Canada, in a much-anticipated step, will legalize recreational use of cannabis by late summer. In doing so, it will become the first major nation to legalize cannabis use countrywide. According to the USA Today, “The Canadian Senate, the members of which are appointed rather than elected, is likely to OK a legalization measure Thursday after years of quiet study and discussion. After House approval, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government expects to launch legal sales as soon as 10 to 12 weeks from now.”

Canada Legalization Process Finally Advancing

Though the move to legalize recreational cannabis use nationwide was expected, the process has been somewhat drawn out. Citing concerns over teen use and regulations, many Canadian Senators wished to hold up the legalization process. During that contentious time, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stayed steadfast in his belief that recreational cannabis would soon be legal throughout Canada. In early May of 2018, Trudeau stated, “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.” He elaborated, “Obviously, as I’ve said many times, this is not an event, this is a process.”

What Canadian Legalization Looks Like

The Canada cannabis legalization process has been a lengthy one. The first recreational legalization bill passed Canada’s House of Commons in November of 2017. Bill C-45 as it was known, legalized the use of recreational cannabis for any Canadian over the age of 18. The bill also made it legal for Canadians to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, the bill would have created an additional $675 million in tax revenue for local and national Canadian governments. The bill hit snags however and still has not been fully implemented.

The Canadian Senate will vote Thursday on whether or not to finally fully implement legalization policies. They are expected to finally take the step that Canadian citizens have been ready for years.

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