(FinancialPress) — Canada‘s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has officialized the date for countrywide legalization of marijuana. Starting on October 17th, Canadians legal cannabis will be the norm for commercialization and consumption.
Trudeau‘s revelation ended months of mystery over which would be the specific date in which the new policy would come into effect. Initially slated for July 1, the bill encountered several last-minute oppositions that led to its enactment being delayed further.
He had originally promised 8 to 12 weeks for businesses, provinces and municipalities to set the framework to receive the legalization. The new date gives them 17 weeks.
The polemic Bill C-45, which regulates how legalization of recreational weed will occur, was passed in its final vote this week. While some congressmen declared it a “historic“ event, many others were cautious about all the work left to be done after a major public policy overhaul.
Now, the bill awaits royal assent; which should happen in a few days‘ time at most. However, that will not effectively enact the new policy immediately, but is rather another step in that direction.
What we know
Provinces and territories have full jurisdiction over where and how legal cannabis products can be commercialized. This has led to an array of private, licensed and government-run stores and facilities across the country.
The legal age of purchase and consumption has been set to 19, with the exceptions of Quebec and Alberta where it will be 18. Consumers will also be able to purchase the plant online.
Regulation over where Canadians can consume the drug will be strict, and is still pending announcement.
Legal cannabis products will be sold in plain packaging. Fresh/dried weed, seeds and oils will be commercially available immediately after the set date; edibles, however will take longer to be rolled out – and are not expected in shelves before early 2019.
Canada thus becomes the second nation to roll out countrywide legalization, following Uruguay.