Conservative senators are threatening to hold up passage of the two bills that would legalize cannabis consumption and toughen rules against abuse. Unless these senators yield, the bills are unlikely to become law in time for the Canada Day deadline.
The costs of missing that deadline would be severe. Provincial governments are negotiating contracts with suppliers, who are ramping up production. Governments and private companies are signing leases for storefronts. Police forces are acquiring new equipment, and training officers to identify pot-impaired drivers.
But businesses “take a risk if they adopt a plan … without legislation in place adopted by both houses,” Mr. Carignan said. “My recommendation is to take their time and don’t take an unusual business risk.”
Passage “can easily be done by July 1,” said independent Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored C-45. But the Conservatives see no reason to apply the assisted-dying approach to legalizing marijuana.
If the independent senators wanted to respect the July 1 deadline, they could form an ad-hoc coalition of the willing that could set and enforce deadlines for debating and voting on the two bills. But could such a herd of cats be willingly corralled?
Read the full article here as the debate heats up and the deadline inches closer.