On 17 October, Canada legalised the recreational use of marijuana, following the passing of The Cannabis Act 2018 this summer. This marks a further step in the drug's deregulation in Canada, where its medical use has been lawful since 2001 under a licensing regime. It is, however, still unlawful to produce, import and export cannabis without a licence and licences to import and export are restricted to medicinal use. Canada is the third country worldwide to legalise the drug's recreational use, after Uruguay in 2013 and Georgia this year. In the US, most States have either legalised or decriminalised marijuana usage to some degree,1 although at a Federal level it remains illegal. The drivers of this trend are complex and varied, both economic and social. However, a growing recognition that the drug has manifold medical applications has arguably been the principal catalyst and, particularly in the UK, has dominated public debate.

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Originally published by Money Laundering Bulletin.


1. Nine States, plus the District of Columbia, have legalised its recreational use, seven of those states allow cannabis to be sold for recreational use. Vermont and DC only allow possession and growing.

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