Legal cannabis forged a major win this week with the passing of Canadian Bill C-45, also known as "The Cannabis Act." Canada's Senate passed the bill with a 52-29 vote (two senators abstained) on Tuesday June 19, 2018, following the lead of The House of Commons. All that is left is for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an avid supporter or cannabis legalization, to sign off on the bill.
The Cannabis Act makes Canada the second country to legalize recreational cannabis nationwide, following Uruguay. It also makes Canada the first G7 country to legalize, adding legitimacy to the cannabis movement.
Though medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, this law is set to boost the country's economy with both old and new companies vying to become the country's premier source for recreational cannabis needs. The United States now has nine states that have legalized cannabis recreationally, and all have experienced explosive economic growth. Hopefully prosperity in Canada through The Cannabis Act will help further cannabis legalization in the USA.
With the end of a nearly century long prohibition, Canada is making a stride forward that could not have even been imagined just a few years ago. Cannabis enthusiasts across the world are finally able to take solace in at least one country actually going through with recreational legalization. And with this bill, many countries that already support medical cannabis use may seek to follow suit with the Great White North.
Canadian cannabis users and businesses will be required to meet certain requirements and adhere to regulations set by the government, of course. But that is a small price to pay for access to a medicinal plant that has been restricted for so long.
According to information provided by the Canadian government, there will be a buffer period of eight to twelve weeks until sales of recreational cannabis can be made. This gives ample time for companies to prepare for sales before the law takes effect.
There is no telling what effect The Cannabis Act could have on this side of the Canadian border. This law, alongside economic growth in the US' own legal states, may provide a shift in perspective to change the way the United States government views cannabis and the benefits that the plant could provide.
Recreational legalization across Canada could be the spark that initiates change, but only time will tell. For now, it is nice to see that the cannabis industry finally made leaps and bounds beyond what was formerly thought possible.