Canada Sets Date for Marijuana Legalization

Recreational pot will be on sale Oct. 17
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2018 4:34 AM CDT
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a Pride flag raising ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.   (Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press via AP)
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(Newser) – Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Canada—but only for another 17 weeks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that marijuana legalization, passed by the country's Senate on Tuesday, will be in effect as of Oct. 17 this year, giving provinces time to set up retail outlets and prepare for the change in the law, the CBC reports. "It is our hope as of Oct. 17 there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion," he told reporters, adding that the government hopes to "almost completely replace" the organized crime market.

Trudeau said he had decided to push the date of full legalization back to October to give extra time to provinces and territories "who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework," CTV reports. To become law, the bill still needs assent from Queen Elizabeth II's representative, which is expected early Thursday. The country's 10 provinces and three territories will have different systems for pot sales, with all private pot shops in some provinces, only publicly owned stores in some, and a mix in others. "It's this amazing case study for countries globally to see the amazing benefits that legalizing cannabis can have on things like the economy, eradicating the black market, and getting cannabis out of the hands of minors," Matt Gray of the Herb social media platform tells the AP.

(Read more marijuana stories.)

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