Canadian Senate Approves Cannabis Legalization Bill With Dozens Of Amendments
Yesterday, Canada waited anxiously to hear whether or not the Canadian Senate would approve Bill C-45, the bill that aims to legalize recreational cannabis across the country. The bill passed in the House of Commons on Thursday and was passed to the Senate to be approved.
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In a historic move, the Senate approved the bill, however, cannabis is not legal in Canada yet. As some expected, the Senate's approval came with dozens of amendments which must now be either approved, modified or rejected as the bill is passed back to the House of Commons.
Whilst some of the amendments made by the Canadian Senate are minor, and not likely to cause contention, others are more problematic. One, in particular, would allow provinces to ban home cultivation of cannabis if they so choose. Under the current wording of the bill, there remains room for provinces to be subject to legal challenges if they choose, like Quebec and Manitoba have, to prohibit home cultivation allowances. The Senate's proposed amendment would eliminate this possibility.
Brands may also be subject to even more restrictions under the Senate's amendments to the bill. It is possible that cannabis advertising via merchandise such as t-shirts and baseball caps, for example, may be prohibited as well.
Prime Minister Trudeau has also promised to commit more resources to addiction and mental health services for indigenous communities in Canada. Lawmakers against the bill have often cited the negative impact legalization may have on these communities.
Once both the Canadian Senate and the House of Commons agree upon the wording of the bill it will become part of Canadian law, making Canada the first G7 nation to legalize recreational weed.
It's expected that Canadians will have to wait approximately 12 weeks before they will be able to purchase legal weed in Canada, as individual provinces will need time to set up processes for cannabis retailing and use within their jurisdictions. A definite day for legal cannabis sales has yet to be determined.