Politics & Landscape

June 6, 2018

High Spirits

What’s next for Canada’s Cannabis Act?

The countdown is on: Canada’s Cannabis Act faces a major milestone this week. After a third reading of Bill C-45, the Senate will vote on the proposed law a final time—one of the last steps on the path toward legalizing recreational marijuana.

It’s been a long, winding journey since Justin Trudeau first campaigned on the promise of the legalization back in 2015. Symbolizing an evolution of our economy, values and culture, the new freedoms around cannabis have inspired Canadians to take a deep, soul-searching look at our national identity.

Our society has criminalized the plant for nearly a century, and the day is nearly here: Casting away stereotypes and judgement, we’ll finally be able to purchase and consume marijuana, while gaining a deeper understanding of its potential.

So, what were the recent developments that led the government here? And, what’s left to accomplish before cannabis can hit store shelves? Below, we dive into the essential decisions necessary to pass the law by the end of summer.

The marijuana movement: Final milestones

  1. In late May, after weeks of debate and scrutiny from committees, senators proposed and adopted 40 amendments to the Cannabis Act. Most changes were technical, but a crucial revision allowed provinces and territories to ban homegrown production (a law both Quebec and Manitoba are hoping to pass).
  2. From border control and international relations to mental health and Indigenous perspectives, this week, the Senate is examining a multitude of issues around the bill. These debates could lead to more changes and amendments.
  3. On Thursday, June 7th, senators are set to vote on the Cannabis Act, on par with the legislative schedule established back in February 2018. Some Conservatives may still oppose, but in light of the recent efforts to amend the bill, most Independents are expected vote in favour.
  4. If the Cannabis Act passes, it will return to the House of Commons, where more tweaks could take place, bringing the law back to the Senate for a final pass.
  5. The last stretch of legalization will take place on the provincial and municipal level. Regional and local governments will take 8 to 12 weeks to iron out any kinks and implement the new legal framework.

So, when it’s all said and done, lighting up will likely be legal by the end of August or early September. Barring any extensive back-and-forth between the Senate and House of Commons, we’re feeling optimistic that cannabis legalization will pass within the next few months.

And, through it all, we’ll be there to educate Canadians about creating a modern and mindful lifestyle around recreational marijuana. Be sure to keep checking our website, blog and social channels for news about our cannabis shops opening across Western Canada.