Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that the nation’s adult-use cannabis industry will officially launch on October 17, The Hill reports. The landmark legislation, which passed its final hurdle in the Senate this week with a 52-29 vote, makes cannabis possession and consumption legal for adults 18 and older throughout the nation.
“Today I’m also pleased to announce that the new recreational cannabis will officially come into force on Oct. 17 of this year. We will soon have a new system in place, one that keeps cannabis out of the hands of our kids, and keeps profits away from organized crime.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to reporters
Cannabis legalization was a major platform for Trudeau during the election. While medical cannabis has been legal in Canada for some 20 years, it is only the second country in the world — and the first G7 nation — to end cannabis prohibition.
Provinces are individually establishing rules for their own cannabis retail systems. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec have decided to leave retail sales up to state-run liquor companies. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and Saskatchewan will allow private retailers.
While most Canadians will soon be able to visit nearby storefronts to purchase cannabis products, medical cannabis Licensed Producers — who are currently operating under the federal government via online mail orders — will also remain in place as the adult-use industry comes online.