McLellan: Government wants legalization running "no later than 6 months before the next election"

McLellan spoke yesterday at a private meeting held by Bennett Jones LLP

In a private meeting yesterday in downtown Toronto, the Honourable Anne McLellan, Chair of the government’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, spoke with various stakeholders in legalization to provide updates on the process and timeline.

McLellan, who is also a Senior Advisor at Bennett Jones LLP, an international law firm based in Canada, spoke at the Bennett Jones office in downtown Toronto, along with Hugo Alves, a Senior Partner at BJ. Bennett Jones also represents numerous businesses operating in Canada’s medical cannabis space.

Mclellan told attendees to expect legislation earlier than later, and that the government wants legalization in place “no later than six months before the next election”.

Key points from the meeting are below.

  • Expect the legislation earlier rather than later. Spring window is April-June. McLellan was confident it would be on the early end of this window.
  • Government wants legalization/adult-use running "no later than 6 months before the next election."
  • "Regulation is the hard part, not the legislation."
  • Normal track for all this could take 18-24 months.
  • US does not impact what's happening in Canada (unless they wants to make problems). There are certainly some concerns with what the feds will do south of the border, but McLellan was quite clear that it should make no impact on our goal of legalizing and restricting access.
  • Clarity on advertising restrictions.  McLellan reiterated the Task Force’s recommendation of plain packaging, but then went on to say that in-store advertising is allowed.
  • Licensed Producers will be the legal producers in a recreational market. 
  • Provinces want the Federal Government to handle production regulation. But they want to take the reigns around distribution and retail.
  • Most contentious issue will be around driving under the influence. McLellan expects this to be the single largest hurdle for legalization. A recent study suggests "Oral measurement of THC intoxication level is not feasible."

"We are at the beginning of a whole new experiment" - Anne McLellan


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  1. Robert Reply

    Just words from another former Liberal who now works for a law firm that represents several LP's seems like that's a conflict of interest at the very least it's shady and sleazy.
    Then there is Dr. Ware who was on the task force now all of a sudden he is working with one of the LP's.
    Then there are liberal party members involved in some of these LP's the government is a crooked lot and what really pisses me of is how bold they are they're not even trying to hide it they are sticking it to us and rubbing it in are faces.

  2. bob beck Reply

    well well we'll...LP will the be the legal distributors...ignoring all relevant information against this and the will of the public and going to give the carrot to their clients???
    gee. expect anything else form these. self serving. morons. I wonder how much they are holding in fees from the LP's they represent..

    they cannot even bother to pretend they are not. scamming the public once again

  3. Louis Reply

    There are already decades of road statistics and studies on the effects of driving under the influence of pot, the most comprhensive of which show,
    "The best evidence around cannabis and MVCs (multi vehicle crashes) comes from modern “culpability studies” from Australia[7] and France,[8] which found that crashed drivers who used cannabis were more likely to have caused the crash than drug- and alcohol-free drivers. However, this risk was relatively small—comparable to that associated with alcohol levels between 0 and 0.05%." .
    So, since you can't get more high, as everyone who gets high already knows, and the worst it does to you is the equivalent of blowing 0.05, then if the cop suspects impairment he can issue a 24 hr park it. Problem solved Anne.

  4. Pete Reply

    Why is this a hurdle now, this is why government is nothing but a bunch of hypocrites .You think because you are legalizing it that no one has been driving around under the influence of pot since the invention of the car. Give your head a shake this should have been already in place since you didn't need legalization to have people driving under the influence of pot not to mention all the other drugs that are prescribed. But hey the government will spend millions on a studies for something that's common sense. Funny hey, not worried about driving while under the influence of illegal pot use but now its the one of the biggest hurdles that should have been in place decades ago.