Cannabis Act

An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Sponsor

Status

Second reading (Senate), as of Nov. 30, 2017

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-45.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.

The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

The Act

(a) establishes criminal prohibitions such as the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis, including its sale or distribution to young persons, and the unlawful possession, production, importation and exportation of cannabis;

(b) enables the Minister to authorize the possession, production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis, as well as to suspend, amend or revoke those authorizations when warranted;

(c) authorizes persons to possess, sell or distribute cannabis if they are authorized to sell cannabis under a provincial Act that contains certain legislative measures;

(d) prohibits any promotion, packaging and labelling of cannabis that could be appealing to young persons or encourage its consumption, while allowing consumers to have access to information with which they can make informed decisions about the consumption of cannabis;

(e) provides for inspection powers, the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties and the ability to commence proceedings for certain offences by means of a ticket;

(f) includes mechanisms to deal with seized cannabis and other property;

(g) authorizes the Minister to make orders in relation to matters such as product recalls, the provision of information, the conduct of tests or studies, and the taking of measures to prevent non-compliance with the Act;

(h) permits the establishment of a cannabis tracking system for the purposes of the enforcement and administration of the Act;

(i) authorizes the Minister to fix, by order, fees related to the administration of the Act; and

(j) authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting such matters as quality, testing, composition, packaging and labelling of cannabis, security clearances and the collection and disclosure of information in respect of cannabis as well as to make regulations exempting certain persons or classes of cannabis from the application of the Act.

This enactment also amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to, among other things, increase the maximum penalties for certain offences and to authorize the Minister to engage persons having technical or specialized knowledge to provide advice. It repeals item 1 of Schedule II and makes consequential amendments to that Act as the result of that repeal.

In addition, it repeals Part XII.‍1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with instruments and literature for illicit drug use, and makes consequential amendments to that Act.

It amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in federally regulated places and conveyances.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Nov. 27, 2017 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 27, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (recommittal to a committee)
Nov. 21, 2017 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 2017 Failed Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (report stage amendment)
Nov. 21, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
June 8, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts
June 8, 2017 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts (reasoned amendment)
June 6, 2017 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, it is absolutely outrageous that this debate is being shut down. From the beginning, the government has been rushing ahead to this arbitrary date, which is 223 days away. The Liberals always talk about how they are consulting, but unfortunately they are never listening.

Quebec has recognized that home grow does not keep cannabis out of the hands of children. New Brunswick thinks the same, so it has introduced measures to lock it up. Everyone at committee told us that we needed public awareness and education in place before legalization. The government has had two years and has done nothing. It has not even started to roll out the public education and awareness program. Speakers are lined up to speak to the bill, and the government is shutting down Parliament's ability to take a look at the legislation and point out the things that are wrong.

It is not just the indigenous peoples who have not been consulted. Municipalities are saying that they have not been consulted. The Real Estate Association still has concerns. There is no plan to address the three treaties we will break as a result of this.

Also, on a point of order, we have props in the House. While I love the United Church, and I am all about the poor, we cannot have props in the House today.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:15 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to confirm that we are listening. We have been listening for two years, and we will continue to listen. We will continue to engage with the provinces and territories, six of which have introduced their own measures with respect to responding to Bill C-45. We will continue to support them in that regard, as well as the other jurisdictions that will likely move forward in some manner.

On public education and communications, we have implemented substantive measures in this regard, including investments. Very recently we announced $36.4 million for public education and awareness, and that campaign has begun. For example, we have engaged in many initiatives via social media. We have issued 110,000 leaflets for a drug-free Canada. There are ongoing efforts by my colleagues, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Public Safety, to ensure we continue to communicate the risks related to cannabis, particularly with respect to young people.

We will continue to have this campaign. We will continue to work in collaboration on this campaign to ensure the provinces, territories, municipalities, and law enforcement are prepared for the legalization, strict regulation, and restriction of access to cannabis.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:20 a.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, what contempt for indigenous peoples, civil society, and the individual communities across Canada. What contempt for the provinces.

The government says it is listening, but it is as deaf as a post. It is incapable of listening. Maybe that is why I am raising my voice, so that it might reach their ears at some point.

