Article by Emma Spears, Daily Hive
Canadians are currently stuck in a strange legal limbo with regards to cannabis. There are a lot of rumours and myths flying around, and with the legislative discrepancies from province to province, confusion reigns.
As provinces scramble to finalize legislation, it seems that, increasingly, the answer to any specific cannabis-related question is “it’s complicated.” Although the laws are still evolving and subject to change at any time, here’s what we know so far as of July 17, 2018.
Can I legally smoke cannabis yet? Why?
No. Canadians cannot legally consume or purchase recreational cannabis until October 17 for flower and oils. Health Canada has said that edibles and extracts will be regulated within 12 months of federal legalization.
Once Bill C-45 was passed the Senate and the House of Commons in early June, it was promptly granted royal assent. After a bill receives royal assent, there is an implementation period – usually no more than 8 weeks – until the bill comes to power on a set date. In the case of Bill C-45, the implementation period set is slightly longer, at about 12 weeks.
Why is the implementation period so long?
Before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the legalization date as October 17 in a House of Commons meeting in June, the provinces requested more time to finalize their legislation and structure of distribution. The federal government agreed to grant the request for extra time.
Wasn’t it supposed to be legal on July 1?
Not exactly. As Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have confirmed on more than one occasion, the original goal was “July 2018” or “summer 2018,” depending who you ask.
As for the Red Chamber, Senators originally recommended delaying the bill for up to a year, citing an apparent lack of consideration for Indigenous groups and the well-being of minors, among other concerns.