February 15, 2019

Canada to legalize marijuana on October 17

22 June 2018, 08:27 | Silvia Roy

Legalisation of the drug was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Legalisation of the drug was a 2015 campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said she was "so proud" of the move.

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, was one of just under a dozen pieces of legislation that received the formal ascension Thursday morning.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said that marijuana will be legal across the country starting October 17, according to The Associated Press.

The Canadian Senate voted to legalize marijuana in a 52 to 29 vote, which will give way to "a fully legal marketplace for the plant within the next two to three months", Common Dreams reported.

The country's finance ministers have reportedly eyed prices to start at $10 per gram, but the news organization reports the federal government wants to undercut the illegal marijuana market by setting a base price of $8 per gram.

Trudeau continues to note how "over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or nearly completely replace the organized crime market on that".

Canada becomes the second country to legalize the drug nationwide, following Uruguay in 2013.

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Provincial and territorial governments have considerable leeway in regulating the newly legal cannabis industry.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould called the legislation - which still requires royal assent to become law - "transformative". She also said cabinet ministers have discussed the idea of wiping away criminal records for past minor offences, adding her focus for now is on completing legalisation.

There are still questions surrounding how police will test motorists suspected of driving under the influence, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work.

Although Colorado doesn't allow cannabis delivery (a bill that would've okayed it died in the state Senate earlier this year), California allows medical marijuana patients to order dispensary products using Global Positioning System technology, and New York, Florida, Massachusetts and OR also allow some form of delivery.

Under Canada's Cannabis Act, provinces are granted a grace period of 8-12 weeks to get properly set up for the legal distribution of Marijuana.

He says the eight per cent commission was based on the rate for alcohol retailers, and they've been successful for decades. There will be an election in Quebec on October 1, which helps to explain why the provincial government sought more time.

"There's no point looking at pardons while the old law is in the books", Mr Trudeau said.

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Trudeau said they are going to treat it like wine and tobacco, noting that few people will cultivate it at home, but it's necessary to fight organized crime.

Trudeau does intend to do some harm to the USA economy - at least along the lines of the steel and aluminum tariffs are hurting Canada - by imposing tariffs on a number of US imports beginning July 1.

"Obviously the current approach - the current prohibition of marijuana - has not worked to protect our kids, to keep the money out of the pockets of organised crime and that's why we're bringing in a new legalised framework around marijuana", Guardan quoted him as saying.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S.

Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Alliance in the US, said Canada's legalization should also serve as a wake-up call south of the border.

Business Insider reports that one of Canada's largest banks believes that the marijuana industry in the country will be a $6.5 billion one by 2020. 17 will be the date that marijuana will be legal across Canada.

"I'm not in a position to opine on motivations of the president", Trudeau told reporters. "The more it's legal, the more people are going to feel safe to buy my product'".

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