Following the Governor General’s nod affirming Royal Assent over Bill C-45, Canada’s cannabis legalization law, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the launch of recreational marijuana sales would be pushed back once again to October 17. Initially, the government proposed a date of July 1 for the start of Canada’s legal marketplace, before pushing things back to mid-September. In fact, until last week the consensus was that it would take about two months to put together the final details of the law.
Instead, the country learned that it would take three-and-a-half months past original projections for cannabis to become officially legal in Canada."We heard from provinces and territories who told us they needed more time to transition to this new framework, so our government will continue to work in full partnership with them, to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of this new law across Canada," Trudeau told reporters.
In the meantime, it is business as usual in Canada until this fall, as cannabis prohibition is still —temporarily, at least —the law of the land.
U.S. Senate Kills Cannabis Banking Amendment
Forbes reported last week that a powerful U.S. Senate panel killed an amendment to let marijuana businesses deposit their profits in banks. The Senate Appropriations Committee tabled the amendment on Thursday by a vote of 21-10. Current federal policy forces marijuana businesses to operate on an all-cash basis.
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee defeated a similar cannabis banking proposal.
Texas Republicans, meeting for their annual convention, declared support for marijuana decriminalization in their official party platform. Also approved was an expansion of medical marijuana access as well as support for industrial hemp. Delegates were given the opportunity to learn about cannabis policy and regulation before the platform vote. Three pro-pot groups and one anti-pot group had booths in the exposition area.
Of the 330 planks approved by the party, four are related to the regulation of cannabis including support for decriminalization. According to the language, adults caught with an ounce or less would be subject to civil penalties.
“The recreational marijuana era is officially underway in Massachusetts,” writes The Boston Globe. In a unanimous decision, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission granted the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana license to Sira Naturals, a cultivation facility in Milford.
Recreational sales in the state are scheduled to begin July 1. The commission expects to vote on several license applications each week between now and then, “setting up a steady if deliberate rollout of recreational pot businesses,” according to The Globe.
By The Numbers
A new poll shows that support for marijuana legalization in the U.S. is at an all-time high. The survey, conducted by research firm GBA Strategies along with the Center for American Progress found that 68 percent of voters now support legalizing cannabis. The online poll included 1,000 registered voters and was done between April 25 and May 1.
Vice president of Criminal Justice Reform at CAP, Ed Chung, stated that the poll’s results are a signal to federal lawmakers. “This finding of widespread, bipartisan national support for marijuana legalization is important as Congress begins to take initial steps in this arena,” said Chung in a statement released last week. “There is clear overwhelming public support for marijuana legalization, and cities and states across the country are taking action. It is time for a national effort to catch up with legislation to liberalize outdated marijuana policies.”
A massive 77 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Republicans are in favor of legal weed.
One Last Toke
High Times announced their acquisition of CULTURE Magazine, calling the periodical an authoritative source on developments about medical marijuana. According to High Times, CULTURE has a global following and is available both online and print.
“We’re building a broad collection of different cannabis-related publications to offer to our many advertisers who are seeking the highly sought demographic of canna-users,” said High Times’ CEO Adam Levin on the acquisition. “CULTURE’s approach strongly complements High Times Magazine and other High Times media properties, events, and merchandise. CULTURE is a natural fit as we continue to expand.”