Legalizing Marijuana in Canada Will Not Extinguish Black Market, House Committee Hears

The committee is meeting throughout the week to get a head start on studying Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, before Parliament resumes Sept. 18.

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September 12, 2017
CTV News
Canada Legislation and regulation News

OTTAWA -- The Liberal government’s plan to have marijuana legalized by July 2018 won’t wipe out the black market for some time, and could come with other unintended consequences, the committee of MPs studying the legislation heard Monday.

“It will take time. We will learn what this marketplace needs, both in terms of safety and health, but also trying to get the black market or illegal market out of this space,” Anne McLellan, the former Liberal cabinet minister who led the federal task force on marijuana told MPs.

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"We’re not naïve, we’re not suggesting that you’re ever going to reach nirvana in terms of that there won’t be any illegal sales. We still have illegal sales of tobacco and a little bit of illegal sales of alcohol,” she said.

McLellan was one of nearly two dozen witnesses testifying at the House Health Committee in Ottawa Monday. The marijuana task force she chaired studied the issue and reported back to the government ahead of the legislation being tabled.

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