The picture of what the legalized pot regime will look like in Canada becomes a bit clearer today, as the federal government unveils many of its proposed pot regulations.
Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor will make the announcement today at 3:30 P.M. ET in the foyer of the House of Commons, alongside Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary to the ministers of justice and health. Blair, a former Toronto police chief, has become the Liberal’s chief spokesperson on the pot file.
While the government put forward the proposed law to legalize pot in April, there are many details that the legislation doesn’t address. That’s where regulations come into play.
The government won’t reveal precisely what issues it plans to tackle in today’s announcement, but there are a host of outstanding issues. Those include the specifics of the roadside saliva testing devices that the government hopes to use to stop drug-impaired driving, details around how recreational pot products will be packaged and advertised, along with questions about rules for commercial growers.
There’s limited time to put new regulations into effect. The federal government has shown no interest in budging on its July 2018 deadline, despite calls from some Indigenous groups, police forces and provincial governments asking for more time to prepare.
In fact, in a bid to speed up the process of passing the new law itself, the Liberals moved to limit debate on the remaining stages of C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act. The Conservatives and NDP voted against the shortened schedule, but they were outnumbered.
The bill is expected to pass the Liberal-dominated House of Commons easily, but the situation may become more complicated when the proposed law reaches the Senate. Several senators have warned that because of the complexity of the issues at play, that process could take months.
StatsCan studies recreational pot
Some have suggested the Senate might not be ready in time for the government’s July 2018 deadline.
With the deadline up in the air, Statistics Canada is getting a jump on measuring the economic and social impacts of legal pot.
To prepare for legalization, the agency says it will try to measure Canada’s current production, sale and consumption of recreational cannabis, despite the lack of data and the fact it remains illegal.
The agency says collecting data both before and after marijuana becomes legal will allow Canadians, governments and businesses to form a clearer picture of the economic and social consequences of lawful pot..