When does Canada Legalize Marijuana?
In a monumental move, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the other day that Canada would officially legalize marijuana by the mid-October 2018.
Where is Marijuana Legalized?
The Canadian Senate passed Bill C-45 with a vote of 52 to 29; this is revolutionary, as Canada is now the second country to legalize marijuana use. They come right after Uruguay who legalized marijuana production, sale, and consumption in December 2013.
Dubbed ‘The Cannabis Act’, the bill was passed on its 3rd reading on June 7th; it received Royal Assent meaning the bill has officially passed parliament. Legal recreational marijuana will be legal in Canada federally come mid-October, but this also means that cannabinoid products including CBD are legal to purchase now. CBD is a legal and safe hemp cannabinoid alternative in the United States and countries where marijuana is illegal; Green Lotus Hemp products comply with the Hemp Farm Bill and contain 0% THC.
Passing this bill simply means that overall as a country, Canada will have legal marijuana in a matter of months; how each province (think of them as loosely similar to states in the United States) deals with enforcing certain parts of the bill is another question altogether. That is in part why even after Bill C-45 is passed, it will take until October to get local and country policy ready. Originally, 6-8 weeks was estimated for implementation to legalize marijuana, even as early as September, but larger provinces requested more time to gear up so to speak, much like the U.S. state of Colorado did.
Marijuana Legalized with Amendments
So how will our neighbor to the north handle recreational marijuana? No G7 country has ever legalized adult-use marijuana before.
There have been a series of amendments, over 40, to the original bill that covers an array of guidelines that outline practices ranging from companies branding merchandise to personal cultivation. Any hats or t-shirts, in fact, any products with branding to advertise the companies are a huge no-no. As far as personal cultivation, the bill in certain provinces would allow up to 4 plants for personal use. This would be the acceptable limit that would not incur any kind of sanctions, whether civil at the provincial level or criminal at the federal level.
The province and the federal balance will be an interesting juxtaposition, just like the states in the U.S that now allow medical marijuana contending with the U.S federal government. Think of it like state vs federal powers; the province, under section 2 of the BNA act, pertains to property and civil rights. However, the bill, in general, is a federal bill. These extra amendments are being considered to give the provinces greater power in regulation and the struggles of introducing marijuana. The way marijuana will be sold and the minimum age of consumers will be determined by the province; this way each province can feel out the best way to approach this change for their population.
Regulations Legalizing Marijuana
Certain regulations will certainly come into effect in general to legalize marijuana. In October, products will be put in non-descript packaging that will be sealed and tucked away from consumers; this certainly will be a different picture than the brightly covered jars and displays of some U.S marijuana shops. For at least the first year, marijuana retailers in Canada won’t be selling edibles; this includes gummies, brownies, and CBD-infused beverages. That means that Canada can look to states in America that already regulate CBD products, like Green Lotus Hemp’s products.
Legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada should serve as a boost for the Canadian economy; however, Canada should be wary of Colorado’s mistakes. Regulation of doses in products, such as candies as well as other products, will be key during the first year.
Canada Legalizes Marijuana, Now What?
What this really calls in to question, is now that marijuana will become legal, what happens to those already serving time for infractions? Or those due to pay fines related to a substance that is now legal? It seems at this time, people need help. There still will be a long way to go on even considering reversing charges for possession for people serving, although this should be a key factor in an examination in the next months as Canada moves to legalize marijuana.
Until recreational marijuana becomes truly legal after the first sale in mid-October, we will not know the teething problems. We saw growing pains for medical marijuana in the U.S states, like Georgia. What may be more interesting, is the opening of availability of CBD products to own in Canada, like the U.S is able to purchase safe and legal CBD; if you suffer from achy joints, tight muscles, and more, you can now buy CBD products. However, as the first G7 country to legalize marijuana is a huge step to not only decriminalizing but also changing people’s mindset on a plant that could help many people.