Blair: Legalization in September if Cannabis Act passes by week’s end

September will be the month when Canadians nationwide will see the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana if the Cannabis Act passes by week’s end.

The Senate has passed the Cannabis Act, however, it made more than 40 changes. In response, the House of Commons has some reservations about the changes the Senate made especially when it gave provinces the freedom to ban home cultivation.

So far, the government says it accepts 26 largely technical proposed amendments to the Cannabis Act, which spells out details for the production, possession, and sale of legal recreational marijuana for Canadians over the age of 18.

However, it “respectfully disagrees” with 13 other changes, including giving provinces the freedom to band home cultivation, prohibit marijuana producers from distributing branded merchandise, and set up a registry for shareholders involved in cannabis companies.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period, Bill Blair, the federal MP, who is tasked with leading Canada’s marijuana legalization, said: “Upon Royal Assent a decision will be made by the government as to a date of implementation.”

He added:

“We’re probably looking at a date of implementation somewhere towards the beginning of September, perhaps mid-September.”

If the House of Commons makes changes, which is most likely expected to pass as Liberals have a majority government, it has to send it again to the Senate for another round of approval.

However, the non-elected Senate could accept the will of the elected House of Commons and agree to pass the bill as it is.

Once the House and the Senate agree on the final form of the bill, it would then be ready to receive Royal Assent for final passage.