While the Government of Quebec is asking for more time, the Liberals have the nerve to impose time allocation to speed up the passage of Bill C-45. It makes no sense. The government wanted to usher in a new era of collaboration with the provinces and establish new federal-provincial relationships. Well, that ended just as quickly as it began, thank you very much. The government could not care less about raising awareness or training police officers. It could not care less about health and social services or the cost to the provinces. There is just a need for speed.

What is the rush? My Conservative colleague was right. July 1, 2018 is an absolutely arbitrary date and it makes no sense. The only logical reason for rushing through this is to cater to cannabis producers who have received authorizations and permits, many of whom are former Liberal ministers and organizers.

Are they not the reason why we are voting on this time allocation motion today?

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:20 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, I completely reject that characterization. I appreciate the passion and the emotion in the way the member is expressing his views. Therefore, I will reiterate what I have stated in response to his comments to assure him we are listening.

We have been listening for two years. We engaged a task force that put together a report and recommendations and benefited from discussions across the country. We have been and will continue to listen to indigenous communities.

We are taking great care around awareness, while ensuring law enforcement officials have the tools they need to conduct their jobs. We are also ensuring that we are taking into account the costs. We are having these discussions and consulting with the provinces, territories, and the Canadian public to determine the cost and taxation. We will continue to work with the provinces, territories, and municipalities. We have had conversations with the province of Quebec, and we will continue to do that.

Once again, we are listening. This is important legislation. It seeks to address an issue of the status quo, which simply is not working. It is so incredibly easy for young people to get cannabis, easier than it is to get a cigarette.

We will legalize and have a comprehensive framework in place. Our government is committed to doing that.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:20 a.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I have listened to the minister. One thing that is being lost on the other side is that we, in opposition, made a commitment to Canadians that if we were to form the government, this is exactly what we would do.

It should be no surprise to members opposite that we have legislation dealing with this very serious social issue. The Harper government chose to do nothing. The legislation would take literally hundreds of millions of dollars out of the hands of criminals. It would work much better toward assisting our young people today. We have more young people engaged in smoking and consuming cannabis than any other country in the western world.

For the very first time, the legislation will take direct action. Could my colleague, the minister, comment on the importance of maintaining this election platform commitment?

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:20 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, my thanks to my colleague for his reiteration of our commitment in the campaign in the lead-up to the election, a campaign commitment we are moving forward with in a substantive and comprehensive way, while taking a health and safety approach, to ensure we address the dysfunction of the status quo and the ability for young people access to cannabis. Canada has the highest rate of usage of cannabis by young people as compared to other places in the world.

We made a commitment to the legalization, strict regulation of cannabis, and the restriction of access to cannabis to keep it out of the hands of children and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.

We have undertaken to achieve this commitment with vigour. We have introduced Bill C-45. It has benefited from the substantive expertise of the task force on cannabis. Most of their recommendations were incorporated into the legislation. We have also benefited from recommendations and amendments that were made at committee.

I look forward to the continued debate and discussion over the course of today and to the passage of the legislation. I also look forward to the discussion that will happen in the other place.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Madam Speaker, we keep hearing the justice minister say that this is all about keeping pot out of the hands of children. What kind of Orwellian doublespeak is that? Clearly, when they are 12 years old, they will be able to possess five grams of pot. How do mothers or fathers go to their children and tell them that pot is not good for them, when the government says that it is okay for 12 year olds to have five grams of pot? How is that keeping pot out of the hands of children?

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, I know the member opposite has asked this question in previous forums.

Nothing in Bill C-45 makes it legal for a young person to possess cannabis. In having the five grams in Bill C-45, we have sought to ensure that we find a balance between the over-criminalization of young people and to ensure we do everything we can to protect the health and safety of, and restriction of access for, young people.

In the legislation, the provinces and territories have the ability, much like they do with respect to tobacco and alcohol, to put in place measures to ensure that cannabis can be seized from a young person by law enforcement officers, much the same way they do with respect to alcohol and cigarettes.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, this is the 25th time that time allocation has been invoked to limit debate on a bill, even though the Liberals have only passed 19 bills so far. This is senseless and demoralizing.

The Liberals talk a good game about transparency and listening. They claim they are still at the listening stage and are open to amendments. However, of the 38 amendments proposed by the NDP, how many were accepted? Zero. The Liberals rejected every single amendment in committee, even though the goal was to improve the bill so it would truly protect youth.

