Entrepreneurs who want to sell supplies to help consumers grow cannabis at home are waiting anxiously for June 7, when Canadian senators are expected to vote on, and potentially amend, the Cannabis Act.
One amendment that may pass is a ban on Canadians’ ability to grow cannabis for recreational purposes at their homes.
The likelihood of that amendment passing in a vote of the entire Senate dimmed a bit May 28, when a Senate committee voted by a 6-5 margin against the proposal. That committee vote result, however, is not binding, and does not limit the full Senate from accepting an amendment in the Cannabis Act to have a nationwide ban on grow-your-own cannabis in a June 7 vote.
The same Senate committee, on May 28, voted for an amendment that would allow provinces to ban home growing within provincial boundaries. The Quebec government, for example, opposes allowing residents to grow weed, so allowing in the act for that provincial government to ban home-grown marijuana could head off future legal challenges that may have taken place if the province had decided to ban home-grown cannabis on its own and one of its residents objected.
Deepak Anand, vice-president of business development and government relations at Cannabis Compliance Inc., told Business in Vancouver that he believes that the Liberal government will accept in a House of Commons vote whatever amendments the Senate passes on June 7. Bill C-45 could then pass swiftly to get royal assent and not be bogged down with more back and forth between the two houses of Parliament.
“[The Liberal government] is not going to cause any unnecessary delays,” Anand said.
“They will endorse a gutted bill if that’s what they need to do.”
The fate of the Bill C-45 section that allows cannabis to be grown in homes for recreational purposes is important for business because entrepreneurs are readying to cash in on that sub-sector – a niche that could be larger than the current U-brew business for beer enthusiasts.