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Canadian Government Legalizes Recreational Cannabis

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The Canada Parliament building, where the House of Commons, Senate and Prime Minister Trudeau legalized recreational cannabis in Ottowa, Canada.

Canada officially legalizes recreational cannabis, making it only the second country to fully legalize the plant on a federal level.

Canada’s House of Commons voted 205-82 on June 18 to approve some of the Senate’s amendments to Bill C-45, which was another step toward legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. The bill was passed on to the Senate for a final decision on June 19, in which they passed the historic bill with a 52-29 vote. This was followed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official approval on Tuesday as well.

Officials in the House of Commons originally rejected allowing provinces to ban home cultivation, and they also shelved a ban on cannabis producers selling branded merchandise. “We have been talking about this since well before we formed government”, Trudeau recently told reporters. “We have been working with our partners across the country to make this happen and we are going to be moving forward this summer on the legalization of cannabis.”

Trudeau promised to legalize recreational cannabis in Canada two years ago as a campaign promise. Adults will now be able to legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and buy cannabis for around CDN $10 or less. 

Before Prime Minister Trudeau approved the bill on June 19, he confirmed on Twitter that he was more than ready to finalize legalization in his country. “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana—and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept

Bill C-45 will legalize and regulate production, possession and sale of cannabis to Canadians over the age of 18. Uruguay legalized recreational cannabis several years ago, but now that Canada has legalized recreational cannabis, it is he first G7 nation to do so. It now has put an end to almost 100 years of cannabis prohibition in Canada.

Following this Senate approval, Canadian officials advised it will take up to 12 weeks for the implementation of the regulatory framework. Trudeau announced Wednesday cannabis will be legalized October 17.

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