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article imageCanadian Senate passes cannabis legalization bill in final vote

By Karen Graham     Jun 19, 2018 in World
Ottawa - The Senate has voted to accept the latest version of the government’s long-debated legal marijuana legislation, paving the way for the bill to pass into Canadian law.
The final vote was on a motion from Senator Peter Harder, the Government Representative in the Senate, asking that the government's position on the amendments to the cannabis legislation be accepted and the bill be passed as is.
And after a year of intensive study in both the House of Commons and Senate, the Senate voted 52-29 to approve the government’s newest version of Bill C-45 on Tuesday evening. There were only two abstentions.
The House of Commons will be notified of the vote and Bill C-45 will move to royal assent, the final step in the legislative process. This final approval could take place this week and is at the government's discretion. The federal government agreed to accept most of the 40 amendments added to the bill but 13 were rejected.
As it turns out, the Liberal federal government's wishes in seeing homegrown marijuana permitted across Canada has prevailed. The government also won on the proposed change to prohibit cannabis producers from distributing branded merchandise.
Earlier in the evening, one Conservative senator tried to insist on an amendment to let provinces ban marijuana home cultivation, but it failed. Most of today was spent with Senators offering their observations or concerns over the legislation if they were against it, but a final vote was eventually called and that ended further discussion.
Marijuana is not legal — yet
It will be eight to 12 weeks before recreational marijuana is legal in Canada. The government has promised the provinces and municipalities they would have that period of time for their final preparations.
On CTV's Question Period, parliamentary secretary Bill Blair said he expects the date to be some time this September.
More about Bill C45, legalization of marijuana, Senate vote, Royal Assent, recreational cannabis
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