The Cannabis Act

Federal Bill

The Canadian government tabled Bill C-45 to provide legal access to cannabis on April 13, 2017. The purpose of the bill is to control and regulate the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.

Generally speaking, the bill aims to:

  • Prevent young people from accessing cannabis
  • Protect public health and safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements
  • Deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for people who break the law
  • Reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis

The bill, if adopted by the federal parliament, is scheduled to come into force in the summer of 2018. In the meantime, and while the legislative process is underway, cannabis will continue to be illegal in Canada, except when used for medical purposes in compliance with the appropriate conditions.

The federal government will be responsible for creating and maintaining a strict national framework by:

  • Regulating production
  • Adopting health and safety standards
  • Developing criminal prohibitions

Provincial and territorial governments will be responsible for:

  • Prevention
  • Health promotion
  • Public safety, including road safety
  • Workplace management
  • Distribution, sales, and compliance with regulations
  • Permit granting
  • Cannabis distribution and sales monitoring in compliance with minimum federal standards

Québec, like other provinces, will have the freedom to adapt certain provisions.

Last update: November 16, 2017 10:20 AM