Canada’s Government Has a Plan to Legalize Recreational Weed By Next Summer
The country’s Liberal government on Thursday followed through on a 2015 campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and introduced legislation aimed at regulating the sale and production of marijuana.
Canada has legalised the use of medical marijuana in the country since 2001 and the marijuana for medicines is grown by 42 federally licenced producers.
The federal government has unveiled its plan to legalize recreational marijuana use.
“We know that criminal prohibition has failed to protect our kids and our communities”, said parliamentary secretary Bill Blair.
The government of Canada published a press release today proposing a piece of legislation, the Cannabis Act, which would regulate the industry by July of 2018.
The bundle of bills tabled Thursday in the House of Commons marks the start of a lengthy process which, once complete in July 2018, will usher in a dramatic cultural change, its ramifications reaching into almost every aspect of Canadian society.
The market action was likely a “sell the news” reaction as the legislation was largely in line with what an official task force recommended a year ago, said Aaron Salz, founder of Stoic Advisory.
The Canadian government also would take over responsibility for setting “strict requirements for producers who grow and manufacture cannabis”, including potency standards and tracking systems to prevent diversion of legal marijuana into the black market.
Personal possession, however, would be limited to 30 grams (one ounce). In Canada legal adulthood starts at 18 or 19, depending on the province. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, at Thursday’s news conference, was asked by numerous reporters about potential problems at the border, and whether Canadians traveling to the U.S.
The drug has created new enforcement challenges because there has never been a legal or verified scientific test to determine a level of THC – the psychoactive chemical in pot – that causes impairment, for example, while driving. Its also a departure from the norm in the US, where states that have legalized recreational marijuana use have set a minimum age of 21.
– Prohibits tourists from bringing pot past the border, but allows them to use pot while in Canada.
Opposition parties are split on the issue.
“I think that there are a lot of exciting details in terms of what the government is announcing for legalization today”, said Lisa Campbell, a spokesperson for the Cannabis Friendly Business Association. The new bill will make Canada safer, he added.
Goodale said they’ve been close touch with the USA government on the proposed law and noted exporting and importing marijuana will continue to be illegal. Horizons ETF Management inaugurated the Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences (TSX:HMMJ) on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with 14 marijuana stocks included in the fund, at least for now.
“This is an orderly transition, not a free-for-all”, he admonished.
Health groups have expressed concern about the potential impact of marijuana on developing brains under the age of 25. “Too many of our kids now have access to cannabis”.
The legislation would establish a user’s minimum age at 18 years, though individual provinces can raise that legal limit.