Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Canadian senate passes weed bill but legalisation delayed

Published:Wednesday | June 20, 2018 | 10:59 AM
AP photo

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s Senate gave final passage Tuesday to the federal government’s bill to legalise cannabis, though Canadians will have to wait at least a couple of months to legally buy marijuana as their country becomes the second in the world to make pot legal nationwide.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had hoped to make weed legal by July 1, but the government has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales.

Trudeau’s government is expected to decide a date that would legalise it in early or mid-September.

“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana — and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalise & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Trudeau tweeted.

Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for weed sales.

The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade.

Canada is the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on marijuana use.

In the neighbouring U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalised marijuana.

California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States’ biggest legal marijuana marketplace in January.

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