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Federal Government Launches Review of Cannabis Act

Published on
September 23, 2022

As prescribed by the Cannabis Act, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions have launched a review of the Act as it approaches its third year following coming into force. The report is to be returned to both houses of Parliament within 18 months.

The objective of this review will be to assess its impacts on public health, including:

  • The health and consumption habits of youth
  • Indigenous persons and communities, and
  • the cultivation of cannabis plants in a dwelling-house

In addition, the review will assess progress towards achieving the Act's purposes. Specifically, the review will focus on assessing the seven key objectives set out in section 7 of the Act:

  • protect the health of youth by restricting their access to cannabis
  • protect youth and others from inducements to use cannabis
  • provide for the licit production of cannabis to reduce illegal activities in relation to cannabis
  • deter illegal activities through appropriate sanctions and enforcement measures
  • reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis
  • provide access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis
  • enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use

The legislative review will also include evaluating patients' reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes in light of cannabis legalization for non-medical purposes, including the role of personal and designated cannabis production.

The review comes at a time of generally weak cannabis stock performance and concerns amongst retailers that the current taxation regime leaves too much room for black market and gray market cannabis to thrive. While not a stated focus of the review, ensuring a fair an effective cannabis market in Canada will certainly be at the heart of the debate.

The Sussex Federal team is prepared to support organizations wishing to contribute to the consultation. Stakeholders must respond via the online questionnaire by November 21, 2022.

Happy to help.

If your organization is considering participating, please feel free to reach out to one of our consultants below.

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President and Federal Practice Lead: dmccarthy@sussex-strategy.com

Eric Johnson, Vice President, Federal Practice: ejohnson@sussex-strategy.com

Liam Daly, Senior Associate, Federal Practice: ldaly@sussex-strategy.com

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