On June 7, 2018, Canada’s Senate approved its version of a cannabis legalization bill. The vote was truly historic.
Canada’s House of Commons approved a cannabis legalization measure in November 2017, however, the Senate version included dozens of amendments.
Ever since the House passed their bill, cannabis advocates across the globe have been watching the Senate.
After attempts to prevent the bill from passing, and efforts to delay any vote, the Senate has finally approved cannabis legalization for adult-use.
Now the Senate’s version with its dozen of amendments goes back to the House of Commons for consideration.
What significant changes were made by Canada’s Senate?
One of the most important amendments to the cannabis legalization bill introduced in the Senate involves home cultivation.
The Senate amended the bill to allow provinces to regulate home cultivation and with Quebec and Manitoba expressing a desire to ban home cultivation, the amendment is concerning.
Another controversial amendment would establish a public registry of cannabis industry members, which is raising concerns over privacy.
The amendment was introduced to help ensure that cartels and organized crime did not infiltrate Canada’s cannabis industry.
What happens next?
Short of the House of Commons approving the Senate’s version of the legalization measure, legalization efforts in Canada could drag on for some time.
Some of the amendments are likely to draw opposition from the House of Commons.
It’s a safe assumption that prohibitionist lawmakers will be on a full court press to try to throw monkey wrenches into the process.
If the House approves some but not all of the amendments, the bill would go back to the Senate for further consideration.
Some level of back and forth is likely to occur, and how long the process will ultimately take is up in the air right now.
All eyes will remain on Canada
Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use, but Canada’s legalization will likely prove to be more significant.
Legalization in Canada will likely start a domino effect on countries ending cannabis prohibition in one form or another, including in the United States.
The model in Uruguay was more geared towards combating the unregulated market than it was to create a robust industry.
Canada’s legalization model is going to not only create a robust market at home, but it will also result in Canada continuing to build its lead on international exports.
As other countries pass legalization measures and need help getting their adult-use industries off the ground, Canada’s companies will be there to fill the void.
If Canada legalizes cannabis in the near future, it would make Canada the first G-7 nation to do so.
We will all have to wait and see what happens but trust that Green Flower will continue to monitor the situation and report developments as they occur!