The cannabis legalization political football has been tossed back to the Canadian Senate as the House of Commons passed the Cannabis Act (C-45) 205 to 82, with Conservatives largely opposing the measure. The House was forced to vote on the bill after the Senate added 46 amendments to the legalization bill. Various technical bills were supported by Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, but just over a dozen received pushback from the ruling party.
Major disagreements including proposals that would have banned branded merchandise, allowed provinces to prohibit citizens’ right to cultivate personal four-plant gardens, and the establishment of a registry program for shareholders of cannabis businesses. Thankfully, the House rejected the aforementioned Senatorial amendments, realizing their overly burdensome nature.
The Cannabis Act now heads back to the Senate, where some are discouraged by the stripping of amendments, but there’s hope that quick passage, without any more political back-and-forth, will allow legalization to be implemented soon, as CTV News reported:
On CTV’s Power Play, Leader of the Independent Senators Group Sen. Yuen Pau Woo said the Senate Independents are “disappointed” the government didn’t accept its consequential changes, and its decision on how to respond will have to balance the constitutionality of the law, with the constitutional role of the Senate.
Government House Leader Bardish Chagger told reporters Monday that she’s hopeful Bill C-45 will pass soon.
“What we’ve seen in this place is that anything is possible…. Most members that want to speak on it have been able to speak on it so I believe we can find a way forward,” she said.
Cannabis commerce, barring any unexpected political upheaval, is on track to be implemented this September in the Great White North. The cannabis industry is expected to quickly rival alcohol, bringing more jobs and revenue to the nation, and, most importantly more freedom. The ultimate success of the marijuana market depends on the government avoiding the establishment of regulatory obstacles that can unnecessarily stifle entrepreneurship. If left with sensible regulations, the Canadian cannabis industry is set to prosper and continue leading the global market.
These are exciting times for the cannabis industry, especially in Canada as Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party are set to fulfill their campaign promise to end prohibition and regulate sales to all adults across the nation. There has never been a time to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference, so get your tickets to the Vancouver ICBC this June 24th-25th before tickets sell out. Not only will attendees learn the latest about Canada’s upcoming legalization law, but will also have the opportunity to network with top entrepreneurs, investors, and advocates in the industry. If you are in the industry, or are thinking of joining, this is the business event for you!
Photo courtesy of Jiuguang Wang via Wiki Commons.