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Canada’s New Marijuana Legalization Law Begins on Oct 17

Canada

Marijuana will officially become legal for adults in Canada on Wednesday, Oct 17, with regulated adult sales set to begin in several provinces throughout the country.

In June, Canada’s parliament approved Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act, MPP reports. It creates an overarching national regulatory framework and enables each province to establish its own system of licensing and regulating marijuana businesses.

As of Oct 17, 2018, adults 18 years of age or older in Canada can:

  • possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in public (dried or equivalent in non-dried form)
  • share up to 30 grams of marijuana with other adults
  • grow, from licensed seed or seedlings, up to 4 cannabis plants per residence for personal use
  • make marijuana products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
  • buy dried or fresh marijuana and marijuana oil from a provincially-licensed retailer (in provinces and territories without a regulated retail framework individuals will be able to purchase marijuana online from federally-licensed producers)

Canada’s marijuana laws will be subject to provincial or territorial laws. For instance, some provinces have discussed making the legal age 19 years old instead of 18.

“Canada is setting a strong example for how to end marijuana prohibition at the national level and replace it with a system of regulated production and sales that is largely governed at the local level,” stated Steve Hawkins, executive director of the MPP. “The Canadian model is rather similar to what many envision for the U.S., and in many ways it mirrors what is happening here, as states have taken the lead in regulating commercial cannabis activity. The big difference—and it is a critical difference—is the blessing provincial governments have received from their federal government. It is time for Congress to step up and take similar action to harmonize our nation’s state and federal marijuana policies.”

Canada is just the second country and the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana for adults at the national level. The first was Uruguay, where legislation was signed into law in December 2013 and a limited number of pharmacies began selling marijuana to adults in July 2017. Nine U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and one U.S. territory, the Northern Mariana Islands, have enacted laws making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. Eight of those states and the Northern Marianas have also established systems for regulating commercial cultivation and sales.

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