The liberal government rejected three key changes that were put forth by the Senate to its marijuana legalization Bill C-45.
The Senate, after listening to committees and expert panels, proposed almost 4 dozen amendments to Bill C-45 last Thursday.
The Senate Passes Cannabis Legalization Bill C-45 and Sends the Bill Back to Parliament with Dozens of Amendments
The government formally responded to these changes yesterday, and have stated which amendment to the Bill they are accepting and which changes they are rejecting.
The House of Commons Order Paper and Notice Paper stated they have accepted 26 amendments and rejected all others. The three key amendments the government rejected are as follows:
The government rejected the Senate’s proposed restrictions that would give provinces the authority to ban home cultivation, stating, “it is critically important to permit personal cultivation in order to support the government’s objective of displacing the illegal market.”
The government also said no to the Senate’s proposal to ban promotional products such as baseball caps and T-shirts with logos of licensed cannabis producers, stating they “respectfully disagrees with amendment 8 because the Cannabis Act already includes comprehensive restrictions on promotion.”
As well, the government passed on the Senate’s advice to establish a public registry of all marijuana companies’ directors, officers and investors, so that organized crime would be restricted from entering the cannabis market. The government rejected this amendment, stating the legislation already gives it “expanded powers to require security clearances” and that the proposed Senate amendment would “present significant operational challenges and privacy concerns.”
The House will be debating on the changes to the Bill in parliament today, and will be voting on it in the coming days. Bill C-45 will then return to the Senate for another round of consideration by Senators on whether to accept or rejects the House’s proposal.
It will be interesting to see how the Senate responds to the rejection of the amendments it put forth, especially to home cultivation, which has been a source of contention for several Senators.
The governments of Manitoba, Quebec and Nunavut have all stated they do not want to allow home cultivation of recreational marijuana – due to logistics and uncertainties. Several Senators have heard these concerns and want to support provinces by giving them the authority to restrict home cultivation.
If some Senators feel strongly about this issue and reject the House’s proposal, it could delay the Trudeau government’s plan to legalize pot.
Government officials have said they will choose the actual day that marijuana will be legalized in Canada after the Bill passes in Parliament and has received Royal Assent.
Provinces will be given 8 to 12 weeks, after Royal Assent, to prepare for the logistics involved in the sale and distribution of recreational pot.
The Cannabis Act, put forth by the liberal government, will make amendments to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts. This historic Bill will endeavour put an end to an almost century long prohibition in Canada.
By Marijuana.Ca Staff