Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Business | By Pearl Harrison

Canada legalizes the production and retail sale of marijuana

Canada legalizes the production and retail sale of marijuana

The new legislation will make Canada the first G7 country to allow the use of cannabis.

Though nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, it is still against the law to have it delivered through the mail in the U.S.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced via Twitter his intention to have legal sales programs created and implemented by October 17, 2018. Now, the Cannabis Act has finally been voted through in the nation's upper chamber by 52 to 29 votes on Tuesday.

Trudeau said the government delayed the timetable for lifting the nearly century-old prohibition on marijuana at the request of larger provinces, including Quebec, which asked for more time to make the transition to a legal regime for regulating the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.

Although Canada officially legalized recreational marijuana earlier this week, giving way to predictions that dispensaries would be selling marijuana by summer's end, Prime Minister Justine Trudeau says he is delaying the implementation of legal sales until mid-October in order to give provinces sufficient time to get their regulatory affairs in order.

Justin Trudeau tweeted that because it's too easy for kids to buy weed, "criminals reap the profits". Today, we change that.

The Canadian federal government had originally set the goal of having the recreational pot market open by July 1 of this year, but that date had obviously been pushed back.

Finance Minister Tom Osborne says government is ready to adapt to whatever Ottawa puts into action, and although government doesn't have all the answers, it will remain flexible to deal with a new industry. "This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime".

Marijuana use remains illegal for people younger than 18, and no individual can possess more than the equivalent of 30 grams of dried cannabis.

They will also be allowed to purchase plants and seeds from regulated retailers.

However, stringent rules will still govern the purchase and use of marijuana.

According to the Justice Department, the drug-impaired driving aspects of the bill have now become law, with Royal Assent.

In Ontario, cannabis will be sold through standalone Cannabis Control Board of Ontario (CCBO) stores throughout the province.

ABC reported that the most controversial aspect of the process has been setting the minimum age for use at 18 or 19, depending on the province - lower than in USA states that have embraced legalisation.

In the United States, BDS Analytics estimated that the pot industry took in almost $9 billion in sales in 2017.

Canada is the second country in the world-the first of the G-7-to fully legalize marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco.

Thirty US states allow marijuana for medical use.

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