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Canada first G7 country to legalize retail cannabis

Author(s): Michael Watts, Mark Austin, Susan Newell, Marty Putyra

Dec 18, 2018

Rare is the moment when new legislation captures the attention of the political and business world, the public and the media alike. Such a moment occurred on October 17, 2018 as the world watched Canada become the first G7 nation to legalize recreational or adult-use cannabis. Those who want to capitalize on this new market must be prepared to navigate a complex legislative and regulatory regime with oversight from federal, provincial and municipal governments. Participants in the legal Canadian market will also have to be mindful of the implications for their cross-border activities in other jurisdictions – for example, in the United States where adult-use cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and in most states.

The Cannabis Act

On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act (the Act) came into effect. The Act regulates retail cannabis for adult use, medical cannabis and industrial hemp in Canada. On the same date, cannabis was removed as a...


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