- 1. With the Senate vote, a decisive step has been taken in the legalization of cannabis in Canada. 56 senators approved the project against 30 opposing it and one abstention.
With the Senate vote, a decisive step has been taken in the legalization of cannabis in Canada. 56 senators approved the project against 30 opposing it and one abstention.
However, the Senate has added 45 amendments to Bill C-46, and it is not yet certain that the government accepts them all. The stakes are high for Canada. Indeed, it is about lifting a ban 95 years old.
The bill must now go to the House of Commons, where the government will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before sending them back to the Senate for another vote.
A preparation period of two to three months for legalization
Once adopted, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said the provinces and territories will need two to three months. Indeed, this time is necessary to prepare before the retail sale of cannabis is effective.
Most of the Senate amendments are minor, but about a dozen are significant. One of them would allow the provinces to ban the cultivation of cannabis at home if they so wish. The initial project allows for the cultivation of four marijuana plants per unit. Quebec and Manitoba have already chosen to ban home cultivation. The amendment would remove the possibility of appealing this local decision to the courts.
Another amendment would impose even stricter restrictions on advertising by cannabis companies. Promotion on t-shirts, caps for example would be prohibited.
The start of a legislative battle with the Conservatives over the legalization of cannabis
Petitpas Taylor has so far declined to say how the government views the many amendments. However, he seems to have given his blessing to at least 29 of them.
Before the vote, senators spent nearly six hours giving passionate and definitive arguments for and against legalization.
An economic challenge for Canada and the legalization of cannabis
according to a report, the Canadian marijuana industry is expected to generate more than $ 7 billion in sales annually, including $ 4,3 billion in recreational sales, $ 1,7 billion in medical sales, and about $ 1 billion from the black market. The report predicted that total cannabis sales could increase by 58%, with regular marijuana users increasing their purchases by up to 22% with the law.