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Canada On The Verge Of Legal Marijuana Nationwide

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Canada is a step closer to becoming the first G-7 nation to legalize marijuana nationwide after the House of Commons voted to allow recreational use. The bill will now go back to the country's Senate, which had already approved a version of the bill.

On Monday, the House of Commons voted 205 to 82 in favor of the Bill C-45, known as the Cannabis Act. Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said that while the government has accepted more than two dozen changes to Bill C-45 made by the Senate last week, it disagrees with more than a dozen amendments to the bill.

The Senate will now discuss the amendments and decide whether to accept the proposed changes to the bill. After reconciliation of the House and Senate bills, it will receive royal assent by the governor general, before becoming law. However, the Senate can only delay the bill, not block it.

Legalizing marijuana was a campaign promise of Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. An initial July 1 target was set for ending the cannabis prohibition that dates back to 1923.

In April 2017, Bill C-45 was introduced to the Canadian Parliament as a means to legalize access to cannabis for non-medical purposes.

It would legally allow for individuals aged 18 and over to purchase marijuana for personal use. The bill will also control and regulate how cannabis is grown, sold and distributed.

Canada legalized medical cannabis way back in 2001 and is home to many of the largest cannabis companies in the world. The federal government has announced plans to legalize adult use later this year, which would make Canada the first G-7 country to federally legalize adult use.

Canada's marijuana industry has evolved a lot more than many other countries and is not hampered by restrictions across state lines, as in the U.S. Based on 2017's consumption data, Statistics Canada estimates that the cannabis market will be worth C$5.7 billion.

In the U.S., nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is legal in 29 states.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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