Regulatory Lag to Push Legal Marijuana to Late Summer

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Canadians will have to wait until late in the summer before they will be able to legally consume cannabis under a new timeline laid out by the federal government – even if the Senate votes in favour of the legislation by May or June.

Ottawa now says it will give industry up to three months to adapt to strict packaging rules and legally ship their products to provincially regulated stores. This new timeline, unveiled by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor on Tuesday, means adults will not be able to purchase marijuana for recreational purposes immediately after Bill C-45 is adopted in Parliament.

Instead, the federal government will wait eight to 12 weeks after the legislation is passed before officially lifting the 95-year-old prohibition on cannabis. The Liberal government had initially hoped to legalize cannabis before July 1, but is now publicly stating that it hopes to achieve its goal at some point in July. It remains unclear exactly when Bill C-45 will be adopted, but it is currently in the early stages of review in the Senate, where it is expected to face vigorous scrutiny and potential delays.

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Canadian Press – Jeff Mcintosh – Feb 6, 2018.

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