being fairly careful, for being a good global citizen, and because of the scale of their market, it's a more likely example for other countries." (John Boehner is now on the board of a cannabis company.)