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Report: Canadian Cannabis Legalization Could be Stalled Past July

Some Canadian lawmakers suggest that federal cannabis legalization could be delayed past July as the legislation to implement the reforms must be approved by May in order for the industry to be fully prepared for the new regime, according to a CBC report. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said that officials from lower levels of government indicated they need eight to 12 weeks after federal approval to prepare for the rollout.

“Before legislation comes into force and Canadians can legally buy cannabis, Health Canada continues to engage national and community partners to share information related to implementation and ensure all levels of government are prepared for the prospective coming into force of bill.” – Taylor to the Senate via the CBC

Currently, the legalization bill is in its second reading in the Senate and still needs to be studied at committee – which could be time-consuming – before being sent back to the chamber for a third reading and debate. If amendments are added to the measure it would head back to the House of Commons and be approved by that chamber, which could take weeks, according to the report. Some Conservative senators have indicated they would use procedural measures to stall the bill’s passage. Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan has suggested the legislation could be pushed back to the end of the year.

“We’ve made it very clear that our goal is this summer. Our goal is this summer in an orderly fashion with all the pieces sequenced in the right order so that they are effective.” – Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to the CBC

In a December interview with TVA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there was no firm date on legalization, saying he wasn’t sure where the July 1 date came from.

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