It’s a big day for recreational marijuana users in Canada, and an even bigger day for marijuana producers across the country.
On Tuesday June 19, the Senate voted 52 to 29 in favour (and two abstained) of a revised Bill C-45, which is the final step before royal ascension to make recreational marijuana legal for adults in Canada.
The move means that in eight to 12 weeks, around September, Canadians will be able to legally purchase, grow and smoke limited amounts of cannabis nationwide.
“Now we can start to tackle some of the harms of cannabis,” said Sen. Tony Dean, sponsor of the bill in the Senate. “We can start to be proactive in public education. We’ll see the end of criminalization and we can start addressing Canada’s $7-billion illegal market. These are good things for Canada.”
Major marijuana companies were quick to react to the news, and investors weren’t far behind.
“This is a historic milestone for our industry and for our country that will reverberate around the world as Canada solidifies its progressive leadership on cannabis,” said Vic Neufeld, CEO of Aphria in a press release. “We are pleased to now have a regulatory framework for adult-use cannabis in place that sets the groundwork for the continuing evolution of this rapidly expanding industry.”
Aphria says it has a production capacity of 255,000 kg per year, which will help it meet the anticipated demand in the adult-use recreational market as well as existing medical customers.
On a similar note, Canopy Growth issued a glowing press release, thanking the many people who had contributed to the fight for legalization.
“There are no words to describe and acknowledge this historic moment in Canada,” a representative wrote in a press release. “We would like to commend the fearless advocates who spent years building momentum for change…to all Canadians who participated in turning an idea into reality, this is your moment to celebrate.”
Conservative senators, however, were not as joyous at the passage of the bill and the implications for Big Pot.
“The impact is we’re going to have all those involved in illegal marijuana peddling right now becoming large corporations and making a lot of money and they’re going to be doing it at the expense of vulnerable people in this country,” said Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos.
Marijuana for recreational use will be legal as of Oct. 17, 2018.