Friday 23 August 2019

Canada to legalise cannabis

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AP
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. Photo: AP

Canada is poised to legalise recreational marijuana across the country today, making it the first G7 country to do so.

The Canadian Senate will vote on bill C-45, which would legalise the use and purchase of marijuana for people over 18.

The bill has already passed the House of Commons and is supported by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Senate has studied the bill for six months and is expected to pass it. Sales of legal cannabis will not be permitted until two to three months after the legislation passes, the country's health minister has said.

Canada would be the first of the G7 countries to legalise the drug nationwide. Some of the countries, including Canada, have passed legislation allowing marijuana for medical use while several US states have legalised recreational use of cannabis.

Becoming a leader in legalisation could have a major impact on Canada's economy. Legal marijuana is expected to be a more than $6bn business, according to a report by financial services company Deloitte.

Legal cannabis will be heavily regulated, however. Under guidelines from Canada's public health agency, marijuana products will be sold in plain packaging with limited branding.

Under the legislation, adults can carry up to 30g of cannabis. Exceeding this amount in a public space - including an individual's vehicle - will be punishable by up to five years in jail.

© Independent News Service

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