Last year, news broke that Canada was planning to vote on legalization in July 2018 but voting took place a few weeks earlier and on Tuesday, June 19th have legalized cannabis, becoming the second country following Uruguay which has legalized cannabis for medicinal, recreational and industrial usage and first of G7 nations.
The need to move up the voting decision was due to provincial and territorial governments who will be responsible for drafting their own rules for cannabis sales, needing eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September.
Bill C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, stems from a campaign pledge of Trudeau to keep cannabis away from underage users and reduce related crime.
What Is Now Legal?
Once the bill is formally approved, adults will be able to carry and share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public. They also will be allowed to cultivate up to four plants in their households and prepare products such as edibles for personal use.
However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of cannabis. Consumers are expected to purchase cannabis from retailers regulated by provinces, territories or — when neither of those options are available — federally licensed producers. Cannabis will also not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
The Canadian government has also implemented changes to their impaired driving laws, to address repercussions for driving under the influence of cannabis.
The bill set a floor on the minimum age of the consumer at 18 years, and makes the production, distribution, or sale of cannabis products an offense for minors.
Canada is the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on cannabis use.