Fulfilling a popular campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada has officially voted to legalize the adult possession and use of cannabis, according to a CNN report. In a 52-29 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the Senate advanced bill C-45 for the last time, accepting changes put forward in the House of Commons and sending the bill onwards for Royal Assent.
Trudeau, who has argued that legalization is the best way to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and cartels, took to Twitter to celebrate the bill’s passing.
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept” — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, via Twitter
What is legal? Canadians who are 18 or older will be allowed to possess and share up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, grow up to four plants in their households, and create cannabis-infused edibles and similar products. Provinces can individually raise the minimum age threshold, but a similar strategy by senators to allow provincial bans on cannabis home grows was shot down by the House of Commons.
The legislation also establishes rules for a taxed and regulated industry: there will be local cultivators and cannabis storefronts regulated by provinces and territories, but consumers will also have the option of purchasing from one of the many established Licensed Producers who can already grow and distribute cannabis across the country under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
Bill C-45 also included updates to Canada‘s impaired driving laws to adjust to cannabis being a legally available substance.
Experts predict the Canadian cannabis marketplace could generate up to a $1.6 billion in sales during its first year.