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Oct 17 Date Surprises Industry

At Wednesday’s question period, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proclaimed that marijuana will become legal on October 17.

He explained that provinces wanted more time than originally anticipated to prepare for the new laws, and so went beyond the mooted early September date.

Talking to a gaggle of reporters at an end-of-session news conference, the Prime Minister said, “We heard from provinces and territories who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework, so our government will continue to work in full partnership with them, to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of this new law across Canada.”

He expanded on this, saying that the process was not a “single-day event” and that come the hour, all provinces will be ready for a smooth launch

Alberta Ready to Issue Licences

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General welcomed the announcement but took a moment to caution citizens that cannabis would “continue to be illegal for Albertans to buy or possess cannabis until that day.”

She said that the AGLC will issue conditional licences to approved licensees.

Businesses may begin to prepare their stores but won’t be allowed to sell any cannabis until October 17.

Echoing BC’s sentiment, she added, “Once cannabis is legal across the country in 17 weeks, our work will not be over. Our government will be watching closely to ensure our legal cannabis system is working, and we will make changes as necessary.”

“I want to thank the tens of thousands of Albertans who provided feedback over the last 15 months. Your input and expertise were essential in guiding our efforts to build a system that, at its core, prioritizes the health and safety of all Albertans.”

BC’s Regulatory Framework in Place

Provinces have been hard at work preparing the passing of Bill C-45, and BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, made the following announcement on the Act: “This federal legislation creates a corresponding need for provincial and territorial governments to establish cannabis-related laws and regulations. That’s why BC recently passed legislation to ensure we have a responsible regulatory framework in place for the safe implementation of legalized cannabis throughout our province.

“We’re now focused on developing the regulations and supporting policies for the implementation of our provincial regulatory regime. We are also working on provincial public awareness and education campaigns, to ensure British Columbians have the information they need regarding legalization and our provincial regulations when they come into force.”

Farnworth went on to say that the date set by the federal government is just the start of what will be an evolving landscape. Legalization will be a complex matter, and he pointed out that BC is committed to monitoring its implementation and is prepared to make any adjustments to the regulations to make sure its goals are met. He made special mention of Indigenous governments to ensure that any specific interests and concerns are met.

Photo courtesy of Loving Farm.