Yesterday, the House of Commons sent the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) back to the Senate. This was because even though the House agreed with some of the proposed amendments, it did not agree with all of them. Now Senators have to decide whether they want to give into the will of the House, or if they want to insist on all of their proposed amendments.
If the Senate does not agree on the alternative options, it is likely Canada will not see the legalization of cannabis until later in the year. Even a government representative in the Senate has stated that he wants his colleagues to accept the Houses’ rejections, which would allow Canada to go forward with legalization.
Latest on the Cannabis Act | Gov. Rep Adds in Two Cents
On Monday, June 18, after the Cannabis Act was bounced back, the Senate met at 6 p.m. Many were hoping that a resolution would be announced the same day, but that did not happen. The Senate dismissed around 9:30 p.m. and agreed to resume the debate on Tuesday, June 19. We are still waiting to hear the results of this meeting.
That being said, we’re starting to get a picture of what may happen. Some of the proposed amendments that were rejected may disappoint some Canadians, but a government representative in the Senate has stated that despite this, the Senate should still concur with the House of Commons.
Senator Peter Harder openly stated on Tuesday that the Senate should accept the federal Liberals’ rejection. He said that the Cannabis Act should be passed as is, explaining that “if we concur with the House of Commons, I think we will find most Canadians pleased with the manner in which we’ve discharged our constitutional role.”
Now, Harder is not the only person in the past 24-hours to say that the Senate should pass the bill as is. Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said that the Cannabis Act is good “in its present form.”
What’s the Big Deal?
You don’t have to be interested in the cannabis industry to realize that there may be some repercussions if Bill C-45 isn’t passed this week. While I agree that it’s not worth rushing a bill, and it’s important to take the time to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, the Canadian government is running out of time. Once this week is over, the House of Commons will not be in session again until September. This means that the Senate must decide to hold firm on its bill or must concede to the House rules, otherwise, we won’t see the possibility of the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) being passed until the fall.
How would you feel about the Cannabis Act getting delayed until September or October? Do you agree with what Sen. Harder said? Should the Senate give into the will of the House? Let me know in the comments below. And check back in later this week for more potential news on the matter!
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