The ‘Bis weekly news update – June 9 to June 15, 2018

This past week in Canadian cannabis has seen stories breaking related to business, legalization, and education.

The dust has hardly settled from last week’s Senate vote, and the Cannabis Act keeps moving forward. Since last week the House of Commons has rejected 13 of their recommendations, Quebec has passed their provincial laws for when prohibition ends, and the Public Health Agency of Canada wants to begin funding more cannabis training for frontline workers.

We have these stories and more for this week’s ‘Bis weekly news update.

1) How long untill legalization now?

An uncertain part of Canada’s cannabis plan has always been the date of legalization. With Bill C-45 passing another round in the Senate, how long do Canadians have to wait before they can expect the laws to actually change?

The bill has been returned to the House of Commons, where lawmakers will vote if they should accept, reject, or change the 40 amendments added to the bill. This process has already begun – see below – and each amendment will have to be examined individually.

The bill will have to pass back through the Senate.

This is the main wildcard left in the process. If they accept the changes made to their amendments then the rest of the process will move swiftly. The bill will be given royal assent by the Governor General, a process which can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

The Senate could also vote to send it back to the House. Delaying the process further, as the two battle it out.

All that remains from there is the eight to 12 weeks provinces have been given to adjust to the legislation.

This puts the earliest possible date for legalized recreational cannabis likely somewhere in October.

2) The House rejects 13 of the Senate’s amendments

The Senate passed the Cannabis Act through its third reading with 46 amendments. Since it has returned to the House of Commons, 13 have been rejected.

The most notable are the plans to eliminate provinces’ right to ban home cultivation of marijuana, prevent a ban on ‘swag’ and branded promotional items, and removed the establishment of a public registry of all cannabis companies’ directors, officers, controlling parent corporations or trusts, and their directors, members and shareholders.

The reason’s why were all outlined in an Order Paper. Though primarily the House seems to feel that they have already addressed issues like cultivation in their version of the Cannabis Act

3) Quebec passes its provincial cannabis laws

Quebec’s government has passed their long-awaited regulations for cannabis. As expected they are taking a largely conservative approach to the legislation.

While they have chosen to go with a legal age of 18 for purchase and possession, they are looking to institute some of the strictest policies in the country.

While the House has made it clear they want to allow some personal growing in homes (four plants per household), Quebec has said no individual will be allowed to grow cannabis for personal use. Depending what the final version of the Cannabis Act looks like once it becomes law, this could lead to legal challenges for the province in the future.

Cannabis will be permitted to be smoked in the same places as tobacco, but not on universities.

4) Namaste invests in same day cannabis delivery company Pineapple Express

Medical Cannabis seller, Namaste Technologies announced this week that they have signed a million dollar agreement to acquire 15% of Pineapple Express Delivery Inc.

The goal is to create a same-day cannabis delivery service that could potentially reach across the country.

Namaste’s investment will involve an $850,000 cash purchase, payable over 12-months, and an additional $150,000 in the company’s common stock.

Additionally, Pineapple Express Delivery has secured a Courier Services Agreement with Ample Organics, a Canadian “seed-to-sale software platform,” which will create the interface that will allow customers to customize their orders while maintaining personal security.

5) Public Health Agency of Canada announces funding to help frontline workers talk about cannabis facts

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced this week an investment of $223,000 for three organizations — the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the University of Western Ontario, and Health Nexus — to support frontline workers in informing Canadians about cannabis health and safety.

The goal of the funding is to allow these organizations to develop educational tools and resources for public health professionals, educators, school counsellors, and community service providers.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada will play an important role in Canadians’ choices about the use of cannabis,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. Tools and resources developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the University of Western Ontario, and Health Nexus will further strengthen the capacity of health professionals, educators and service providers to communicate with Canadians on the impacts of cannabis use.”

The goal is to develop evidence-based tools and resources developed through the investments that will help to “inform Canadians who may be at greater risk, such as children and youth, and pregnant and breastfeeding women, about the health effects of cannabis and will help prevent problematic substance use.”

The Government of Canada continues to accept proposals from community-based and Indigenous organizations for projects related to public-health need that relate to cannabis.

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