Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Canada legalises recreational marijuana

Canada legalises recreational marijuana

Dried cannabis and cannabis oil will become commercially available later this year.

Both houses of parliament voted this week to legalise the drug for recreational use, making Canada the first G7 country to do so and the second in the world following Uruguay. "Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate", wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter.

He justified the delay to implement the law by noting that provinces requested the extra time to organise sales in authorised stores.

There is a clause in the bill that says that only when it is legal to buy cannabis does marijuana become legal in this country.

"We always work in partnership with the provinces and since we passed these measures in Parliament and since we chose to move forward, we've been listening to the provinces who have been asking for more time to implement it".

Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, was one of just under a dozen pieces of legislation that received the formal ascension Thursday morning. It builds in a requirement for fundraisers to be advertised publicly in advance if they cost $200 or more per ticket and feature the prime minister, cabinet ministers, party leaders, or party leadership candidates. Adults will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, and all products will be sold in plain packaging with clearly marked labels.

The government says it will broaden its public education activities to help Canadians understand the new legal framework for cannabis, including what will be legal and when, and to remind Canadians that it remains illegal to take cannabis across Canada's global borders.

The federal government set a minimum age of 18 to purchase marijuana, though some provinces have indicated they will raise the age to 19, mirroring liquor purchase laws.

"The law still remains the law", Wilson-Raybould said.

A report by the Conference Board of Canada released on Tuesday showed that more than half of Canadian employers are concerned about the potential use of marijuana in the workplace.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould told reporters Wednesday the federal government won't initiate a challenge of those bans, leaving it up to residents of those provinces and territories to do so.

On pardons for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians with prior marijuana convictions, Trudeau said it would be "illogical" to consider the issue before the new law comes into effect. The end of 90 years of prohibition.

Mark your calendars: after 95 years, Canada's prohibition on recreational cannabis will come to an end on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

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