Senators in Canada have passed the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, after studying the legislation for six months. The Senate voted 56 for, 30 against and one senator hasn’t cast his vote.
Canada is one step closer to recreational cannabis as the Senate passed the Cannabis Act with strong support on the floor.
Fellow Canadians, the end of cannabis prohibition is here.
— Senate of Canada (@SenateCA) June 8, 2018
Bill C-45 will now go back to the House of Commons where members of the Parliament will decide whether they accept the last set of amendments the Senators have suggested.
“It’s a historic night for Canada in terms of progressive health policy and social policy,” said Sen. Tony Dean who sponsored the bill. “We know that prohibition doesn’t work. I think this is a brave move on the part of the government, frankly, to take on a tough and controversial issue.”
Once this bill is passed in the House, the law will go into effect and recreational cannabis will finally be legal.
But, before that can happen there are still things that need to be set up in order for sales to start in time.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said that once the bill is passed in the House of Commons, provinces and territories will need two to three months to prepare before retail sales of legal cannabis can start.
Many amendments, few significant ones
Since this act has passed in the Senate, the House of Commons will vote on some more than 40 amendments the Senators previously made.
There are about 30 amendments that are considering technicalities, and about a dozen amendments that are actually important and could shape the way cannabis is dealt with in certain places.
For example, one of the major amendments that Senators have suggested is the one allowing provinces to decide whether they will allow their residents to cultivate cannabis at home.
So far, 2 provinces (Quebec and Manitoba) have already opted in for banning home cultivation.
If this amendment isn’t passed by the House of Commons, it would erase the possibility of legal challenges to their constitutional authority to ban home cultivation.