Nearly four years after the federal Cannabis Act1 first came into force, the Minister of Health has now announced a legislative review of the Act. This review will assess whether the current legislative framework is meeting its intended objectives, including deterring criminal activity, displacing the illicit cannabis market and providing adults access to legal cannabis products.
What you need to know
- The federal Cannabis Act came into force on October 17, 2018, legalizing the production, sale and use of recreational cannabis across Canada2.
- At the time it came into force, the Act included a built-in review process requiring the Minister of Health to initiate a review of the Act within three years. The legislation requires the review to consider the impact of the legislation on public health, consumption habits of young persons in respect of cannabis use, the impact of cannabis on Indigenous persons and communities, and the impact of the cultivation of cannabis plants in personal homes3.
- Likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the review is starting a
year late. As part of the review announced on September 22, 2022,
Health Canada is now soliciting input from industry and the public,
which will be considered in the review report ultimately provided
- Input can be provided through Health Canada's online questionnaire until November 21, 20224.
- Contributing comments to this review will help ensure that Health Canada and the Government of Canada considers industry's experience operating under the existing Cannabis Act framework over the last four years.
1. Cannabis Act, S.C. 2018, c. 16: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-24.5/FullText.html.
2. See our previous bulletins for an overview of the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulation.
3. Section 151.1, Cannabis Act, S.C. 2018, c. 16.
4. Engaging on cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada: Taking stock of progress: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/programs/engaging-cannabis-legalization-regulation-canada-taking-stock-progress/document.html.
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