House of Commons Passes Marijuana Bill in Canada

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In a historic vote Monday evening, Canada’s House of Commons approved Bill C-45, the legislation which will eventually legalize marijuana in the Great White North.

The final vote was 200 in favor and 82 against with bipartisan support from Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative MP Scott Reid, and votes from the New Democrats (NDP) as well.

In a last minute Hail Mary effort to delay the bill, the Conservative Party held a vote to send the legislation back to the Health Committee for further scrutiny. The attempt to stonewall failed with 83 in favor of the postponement and 199 against.

The bill now heads to the Senate where some senators have indicated a significant inspection of the legislation.

Three major amendments had been made to Bill C-45 prior to its passing.

First, there will no longer be a height limit on plants grown at home. Originally, the legislation called for a 100 cm cut-off for all marijuana plants cultivated in private residences. Parliamentarians, including NDP Health Critic Don Davies, were against the idea.

“There was absolutely no compelling reason to justify a 100 cm limit,” said Davies in a previous interview with Marijuana.com. “You don’t want to criminalize gardening. Don’t make our police officers have to carry yardsticks.”

Another amendment was the inclusion of mandatory regulations for edibles no later than one year after Bill C-45 is enacted. Previously, the Liberal government had been dragging their feet on the issue and did not address edibles with any timeline in the original legislation.

A final tweak was a promise to review the legislation in three years time for any modifications that might be required.

Although there is a chance that the Senate could slow the bill’s current momentum, prognosticators like Matt Maurer, chair of the Cannabis Law Group at Minden Gross, state any delay is not necessarily political.

Regardless of the next steps, Bill C-45 has cleared Canada’s House of Commons, continuing its rapid ascent towards a legal recreational marijuana sector. Cannabis is expected to be available for adults across the nation in July 2018.

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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