Justin Trudeau confirms Canada will legalize recreational marijuana this October
24 June, 2018, 19:16 | Author: Melinda Barton
Trudeau spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro said officials listened to the provinces that asked for more time to be able to prepare and implement the law.
By taking the extra time, Trudeau added: "It is our hope that as of October 17, there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces, with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion".
Cannabis could be on retail shelves in 8 to 12 weeks in Canada, as the Senate passed its final hurdle Tuesday night with a landmark vote to lift a 95-year-old prohibition on cannabis.
Canada's upper house of parliament yesterday approved a revised bill to legalise recreational marijuana, setting the stage for the country to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalise cannabis.
Canada is one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana nationwide after the Cannabis Act cleared the House of Commons on Monday.
The new bill, known as The Cannabis Act, controls and regulates how the drug is grown, distributed and sold.
Under the bill, it will be illegal for anyone younger than 18 to buy pot, but allows for provinces and territories to set a higher minimum age.
Meantime, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who was also on hand for today's news conference, stopped short of announcing the date when the new law would go into effect.
Meanwhile, the situation for home cultivation will remain muddy in Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut, which have all banned home-grow despite the fact the federal legislation allows people to grow up to four plants at home.
That would have put day one of legalization in late September. In the neighboring USA, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use.
"We have seen in the Senate tonight a historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition of cannabis in this country, 90 years of needless criminalization, 90 years of a just-say-no approach to drugs that hasn't worked", said independent Sen.
Canadians spent more than 5.7 billion Canadian dollars on marijuana in 2017, with the majority of it for recreational use, according to a Statistics Canada report released in January.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S.
In Canada, much like in the United States, people of color are more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses despite smoking marijuana at the same amount that whites do.
Stocks of marijuana producers, which have rallied in anticipation of legalization, extended gains on Wednesday after the Senate voted on Tuesday to approve adult use of cannabis.
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