Last month, Canada’s senate approved the Cannabis Act, formally known as Bill C-45. This comes after the House of Commons already approved the bill earlier in June, meaning it’s now officially a national law.
Canada is now the only country out of the top major world economies to legalize cannabis on a nationwide scale. “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits,” tweeted Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. “Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate.”
The Complicated Amendments
While cannabis will be legal to possess anywhere in Canada, each provincial government will be in charge of managing cannabis operations in their province. The government will handle sales, distributions, staffing/employment, and may even have the authority to prohibit home growing. Both Manitoba and Quebec – with a total population of around 9.5 million – have already motioned banning home growing.
Liberals claim that banning home growing will only allow the black market to continue thriving. Initially, the plan was to ban home growing across the board, but that fell through so most Canadians will be allowed to grow 4 plants per household, although some provinces will have further regulations still. For example, Alberta and New Brunswick will only allow cannabis to be grown indoors.
Conservatives also have their own concerns over certain aspects of the bill, particularly regarding the rejection of an amendment that would have required all cannabis company shareholders to register with the government. “Of course I am disappointed, and also a little bit angry that they didn’t take more time and of course did not accept the amendment.” Senator André Pratte told CBC News.
Only time will tell what actually ends up happening with Canadian cannabis. As with any new national program, there will be some kinks to iron out in the beginning, but kudos to Canada for moving forward in the right direction!