Canada passes law legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 07, 2018.

Canada's Senate on Thursday approved the Justin Trudeau government's landmark legislation to lift Canada's 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis. If ultimately implemented, Canada would become the first G7 nation to fully legalize cannabis.

Bill C-45 passed in the chamber Senate late Thursday by a vote of 56-30 with one abstention, but included four dozen amendments that the House of Commons will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning it to the Senate for another vote before becoming it a law.

If passed, Bill C-45 would legalize the sale, use, possession, and limited cultivation of marijuana for adults 18 and older. The individuals can possess up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal use.

While a total of 105 businesses have been authorized to grow marijuana and offer pot-based products, individuals, under the new law, could grow up to four plants at home.

The bill will also allow the federal government and the provinces to levy taxes on legal weed sales amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

The initial timeline for legal recreational cannabis sales called for it to be available by July 1, Canada's national day, but August or September now appears more likely as some provinces and police forces have argued they need more time. The provinces have been left in charge establishing how and where marijuana will be sold.

Earlier this year, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor had said that marijuana would only go on sale a few months after it was legalised because the new retail system needs time to start working properly.

The Prime Minister’s promise to legalize recreational marijuana has fueled investment and speculation in the cannabis sector with cultivators like Canopy Growth Corp, Aphria Inc, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF and Aurora Cannabis Inc have been at the center of investor frenzy surrounding attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001 and is grown by federally licensed producers. Canadians, especially the young, are among the world's heaviest marijuana users.

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