The Cannabis Act or C-45 wasn’t the only bill that received Royal Assent on Thursday. The act’s companion piece of legislation, Bill C-46, that deals with impaired driving, was also made a law in the same day.
The Cannabis Act’s sister Bill C-46 changes the impaired driving laws in Canada by giving police new powers to conduct roadside intoxication tests, including oral fluid drug tests.
It also makes it illegal to drive within two hours of being over the legal limit. Having between two and five nanograms of the psychoactive THC per milliliter of blood would be a summary criminal conviction, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette gave the two bills Royal Assent in the Senate chamber.
While the official date for the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana is on Oct. 17, these new restrictions on drug-impaired driving are now effective. Meanwhile, the changes in the bill related to alcohol-impaired driving come into force on Dec. 18.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that marijuana will be legal nationwide on Oct. 17. In the meantime, Canada’s provinces and cities are working out issues concerning how cannabis will be regulated.
Federally, Canada’s finance ministers have the price of marijuana at about $10 per gram, but the Yukon minister in charge of marijuana says the government hopes to displace more of the illegal market by setting the base at $8.
The government wants to tax legal marijuana at either $1 per gram or one-tenth of a product’s price, whichever is greater, plus federal and provincial sales taxes.
On Oct. 17, Canada will be the first country to legalize recreational marijuana in the G7 and the second country after Uruguay.