Senators defer on home cultivation issue, clear way for passing cannabis bill

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Trudeau's cabinet was set to decide an official legalization date in early or mid-September.

Bill Morneau, Canada's finance minister, said that he expects the government to rake in almost 300 million Canadian dollars from the taxes on legalized cannabis.

The Senate has cleared the way for pot to become legal across Canada. The bill previously passed in the House of Commons.

"That does not in any way suggest that it's now party time".

Quebec and Manitoba have already chose to ban home-grown weed, despite the fact that the federal bill specifies that individuals may grow up to four plants per dwelling.

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Billy and his mother had travelled to Canada to obtain cannabis oil after the boy's doctor was ordered to stop prescribing it. She said: "I strongly believe that this is the first push - from here, it's a ripple effect".

The Senate's amendment was meant to head off any legal challenges to the provinces' constitutional authority to prohibit home cultivation. The government accepted 27 of them and tweaked two others.

Among the rejected amendments was one which would have authorized provinces to prohibit home cultivation of marijuana if they choose.

But senators voted 45-35 not to insist on that change.

Trudeau's Liberals pressured the Senate to approve the bill this week before a Parliamentary recess began, allowing the government to keep a pledge for the market to open by the end of the summer.

Harder argued that the approach the upper house took to the bill will be studied by students of history as a shining example of how the so-called chamber of sober second thought is supposed to operate. That forced the government to make a written commitment to more consultation and increased funding to help communities deal with the potential negative fallout from legalization and cash in on the potential economic windfall. So, he said, the dispute over home cultivation between the two houses of Parliament essentially comes down to "a single plant". That timeline was pushed back after the Senate requested more time to review Bill C-45. Legalisation could create a market worth C$7.2 billion ($7.8 billion) and investor anticipation has already created several companies such as Aurora Cannabis with market values of more than C$1 billion.

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Only Uruguay has made recreational marijuana legal at the federal level.

Conservative senators remained staunchly opposed to legalization.

Currently, those found in possession without a licence face up to five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.

An expert panel is being set up to advise ministers of potential changes to the law in the United Kingdom, which is the world's largest exporter of legal cannabis.

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