Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Justin Trudeau Just Announced The Date Cannabis Will Be Legal In Canada

Justin Trudeau Just Announced The Date Cannabis Will Be Legal In Canada

The start date marks a delay by the government, which had previously said recreational use of marijuana would become legal within eight to 12 weeks of the law being passed.

The federal law fulfills a top campaign promise of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party.

He says the government has delayed the legalization schedule in order to give the provinces and territories more time to implement their regimes.

"I believe it's clear the way we have engaged with the president has been the right one", Trudeau said in French at a press conference marking the end of the parliamentary sitting.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould called the legislation - which still requires royal assent to become law - "transformative".

The provinces will organise the legal sale of cannabis in licensed stores, sometimes in government-controlled liquor stores, according to the new law.

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There are still questions surrounding how police will test motorists suspected of driving under the influence, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work.

Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut have already chose to ban home-grown weed, despite the fact that the new federal law stipulates that individuals may grow up to four plants per dwelling. Uruguay previously legalized marijuana in 2013. The law will come into effect October 17.

That amendment was defeated in the vote, meaning current federal rules will allow provinces to set a limit between one and four plants, but will not allow provinces to ban home cultivation outright.

Most importing or exporting of marijuana remains illegal.

"We are accepting the request of the provinces, and we will be legalising it as of October 17, 2018", Trudeau said.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by marijuana advocates in the U.S.

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"One of the things that we did moving forward on tariffs on July 1 is ensure that the products for which we are putting tariffs on for items coming in from the United States have readily available substitutes, either Canadian made or made in countries that do not have tariffs to import into Canada".

Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Alliance in the USA, said Canada's legalization should also serve as a wake-up call south of the border.

C-45 is also expected to spark a billion-dollar industry, given total spending on marijuana could surge as high as 58%, especially as users are expected to be willing to pay a premium for legal access to the drug.

Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said.

Some medical use of marijuana is already legal in Canada.

"I'm not in a position to opine on motivations of the president", Trudeau told reporters.

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