Canada to legalise cannabis next October - Trudeau

Canada has voted to legalise cannabis for recreational use

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada on October 17.

Trudeau said in Parliament on Wednesday that the government is committed to better protecting Canada's youth and hopes to draw money away from organized crime.

The legislation outlining the federal government's approach to legal pot (Bill C-45) passed the Senate on Tuesday night after a tense few days of legislative ping-pong between the Red Chamber and House of Commons.

Trudeau said the government delayed the timetable for lifting the nearly century-old prohibition on marijuana at the request of larger provinces, including Quebec, which asked for more time to make the transition to a legal regime for regulating the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.

Bill C-46, a companion bill that Wilson-Raybould predicts will give Canada the strongest impaired-driving rules in the world, will also become law "in the near future", she said.

"Over the following months and indeed years we will completely replace or nearly completely replace the organized crime market on that", he said. This comes in response to opposition from Quebec and Manitoba who want to ban homegrown plants in their respective provinces.

While production of cannabis is regulated by the federal government, provinces and cities have more powers over retail sales either through private or government-owned stores. "The law still remains the law", Ms. Wilson-Raybould told reporters.

Trudeau said there's "no point" in discussing it until the new laws are in place, a position echoed by Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief and MP who coordinates the marijuana file for the government.

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Trudeau promised to legalize it during the 2015 election and had set a goal of July 1 for it.

"Now that the bill is going to have royal assent, the provinces are going to have to step up and start giving more clarity about where they're at", she said.

The Canadian Marijuana Index, an aggregate measurement of all publicly-listed marijuana stocks in Canada, was up 3.34% as of 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

However, despite the legalization, Canadians still need to be wary when travelling south of the border, as marijuana is still illegal in the United States.

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has said the provinces will need two to three months after the bill is passed before they'll be ready to implement the new legalized cannabis regime. "Canada's progress will galvanize support for drug policy reforms in the US and all around the world".

Many of his customers are Canadian tourists who are terrified of trying to bring pot across the border, he said. If more use marijuana when they're in Canada, more will use when they're on vacation in the states.

"People ask me all the time, 'Isn't legalization in Canada going to hurt your business?'" he said.

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