Canadian Senate To Vote Today on Bill C45 to Legalize Cannabis

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Here in the United States, there’s a lot we can learn from our friendly neighbors to the north. Today, Thursday June 7th, 2018, Canadian lawmakers will vote on whether or not to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use. Polling seems to indicate strong support, so it looks like national legalization for Canada could be right around the corner.

It’s taken 14 months for this bill to make its way from proposed policy change to a vote for Canadian Senators. The bill up for vote, called C-45 or the Cannabis Act, will create a legal system for the cultivation, sale, and use of cannabis.

Chances Are Good The Bill Will Pass

There are 105 seats in Canada’s senate, of which 13 are currently vacant. The occupied seats are held by three parties, including 43 Independents, 11 Liberals, and 32 Conservatives. While Conservative lawmakers have pushed back against the bill, even if they all vote in unison, they can’t prevent the Senate from passing the bill unless Liberals and Independents vote against it as well.

If the bill passes the Senate today, it will move onto the House of Commons. They could pass the bill as-is and send to on to the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. He has stated in the past that he would sign a bill to legalize cannabis in Canada. If the House of Commons feels compelled to change the bill, the Senate will need to vote on it again before it moves on for signing.

In the event that the bill doesn’t get the votes it needs in the Senate, lawmakers will need to start over from the beginning of the process, introducing a bill and debating it for as long as it takes. Even if it does pass and gets signed into law, it will take months to complete creating policy for regulation and legitimizing the Canadian cannabis industry.

What Would Legal Canadian Cannabis Look Like?

In almost every province, any adults age 19 or older will have the right to legalize purchase and use cannabis. However, the province of Alberta will allow anyone age 18 or older to have safe and legal access. Allowing dispensaries is an issue decided on a province-by-province, so access will vary in different places.

There will be a tax of a certain amount based on the price per gram, as well as a flat 10 percent excise tax. The provinces will split the proceeds with the Canadian federal government.

Here at Ladybud, we wish Canadians good luck as they take the major step of potentially leading North America into a bright, post-Prohibition era.

For previous Ladybud on cannabis legalization efforts, click here.