Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now giving a hazy answer on when marijuana will be legalized in Canada, saying that folks will be able to break out the bud sometime during the broad period of “next summer,” not necessarily on July 1st.
“It will not be on July 1st, for sure,” he said, in conversation with TVA’s Pierre Bruneau. “It’s something we will do next summer. I don’t know where [the July 1st] date came from.”
Even without a date, all three orders of government as well as law enforcement in Canada continue to work frantically to get their ducks in a row, while in the US, the state of California is preparing to ring in the new year with a little weed.
Proposition 64 was voted in back in November of 2016 but the state delayed retail sales of marijuana until January 1, 2018, in order to get taxation and regulation in order.
The marijuana map in California could end up looking a little patchy, as each city and county will be making its own calls on whether and when to approve the sale of pot within its boundaries. San Francisco, for one, has set January 6 for sales to begin, while nearby Bay cities like Palo Alto and Millbrae are putting the brakes on pot stores.
Home of Stanford University, Palo Alto’s mayor Greg Scharff has argued that medical marijuana dispensaries are “hotspots for crime” that increase the use of marijuana by children. “I think it should be legal in California, but I don’t want to see it in Palo Alto,” Scharff said to Palo Alto Online.
In November, state officials put out their newly crafted marijuana regulations (all 276 pages of them) to outline all the do’s and don’ts. “It’s a big milestone for us to release these regulations,” said Lori Ajax, chief of the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control. “But there’s still a lot of work to be done. No rest for the weary.”
California will allow specially designated private retailers to sell pot and pot products, just as provinces like Alberta and British Columbia are planning to do. The stores will need to be 600 feet (183 metres) from schools, they will close at 10 pm and will need 24-hour video surveillance. The new rules also allow for door-to-door delivery.
Who’s allowed to buy in California? As for alcohol in California, you’ll need to be 21 years and older, two years more than what Canadian provinces are setting out for buying weed.
You can grow up to six plants on your own in a locked, enclosed space, unseen to the public eye, which is in contrast to Canada’s plan to allow four plants (but home growing will still be illegal in Quebec).
Interestingly, California’s new law also allows for those convicted of past marijuana offences to apply to have their criminal records expunged, a result which could have a significant impact on the over one million Californians with marijuana-related convictions.
Where’s the Canadian government on that one? Again, a little hazy, as last spring, Justin Trudeau spoke of “taking steps to look at what we can do for those folks” who have convictions, but so far, no definite commitments have been announced.