Canada sets October start for legal recreational marijuana sales
23 June, 2018, 15:24 | Author: Teresa Adams
The Senate approved Bill C-45 (the Cannabis Act) on Tuesday, clearing the last major hurdle before becoming law. Each province is implementing different aspects of the bill in the next 8 to 12 weeks - while the federal government has jurisdiction over parts like illegal sales to minors and assigning licenses to growers, it's up to the provinces to manage retail sales and distribution laws.
Although the proclamation date was originally projected to be in September, Trudeau said that the extra month was requested by some of the "big" provinces - particularly Quebec to ensure that regulations are in place by the time Canadians can legally light up.
"Now that the Prime Minister has announced that recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada on October 17, 2018, it is important to remember that our existing laws are still in place until they are repealed and replaced". If Canada can effectively prevent youth use of marijuana while fully legalizing it, that may give more force to the arguments of supporters in the US that legal marijuana would be safer.
Each Canadian household will be allowed to grow up to four plants at home, and one person may carry up to 30 grams (one ounce) of the drug in public. It was widely reported that each province would have a say in how cannabis was to be sold, distributed and priced under the legislation from the beginning.
Trudeau's Liberals pressured the Senate to approve the bill this week before a parliamentary recess began, allowing the government to keep a pledge for the market to open by the end of the summer.
For instance, it is illegal to order marijuana online and have it sent through the mail in the United States, but Canadians will be able to do so once the law comes into effect. We'll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada's $7-billion illegal market.
Trudeau made the legalization of marijuana a major campaign promise, and he contends that the status quo enables youth to acquire marijuana too easily and encourages criminal activity.
The first country in the world to nationally legalize the growth, sale and consumption of marijuana was Uruguay in 2013.
However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana. Today, we change that.
As for cannabis tax haul, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has estimated a total of $400 million (€260 million), although Ottawa has agreed to retain only 25 per cent of the total raised and put the rest into provincial government coffers. In the neighboring US, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.
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A timeframe has yet to be drawn up, but it thought that Canadian may be able to legally purchase the drug by September. Trudeau said in a tweet: "It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits".