Canada Senate Gives Approval to Marijuana Legalization

A bill to legalize marijuana, proposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has been passed by the Senate through its third and final reading.

The legislation – C-45 – has already been passed by the House of Commons, but will go back for one final vote on Senate amendments before being sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval). It was passed by the Senate 56 to 30.

Once the law takes effect, the possession and cultivation of personal amounts of marijuana will be legal for those 18 and older. The law authorizes licensed marijuana businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products, and also allows online sales (which will be handled similarly to how the country currently allows online medical marijuana sales).

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Canada Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill

Legislation to legalize marijuana, which has already been passed by Canada’s House of Commons, has been given approval by a key Senate committee.

The Senate committee passed 40 amendments Monday to Bill C-45, including one that would allow provinces and territories to ban homegrown marijuana. Most of the other amendments were technical in nature and didn’t fundamentally change the measure (29 of the 40 were actually introduced by the bill’s primary sponsor).

Bill C-45 was passed by the House of Commons in November by a vote of 200 to 82. In March the Senate voted 44 to 29 to pass it through its 2nd reading. The measure must now be passed through a third reading in the Senate before it can be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval).

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Canada Senate Votes to Legalize Marijuana for Those 18+

Canada’s Senate has voted to pass a marijuana legalization bill through its second reading.

The Senate passed Bill C-45 yesterday in a 44 to 29 vote. The measure, which would legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older, passed the House of Commons  in November by a vote of 200 to 82. The bill will now go through a third reading in the Senate. If passed, as expected, it will be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval).

If the measure does become law as many anticipate and as Prime Minister Justin Trudea has promised, the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana will become legal for those 21 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed brick-and-mortar cannabis retail outlets, while also allowing cannabis to be sold online.

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Legal Marijuana Sales Delayed in Canada

Despite Canada’s longstanding plan to begin legal marijuana sales in July, a Canadian official has conceded that they won’t actually begin until August, maybe a little later.

As recently as last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was insistent that it was still on track to begin legalization in July, which has been the plan for quite a while now. However,  Health Minister Ginette Petitpas said Thursday that this simply won’t happen, and sales aren’t going to begin in July. Instead, sales are likely to begin in August, or potentially shortly thereafter. The change in time-frame is based on the Senate’s updated timetable for considering the issue, which has already been passed by the House of Commons.

Petitpas Taylor says that provincial and territorial governments need eight to 12 weeks following senate passage and royal assent (final approval) to prepare for legal marijuana sales. This means that there won’t be enough time to begin sales in July. However, it looks as if September should be the latest that sales start, unless things are pushed back once again.

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Canada Senate to Hold Televised Hearing on Marijuana Legalization

Canada’s Senate will be holding a hearing soon to discuss the nation’s effort to legalize marijuana. The hearing will be televised, a rarity for the Senate.

According to CTV, Senate leadership has announced that they will soon be holding a televised hearing where they will question Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and justice and health parliamentary secretary Bill Blair. The questions will be regaring C-45, a bill to legalize marijuana that recently passed the nation’s House of Commons. The measure would allow those 18 and older to posses and use marijuana, and would establish a system of licensed marijuana stores.

“This is an attempt to ensure that on an issue of such importance to the Senate, we hear from ministers early”, said Government Representative in the Senate, Senator Peter Harder. “It is also an opportunity for Canadians to see the Senate in action on such an important bill”.

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Almost Half of Canadians Will Try Marijuana Edibles Once Legal, 68% Support Legalization

A new study shows that a large number of Canadians plan to try marijuana edibles once the nation legalizes cannabis, and an even higher number is in favor of legalization.

The study, conducted at Dalhousie University, found that 46% of Canadians would try cannabis-infused food products if they became available on the market. 39% would be willing to try it in a restaurant, and 20% said that they know enough about cooking with marijuana to do it at home.

The preliminary study, entitled Cannabis-infused food and Canadian consumers’ willingness to consider recreational marijuana as a food ingredient was led by Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor in food distribution and policy at the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University, and lead author of the well-known Canada’s Food Price Report. Dr. Simon Somogyi, associate professor in the Faculty of Agriculture at Dalhousie, co-authored the study. A total of 1087 people took part in the survey, conducted in English and French over four weeks in August 2017.

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A Look at How Canada’s Marijuana Legalization Plan Compares to Legalization in the U.S. and Uruguay

Today the Canadian government released their plan to legalize marijuana by July, 2018. How does this plan compare to Uruguay and the states in the U.S. that have already legalized?

In the U.S., eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Uruguay, which legalized cannabis in 2013, remains the only country to legalize the plant federally. Canada’s government seeks to change this, however, with their newly-released plan to legalize by next year.

Below is a look at the differences and similarities between the laws in Uruguay and the U.S., and the law being proposed in Canada:

Possession Limits:

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Report: Canada to Garner $675 Million Annually from Legal Marijuana

With a standard sales tax placed on legal cannabis, Canada would garner approximately $675 million ($507 million US) annually.

According to the report from the C.D. Howe Institute, “applying only federal and provincial sales tax (GST/HST, PST) results in over 90 percent of the marijuana market being regulated and $675 million in annual revenue”. The report notes that “Any increase in taxes beyond this level serves to increase the share of the black market and generates little additional revenue.”

The Institute breaks it down like this; “With the regulation of marijuana, the government has a choice to make: either legitimize the market or generate large revenues, not both.”

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Canada’s Prime Minister Says Marijuana Legalization Law to be Ready by Summer

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says legislation to legalize marijuana should be ready by the summer.

The comments came yesterday at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt during the start of a two-day trip for Trudeau to Victoria and Vancouver. Trudeau – who made it a campaign promise to legalize marijuana – says that until the upcoming proposal becomes law, Canadians must follow existing policies regarding cannabis.

“Until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply,” he said.

In December Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation recommended that the nation legalize the plant for everyone 18 and older, while setting a limit of 30 grams (just over an ounce).

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Canada’s Legalization Tasks Force Recommends Allowing Cannabis for those 18+

Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation has released a report detailing their recommendations for how to legalize cannabis.

Legalization Tasks ForceThe task force was commissioned by the Canadian government to give lawmakers guidance on legalization legislation being introduced in the nation’s parliament in the spring. Unlike the eight states that have legalized cannabis in the U.S., where the age limit is 21+, the task force has recommended that cannabis be legal for all adults 18 and older, with a limit of 30 grams.

“Now is the time to move away from a system that has, for decades, been focused on the prohibition of cannabis into a regulated legal market,” said Anne McLellan, chair of the task force. “I think we’re all aware of the challenges and societal problems that the existing system has created”.

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