Legalized Weed Just Months Away After Bill C-45 Officially Passes

Bill Blair

The Canadian Senate voted Tuesday evening to legalize marijuana across the entire country.

As the first major economy to fully legalize cannabis, Canada's regulatory rollout will be closely watched by other nations considering the same path - and by global investors, who have already poured billions into Canadian marijuana firms. "Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate", Trudeau tweeted.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hoping legalising the drug will have a similarly positive impact in Canada, where marijuana can already be used for medicinal purposes.

"It's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits".

The most controversial aspect of Canada's move to legalize marijuana nationwide has been setting the minimum age for use at 18 or 19, depending on the province. Today, we change that.

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Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said that he expects the government to rake in almost 300 million Canadian dollars from the taxes on legalized cannabis. When his government introduced Bill C-45 in April 2017, its backers framed it as an effort to discourage consumption among youth, while also crushing the illegal market.

The government rejected 12 other amendments approved by the Senate, but senators felt most strongly about the home cultivation one. A second piece of legislation that would change impaired driving laws and give police new powers to carry out roadside intoxication tests has not yet been passed.

Based on consumption data from past year, Statistics Canada has estimated that the market will be worth Can$5.7 billion (€3.7 billion). California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States' biggest legal marijuana marketplace on January.

An expert panel is being set up to advise ministers of potential changes to the law in the United Kingdom, which is the world's largest exporter of legal cannabis.

Mr Trudeau has admitted having smoked a joint with friends 'five or six times'.

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