Canadian lawmakers passed sweeping cannabis legalization on Tuesday that will legalize recreational use of marijuana by adults.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government had hoped to make pot legal by July 1, but he said Wednesday marijuana will be legal nationwide on October 17.
While many nations have decriminalized marijuana, Uruguay had previously been the only country to legalize marijuana nationwide.
Canada’s legislation, known as the Cannabis Act, allows provinces to establish their own systems for licensing and regulating marijuana businesses, according to a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project.
Under the national framework, adults will be allow to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, the Marijuana Policy Project says.
“It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted in reaction to the bill’s passage Tuesday.
In the USA, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis, but marijuana remains federally classified a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Recreational marijuana sales in Canada could be worth $3.3 billion by 2027.
The next step for the legislation: being sent to the governor general for royal assent, Marijuana Policy Project reported in a statement.