Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Canada closer to legalising recreational use of marijuana after Senate approval

Canada closer to legalising recreational use of marijuana after Senate approval

Canada's marijuana legalization took a big step forward as the Senate passed an amended bill, meaning Justin Trudeau's government can probably finalize the law and open the market this summer as planned.

If the Senate passes the bill with those amendments, it will go back to the House of Commons, where the government will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning it to the Senate for another vote.

Senators have approved nearly four dozen amendments to Bill C-45.

The federal Liberal government, led by Justin Trudeau, introduced the legislation a year ago in a bid to make Canada the second country in the world to legalise the cannabis, after Uruguay.

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Canadian marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corp, Aphria Inc, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF and Aurora Cannabis Inc have been at the center of investor frenzy surrounding attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide. Individuals would also have the right to grow up to four cannabis plants at home.

While the sale of recreational marijuana is not expected to begin until August or September, the senate vote was one of the major obstacles standing in the way of legalisation as Conservatives senators sought to block the initiative. The amendments include stricter advertising rules and provisions that would give the country's provinces a say in how many plants may be grown at home.

Canada would be the first member of the Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries to legalize marijuana for personal use.

Once the bill passes another vote in the Senate, provinces and territories will need an eight-to-twelve week implementation period to prepare before retail sales of legal cannabis are actually available.

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