The Current

The Senate passed the pot bill. What happens now?

Canada is on its way to being the first industrialized country in the world to legalize pot nationally. The contentious Bill C-45 to legalize recreational marijuana passed on Tuesday.

'The only other country doing this on a national scale is Uruguay,' says CBC reporter

The Senate voted to pass the contentious pot bill on Tuesday. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Read story transcript

Senators voted to pass Bill C-45 to legalize recreational marijuana, making Canada the first industrialized country to do so.

"The only other country doing this on a national scale is Uruguay. They have a very different economy, a very different setup from Canada," said CBC News senior Parliament Hill reporter Catherine Cullen.

The vote of 52-59 passed with two abstentions.

Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting on Oct. 17, 2018 — many months later than the government's initial target date of July 1.

The date was pushed back after the Senate asked for more time to review the bill.

"They need anywhere between eight to 12 weeks. Government officials have said to actually legally move recreational cannabis to the storefronts in which it will be sold," Cullen told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti. 

"There's still a lot of work to do despite the fact that this has been a very lengthy process," Cullen said, including training staff in stores and rolling out a public education campaign.

Listen to the full discussion near the top of this page.

This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson. 


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