The Senate has passed a contentious bill to legalize pot — but Canadians won’t be allowed to legally light up for several weeks yet, to give provinces time to set up a retail regime, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould warned today.
On a blustery New Year’s Day four years ago, throngs of people in toques and jackets lined up in parking lots and on sidewalks across Colorado waiting for the end of prohibition. At 8 a.m., more than two dozen marijuana dispensaries opened their doors for recreational sales. By the end of the first week of sales, locals and tourists alike had reportedly spent US$5 million on weed.
Independent Sen. Tony Dean tells Eric Sorensen he was disappointed with the government’s decision to delete some of the Senate amendments to the cannabis legislation and adds the government will be accountable for this decision once the bill receives royal assent.
As Canada’s cannabis legalization bill stumbles toward the finish line, there is suddenly a tremendous amount of political drama around the question of whether Canadians can grow their own cannabis.
Canada is still hammering out the final details for legalized recreational marijuana use, but it’s already being branded as the “world’s most important” cannabis exporter.
“If we had to open today, we could open 11 stores,” CEO and president Brian Harriman said at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John on Monday.
That time could still be months away, despite the Liberals’ initial promise the law would change by July 1. Thursday’s vote was the final major hurdle in the marijuana legalization process, but there are still a number of steps to go before ending the 95-year prohibition.
From crime to health to business, Canada’s decision to legalize marijuana is a grand progressive experiment that promises to answer a host of questions.