Report: Canada’s legal rec MJ program to start by July 2018

Recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada by July 1, 2018, CBC News reported Monday.

The disclosure of the launch date for Canada’s rec sales is expected to piggyback on the liberal government’s announcement next month about the nation’s cannabis legislation, according to the national broadcaster.

Under the proposed legislation, which could be unveiled as soon as the week of April 10, Canada’s federal government will be responsible for licensing and monitoring cultivators, including ensuring the safety of the marijuana supply, CBC News reported.

Canada’s provinces will be responsible for deciding how marijuana is sold and distributed, according to the CBC News report. Under Canada’s current medical marijuana law, the 38 federally licensed producers can only mail MMJ products to patients, and MMJ storefronts remain technically illegal.

The federal government also will set the minimum age to purchase marijuana at 18, according to the report, but provinces will be allowed to raise the age limit.

The proposed legislation was drafted largely along the lines of recommendations made by a nine-person government task force. That report recommended that the country’s currently operating MMJ growers receive the initial recreational cultivation permits.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s point person for recreational legalization – parliamentarian and former Toronto police chief Bill Blair – briefed Liberal delegates about the program’s plans during party meetings last weekend, the CBC reported.