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Cannabis Act Receives Final Approval from Senate

By Yvan Guy Larocque + Ryley Mennie - June 21, 2018 under Business Advisory, MT+Co.

THE CANNABIS ACT IS NOW LAW!

Today (June 21, 2018), the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) (“Bill”) became law with the Bill receiving Royal Asset during a ceremony in the Senate Chamber.

Cannabis Act Officially Out of the Weeds

Last week, the Senate passed the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) (“Bill”) with 46 proposed amendments (did you see our previous post on the subject?). On Monday, 205 members of the House voted to reject 13 of the Senate’s proposed amendments and send the Bill back to the Senate for a final vote the next day (Tuesday, June 19, 2018). Happily for the federal government, the Senate voted 52 – 29 (with two abstentions) to pass the revised Bill, including the 13 rejected amendments.

As noted in our previous post, some of the Senate’s proposed amendments that were rejected by Parliament, and were ultimately accepted by the Senate, include:

  • permitting provinces to prohibit home cultivation,
  • requiring a public registry of investors in cannabis companies; and
  • prohibiting cannabis companies from distributing branded merchandise (ie. “swag”).

Notably, Québec and Manitoba have already decided to prohibit home cultivation of cannabis. Thus, there is a conflict between the Bill as passed and Québec’s and Manitoba’s laws, which may give rise to court challenges.

With the Bill having passed its last major political hurdle, the federal government announced yesterday that recreational (aka “adult use”) cannabis will be legal by October 17, 2018, making Canada the first industrialized nation to legalize cannabis, and giving the provinces 17 weeks to respond with necessary legislation and licensing regimes. The federal government also has further work to do enacting necessary regulations under the new law.

Have the Munchies for More?

Stay tuned for more information on the legalization date and regulations as this information becomes available and do not hesitate to contact one of our cannabis team lawyers if you need any guidance in this area. Not sure which lawyer to contact? Try Brian, Dave, Maya, Ryley, or Yvan Guy.