Feb 13, 2018

By Michael Kramer

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The Trudeau government wants to make sure the Senate doesn’t delay its plans – to legalize recreational marijuana in July.

The government’s representative in the upper house, Senator Peter Harder – wants second reading debate on Bill C-45 wrapped up by March 1st – after which it would go to committee for detailed examination.

If the various Senate factions won’t agree to that timetable – in particular, Conservative senators who’ve been stalling the bill’s progress since November – a motion will be moved by Harder to impose time allocation – to cut off debate.

The move follows Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor telling senators that provincial governments will need two to three months after the bill receives royal assent – to prepare for retail sales of cannabis.

She has insisted that the government is still on track to legalize weed this July – but didn’t clarify whether she meant pot would actually be available for sale at that time – or that the bill would have received royal assent by then. Officials later said that would depend on how quickly C-45 gets through the Senate.

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