Canada’s Senate gave final passage Tuesday to the federal government’s bill to legalize cannabis, though Canadians will have to wait at least a couple of months to legally buy marijuana as their country becomes the second in the world to make pot legal nationwide.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had hoped to make pot legal by July 1, but the government has said provincial and territorial governments will need eight to 12 weeks following Senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales. Trudeau’s government is expected to decide a date that would legalize it in early or mid-September.
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana — and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Trudeau tweeted.
Canada is the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition on marijuana use. In the U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.
California, home to one in eight Americans, launched the United States’ biggest legal marijuana marketplace on Jan. 1.