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Canada Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Last week, we published a blog post regarding a proposed bill in the United States Senate that would provide more autonomy to individual States in regulating marijuana.  On June 20, 2018, Canada passed Bill C-45, which legalizes and strictly regulates cannabis in Canada.

The national minimum purchase age will be 18, but provinces and territories will be able to further regulate the purchase and sale of cannabis and some have indicated they will set the minimum purchase age at 19.  The Act will take further action to restrict youth access, establish serious criminal penalties, provide for legal production of cannabis, and enhance public awareness of the health risks.  Additional information on Canada’s law can be found hereherehere, and here.

The new Canadian regulation of cannabis adds certainty to the cannabis industry in Canada – banks will be able to process payments and, though regulated, the underlying acts of growing, selling, purchasing, and possessing cannabis will be legal in some form on both the local and federal level.  Such certainty is lacking in the United States – the existing federal ban adds uncertainty for businesses operating in full compliance with state and local laws.

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