Last week, Canada’s Senate voted in favor of Bill C-45, the piece of legislation to legalize recreational weed. But the version of the bill they approved had dozens of new amendments. The majority of them were relatively small technicalities. But others were more significant. In particular, here are 5 Canada marijuana bill amendments that could impact weed businesses.
One of the biggest amendments has to do with growing weed at home. Originally, Bill C-45 allowed people to grow up to four cannabis plants at home. But a new amendment could change that. In particular, this amendment gives individual provinces the right to ban home-growing altogether.
Already, reports indicate that Quebec and Manitoba are likely to exercise that right. Those provinces could now ban residents from growing any marijuana at home.
Such bans would obviously impact the cannabis industry, as people would be forced to buy all their weed from dispensaries—or continue buying it from their dealers.
Marijuana Company Branding
Another amendment that’s been receiving a lot of media attention is one that limits the ways that marijuana companies can advertise.
Initially, C-45 allowed weed companies to brand goods that were not actually cannabis products. That meant things like shirts, hats, backpacks, and other similar items. But now, a new amendment will prohibit cannabis companies from branding any non-marijuana goods and products. This will likely impact weed businesses by clamping down on their ability to market and advertise.
Companies already face many restrictions on the visibility of their marketing, and this amendment will tighten those restrictions even more.
The newest version of Bill C-45 calls for limits on the potency of cannabis and cannabis products. In particular, the amendment requires that regulators establish a pre-set limit on how much THC can be in marijuana or marijuana products.
This amendment will have obvious impacts on marijuana businesses. Most immediately, it will require them to carry only products that fall within the limit. This could restrict the range of flower and other products they’re legally able to carry.
It could also impact medical marijuana users, especially those that depend on extremely potent strains for treatment.
Lawmakers introduced an amendment that would require all licensed cannabis producers to publicly disclose all non-Canadian shareholders and executive members.
This is a bit of a technicality, but it will still directly impact marijuana businesses. Obviously, for companies with international executive teams or investors, this amendment will require additional paperwork and regulatory compliance.
It is yet to be seen if this requirement will become a deterrent to international investors or entrepreneurs.
Approval of New Products
Finally, a new amendment introduces stringent requirements for moving a new marijuana product onto the legal market. This amendment would affect products that are not already being considered in Bill C-45.
For future products that fall outside the umbrella of everything already covered in C-45, producers and sellers will need to go through a long and drawn-out process to get approval for the new product.
According to sources based in Vancouver, “this process would require that the product be addressed in the House of Commons and the Senate, using a similar process to how new legislation is passed. This is sure to significantly delay users having legal access to products like edibles, concentrates, vapes, and extracts.”
Clearly, this amendment could affect marijuana businesses by making it much harder to receive approval to sell brand new products.
Final Hit: 5 Canada Marijuana Bill Amendments That Could Impact Weed Businesses
The Senate voted on Bill C-45, with all its amendments, on June 7. The bill won with a vote of 56-30 with one abstention. Now, it will go to the House of Commons, where lawmakers will approve, reject, or further alter the bill. There is the possibility that the bill could continue going back and forth between the two legislative bodies. At this point, it looks like Canadians won’t be able to buy legal recreational weed until August or September at the earliest. Even after Bill C-45 passes into law, provinces and territories will likely need two to three months to prepare for sales to begin.