On Thursday the Canadian Senate approved the Cannabis Act, which is another big step toward repealing marijuana prohibition in the Great White North. But, it could still be a few months before Canadians can actually smoke it legally.
Now that the Senate has had their final vote on the Cannabis Act, recreational marijuana is on track to become legal for adult use in Canada. But there are still some steps to go through before legalization becomes law. The new legislation now head's back to the House of Commons for members of parliament to review the Senate's amendments to the bill. If the House nixes some of those amendments or adds new ones, then the legislation will have to go back to the Senate for re-approval. This process of ping-pong between the two chambers could go on for a while, or it may only last a couple of weeks.
Once all the amendments are approved by both chambers, the bill will receive Royal Assent and become law. After that, the individual provinces and territories will take an additional 12 weeks to set up recreational cannabis retailers in their jurisdictions. These potential delays in implementation of the legal market could mean that cannabis may not be available to purchase legally till sometime in September or even October.
Hopefully though the House of Commons will resolve to push the legislation along and make further amendments as time later down the road. While hopes of celebrating Canada Day with a toke may be dashed, there's still a chance to enjoy Labor Day weekend with some legal pot.