The minister says we are protecting youth. In reality, however, only a paltry $36 million over five years has been set aside for education. Colorado invests $40 million a year in education and prevention, but Canada is only prepared to put $7 million a year towards its so-called historic marijuana legalization bill. That is totally inadequate. This is supposed to be an investment in protecting our youth.

The deadline is less than nine months away, but no front-line youth outreach organization has been contacted. There is no outreach going on with youth at home or in school or with street workers. There is a problem with communication and prevention.

What can the minister offer us in the way of assurances? Nothing is giving me much comfort this morning.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.
See context

Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, my colleague across the way has always been an advocate for ensuring we have public education and awareness campaigns. I appreciate her raising this in the House, time and again. Our government is fundamentally committed to it, ensuring we do it in a substantive way.

I know my colleague, the Minister of Health, as well as my parliamentary secretary, are going to continue to engage, as am I, as is the Minister of Public Safety. We have made substantive investments with respect to public education and awareness. We have been engaging in social media to raise awareness about the harms and risks with respect to cannabis use. We have been talking about this and distributing leaflets on a drug-free Canada.

We will continue to do this. We will continue to engage with Canadians about how best we can move this forward to ensure that awareness is made in all areas and within all the places and populations that it is necessary to make substantive efforts.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Madam Speaker, the minister speaks of exhaustive consultations, but she does not acknowledge the appeals for delay from all levels of society.

Here we have time allocation, the legislative guillotine, cutting off debate on perhaps the most important piece of legislation, where debate should be exhausted, not cut off. The Liberals have rejected appeals from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the provinces, the municipalities, and from all sorts of groups across society. We are now seeing checkerboard regulations being brought in, province to province, in some cases contradictory regulations, which will complicate both the application and enforcement of the law, as well as the public's right to know what happens on this side of the Gatineau River or on the other side.

It is particularly offensive, as this week we have the representatives from towns and cities, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in Ottawa to talk to government, to talk to their parliamentary representatives. How can the Liberals and the minister look those representatives in the eye and tell them that they are not listening to their appeals for delay?

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, in fact I do recognize that these individuals are in Ottawa, and we have been listening. We have been talking to municipal officials. We have been looking them in the eye and having substantial conversations about Bill C-45 and the provisions contained therein. We are committed to ensuring that we change the status quo, a status quo that simply is not working. We want to move forward with the legalization of cannabis and strictly regulate and restrict access.

In order to have a comprehensive framework in place by July of 2018, we have to work with provinces, territories, law enforcement, and municipalities. We are committed to continuing to do that and look forward to the discussion that will happen today in ongoing debate, which has been substantive in this place.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Madam Speaker, the fact is this has become a government that is engaged in serial closure. This is the 25th time in this Parliament that the government has sought to ram through legislation without having proper debate, and it is particularly egregious.

Yesterday, on Bill C-59, an immensely controversial piece of legislation, the government imposed a procedural trick to shut down debate after only a few hours. Today, we are dealing with deeply flawed legislation with holes in it that need to be fixed, and the government is saying that it is going to shut down debate in the House of Commons and ram things through. The number of witnesses the minister cites does not matter. The fact is that amendments have been rejected time and time again and now the Liberals are trying to shut down debate. Why do they not fix the bill? New Democrats are willing to work with them.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Jody Wilson-Raybould Liberal Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, I have to reiterate the comprehensive nature of Bill C-45, the consultations, and the ongoing discussions we have had, and will continue to have, with provinces, territories, and municipalities to ensure that we can establish the comprehensive framework that will legalize cannabis, and strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis. This is an ongoing effort.

As we have seen, six jurisdictions have instituted their own measures with respect to the regulation of cannabis. We are going to continue to work with them and the other jurisdictions to ensure, come July 2018, that we have a comprehensive framework in place that obliterates the status quo and ensures that we keep cannabis out of the hands of kids and the proceeds out of the hands of criminals.

Bill C-45—Time Allocation MotionCannabis ActGovernment Orders

November 21st, 2017 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Madam Speaker, I have heard a lot of talk about delays from the other side, requests to delay this legislation further, and that we are rushing ahead so quickly. I would note that Colorado and Washington, in November 2012, passed resolutions at the ballot. The electorate called for legalization. In Colorado, 13 months later, businesses opened to sell cannabis. In Washington, 21 months later, businesses opened to sell cannabis. Given that it has already been more than 24 months since our election, does it seem like a rush here in Canada?