Canadian senate passes weed bill but legalization delayed

23 June, 2018, 17:38 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Legalisation of the drug was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Senators also dropped their insistence on amendments to the bill, most notably one that would have authorized provincials and territorial governments to prohibit the home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose.

The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 52-29.

The Canadian government had initially planned for retail sales to begin by Canada Day (July 1st, 2018) but was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review the Bill.

In a historic vote on Tuesday, Parliament changed Canadian law to lift the 95-year-old prohibition on cannabis and free millions of adults to openly smoke, ingest or grow the drug without fear of a criminal record. If the USA government decides someday that its northern neighbor is on to something and ends its federal ban on marijuana, decisions on the subject should devolve back to the states.

Canadian marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corp, Aphria Inc, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF and Aurora Cannabis Inc have been at the centre of investor frenzy surrounding attempts to legalise marijuana for recreational use nationwide. It also said marijuana should not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.

Former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister, said discussions for pardons of past convictions "can't take place" until legalization is in effect.

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The national minimum purchase age will be 18, but provinces and territories will be able to further regulate the purchase and sale of cannabis and some have indicated they will set the minimum purchase age at 19.

A boycott-the-U.S. campaign has been simmering since Donald Trump and his advisers lashed out at Trudeau after the Group of Seven leaders summit earlier this month. Transformative social policy, I think. Now we can start to tackle some of the harms of cannabis.

"A courageous move on the part of the government", he told CBC.

Legal recreational sales are expected to contribute up to $4.34 billion, more than half of the total, while the illegal market may still generate at least $1 billion annually.

The news was also greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S. Don Hartleben, who manages Dank of America, a retail cannabis store just south of the border in Blaine, Washington, said Canada's legalization was not only politically exciting, but a potential business boon for him. "This is something that we want to get right".

According to a column in Globe and Mail written by Andre Picard, there were more than 55,000 cannabis related charges against Canadians just in 2016 in which 76 percent were for possession of marijuana.

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