Canada: Lawmakers Reconcile And Pass Historic Legalization Plan

Ottawa, Canada: Members of the Canadian House and Senate reconciled and gave final approval this week to C-45, sweeping legislation amending the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so those over the age of 18 may legally possess, purchase, and grow personal use quantities of cannabis.

Majorities of both chambers had previously approved different versions of the measure. On Wednesday, Senate lawmakers voted 52-29 to concur with the House’s final version of the bill. The new law is anticipated to take effect on October 17, at which time licensed cannabis retailers are expected to be operational.

The Act permits those age 18 and older to legally possess and purchase personal use amounts of marijuana or marijuana-infused products from licensed sellers. Households will also be permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use. Commercial marijuana production will be licensed by the federal government, while retail distribution of marijuana will be regulated by individual provinces. A Senate amendment that sought to allow provinces to limit or prohibit personal cultivation was ultimately rejected by members of the House. The new law will not amend Canada’s existing medical cannabis access regulations, which permit registered patients to grow or purchase cannabis from authorized licensed producers.

For more information, contact Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit NORML Canada.