Last week, Canada’s Senate approved the House of Commons’ bill to legalize cannabis but attached several amendments limiting the scope of legalization, including one that allows provinces to ban home cultivation and another imposing heavy advertising restrictions on cannabis companies.
Now, the House of Commons has rejected a number of the Senate’s amendments — including the change allowing provincial home grow bans — and Senators must decide whether a political showdown will be worth it.
According to a National Post report, Quebec, Manitoba, and Nunavut all plan to ban cannabis home grows. The Liberal government, however, has pushed hard for a nationwide allowance of up to four plants per household and, according to Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the government won’t accept it any different.
“Canadians are allowed to make beer at home, or wine, and some Canadians grow tobacco. It’s already possible for Canadians to grow cannabis for medical purposes, and we absolutely believe that the legislation should be consistent when it comes to recreational cannabis.” — Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, in the report
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the home grow provision was based on expert recommendations and accused Conservative senators of trying to delay the legislation.
“It’s been months that Andrew Scheer, the Conservative leader, has been telling his Senate caucus … to play games to slow this down, to interfere with the will of the House … and it’s time that he stopped using his senators this way.” — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the report
Scheer responded, noting that the Conservatives aren’t in control of either the Commons or the Senate, so any delays couldn’t be their fault.
“If the prime minister is upset about the pace of legislation, he needs to talk to his own House leadership team and his Senate leadership team.” — MP Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party, to reporters
All eyes remain on Canada this summer as federal elected officials hammer out the country’s future cannabis regulations, which promise to make Canada the first G7 country to fully legalize adult-use cannabis.