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NEWS RELEASE: Senate Votes in Favour of Cannabis Legalization Along with Amendments

From the office of Senator Tony Dean



June 7, 2018

OTTAWA– Canada’s Senate voted Thursday to legalize and regulate cannabis while adding a series of amendments that will now go to the House of Commons for its consideration. 

The Senate voted 56-30 – with 1 abstention – to approve the bill along with amendments that include the recognition of provincial authority to regulate home cultivation and a requirement that cannabis companies make public the identities of their shareholders for increased transparency.

The Senate began third reading of Bill C-45 on May 31st after an agreement between leaders of all caucuses and parliamentary groups to organize the debate by themes. The vote followed an exhaustive seven-month study that heard from more than 200 witnesses over nearly 50 meetings, including several key ministers and public health experts. The themes debated at third reading included discussions on topics such as criminalization and Indigenous issues.

“This was a process that does credit to the Senate,” said Senator Tony Dean, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate. “Sober second thought is truly working.”

The Cannabis Act arrived in the Senate in November and leveraged the expertise of five separate Senate committees. Ministers also appeared before a special meeting of the Senate where all senators were given the opportunity to pose questions.

The comprehensive legislation proposes to set out controls for the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis. The legislation aims to restrict youth access to cannabis; protect the health and safety of the public through strict product safety and quality requirements; and deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework.

The House of Commons will now review the Senate changes and decide how many to accept. Should the government not accept all the Senate amendments, the bill will return to the Senate for further consideration. 

For more information, please contact:

Amanda McLaren
Parliamentary Affairs Advisor to the Honourable Tony Dean

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