Article by Rachel Aiello, CTV News
The federal point-man on pot, Bill Blair, says that if the legislation to legalize marijuana passes by the end of the week, the government will eye a September date to implement the new regime.
“Upon Royal Assent a decision will be made by the government as to a date of implementation,” Blair said in an interview on CTV’s Question Period. “We’re probably looking at a date of implementation somewhere towards the beginning of September, perhaps mid-September.”
The Cannabis Act is currently in a temporary state of legislative limbo, after the House of Commons rose early Friday following a 12-hour voting marathon.
On Wednesday the Liberals tabled their response to the more than 40 amendments made to Bill C-45 by the Senate. The government is accepting most of the Senate’s changes, but several substantive ones didn’t make the cut.
The government says it agrees with, and will accept, 26 largely technical proposed amendments to the legislation, which set out the parameters for the production, possession, and sale of legal recreational marijuana for Canadians over the age of 18.
But it “respectfully disagrees” with 13 other changes, including amendments that would give the provinces and territories the power to ban home-grown marijuana, prohibit pot producers from distributing branded merchandise, and set up a registry for shareholders involved in marijuana companies.
After around two hours of debate — during which Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor defended the decision amid criticism from the opposition over remaining issues with the proposed law — the government imposed a motion to limit the remaining amount of time there will be to discuss the amendments.