Cannabis Act passes final hurdle, legalization date announced
On June 18, 2018, the Senate passed a finalized version of Federal Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act (the Act). The Act will become law upon receiving royal assent, which is expected to occur this week. In a press conference on June 20, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Act will come into force on Oct. 17, 2018, four months after the Bill was passed. Although the federal government had previously announced that the Bill would come into effect much sooner after it became law, Prime Minister Trudeau explained that the delay was in response to a request from certain provinces for more time to prepare for legalization.
Regulation will be governed at the provincial level, and the Ontario government already, in late 2017, passed the Ontario Cannabis Act in that regard, with that legislation to come into effect alongside the corresponding federal statute. However, considering Ontario’s recent change in government, employers should watch out for any potential changes to the Ontario Cannabis Act before legalization occurs in October. As always, we will keep In the Know readers apprised of any such developments.