Canadians May Have To Wait To Buy Legal Recreational Weed in Canada
Canada is making history with its plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use across the country. Recreational weed in Canada would serve as a primary example for the U.S., where state legalization is on a roll but federal legalization remains a distant dream.
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However, the Trudeau government's bold claim that legal recreational weed in Canada will be available July 1 seems to have fallen a little far from the truth. It is now estimated that Canadians will have to wait until early August - and maybe as late as September - to legally purchase recreational marijuana.
Why the sudden change?
Canadian senators have struck a deal to hold a final vote on recreational marijuana on June 7, 2018. This vote will decide how recreational weed in Canada is ushered into legality.
Health Minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor conceded on Thursday that Trudeau's estimation of July 1 as Canada's legal date is ambitious, stating, "if you do the math, you can certainly see it certainly won't be July 2018."
But what math is Taylor talking about exactly? Well, assuming that Bill C-45 is passed by the Senate by June 7, royal assent would follow almost immediately. However, it would be another 2-3 months before legal weed would actually be available for purchase.
Provincial and territorial governments need 8-12 weeks following royal assent to prepare for retail sales.
All retail sales across the country will also begin at the same time, so if one province decides it needs the full 12 weeks to prepare, everyone else will have to wait as well.
This puts the likely date for legal recreational weed in Canada to begin being sold in August, possibly September if things take the maximum amount of time they can to proceed.
What does this mean for the U.S.?
If anything, Canada is providing an example of how legal weed in the United States may look like if the federal government was ever to reschedule cannabis. Whilst it is unlikely that the federal government will legalize recreational marijuana across the country in the near future, medical marijuana may be a different story. It's important to take into consideration the process such a feat would entail, and how long it might take for the United States to begin legal medical marijuana sales across the country.
For now, there's no doubt that cannabis advocates in the U.S. have a close eye on Canada. Provided their legalization goes well, the country to the north may prove as a great example in pushing forward cannabis legalization in the U.S.