The federal government has launched a review of the Cannabis Act to determine whether the law governing the legalization of marijuana is meeting the needs and expectations of Canadians.
“Through this useful, inclusive and evidence-driven review, we will strengthen the Act so that it can meet the needs of all Canadians while displacing the illegal market. I look forward to receiving the panel’s findings,” Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said.
The Liberals lifted a century-long ban on the use and sale of recreational cannabis in October 2018, with a commitment to review the law three years after it went into effect. That review is almost a year overdue.
According to the Cannabis Act, the review should focus on the law’s impact on indigenous people, cannabis cultivation in a housing complex, and young people’s health and consumption patterns.
“Young people are at increased risk of harm from cannabis, including dependence and disorders related to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression,” said Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction.
“While much progress has been made on the implementation of the Cannabis Act and the twin objectives of protecting public health and maintaining public safety, we need to assess the actions taken and learn how and where to adjust to meet these goals. needed. .”
The review mandate has been expanded to include examining the social and environmental impacts of the Cannabis Act, the impact of legalization and regulation of medical cannabis, and the impact on racial communities and women.
The federal government said the Cannabis Act was brought in to displace the illegal market and protect the health of Canadians.
Progress on both those targets will also be checked by a review, which will be conducted by an independent panel of experts.
Former Deputy Minister of Justice Morris Rosenberg will chair the expert panel. The names of the other members of the panel have not been decided yet.
The panel will hear from the public, government, indigenous groups, youth, representatives of the cannabis industry and medical cannabis users. The panel will also hear from experts in public health, substance abuse, law enforcement and health care.
“I look forward to working with the panel and providing evidence-based advice to ministers to strengthen this particularly important legislation and advance public policy in this area in Canada,” Rosenberg said on Thursday.