The news that so many have waited for is finally here: legalized cannabis is coming to Canada.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted 52 to 29, with two abstentions, in favour of passing Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, without insisting on a series of amendments rejected by the House of Commons on Monday.
Bill C-45 will now proceed to royal assent and become law in Canada.
Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould tweeted on Tuesday, “this is an historic milestone for progressive policy in Canada as we shift our approach to cannabis. This legislation will help protect our youth from the risks of cannabis while keeping profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.”
Cannabis won’t be legal overnight
However, Wilson-Raybould reminded Canadians that until a proper retail structure is put in place, it’s not legal to light one up in public just yet.
Provinces will require eight to twelve weeks to prepare for legalization. That means Canadians won’t be able to purchase legally until mid-September at the earliest.
According to CBC, it will take weeks for the government to establish a distribution system for producers to transport product to retail.
It will also take time for employees to be hired, trained, and screened so that they can sell cannabis.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will host a press conference on Wednesday to go over next steps for legalization in more detail, according to CBC.