Marijuana will be legal for all Canadians over the age of 18 by July 1, 2018, CBC News reports, marking Canada’s 151st birthday in style.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party will officially announce the plan on April 10.
The legislation is expected to easily pass through Parliament, as it holds support from major political parties both to the right, and left of Trudeau’s Liberals. As well, a majority of Canadians support legalizing marijuana, according to a recent poll from NRG Research Group.
The plan follows the recommendations laid out by a federal task force — led by former Toronto police chief Bill Blair and former Justice Minister Anne McLellan — and leaves it up to the provincial governments to implement the plan and control how marijuana is sold, reports CBC.
Though the federal government stipulates a minimum age of 18 to purchase marijuana in stores, provinces will be free to raise the age as they see fit. Canadians will also be able to grow up to four marijuana plants in their household.
Trudeau has faced criticism from rival political parties who’ve accused him of failing to deliver on his campaign promise to legalize marijuana federally by spring of 2017. The April 10 announcement, while not expressly fulfilling the prime minister’s intended timeline, will at least assuage those concerns. Canadians go back to the polls in October of 2019.
The announcement provides some much-needed stability to Canada’s marijuana industry after police raided dispensaries in Toronto and Vancouver this month, not to mention the discourse south of the border, where US attorney general Jeff Sessions has hinted at a crackdown of marijuana markets in legalized states.
The firm date to legalize marijuana “provides investors with a greater degree of clarity and certainty of what the recreational market could look like,” Cannacord Genuity analyst Neil Maruoka said in a report titled, “Legislation should be the tide to lift all stocks,” reports the The Financial Post.
Maruoka noted that now’s the time to profit from marijuana stocks, as “there will likely be a lack of positive industry catalysts over the next year or so,” once the legislation gets passed.
Marijuana stocks traded up at the news on Monday. Aurora Cannabis (ticker: ACBFF) — which Maruoka called his “top pick” — surged 9% Tuesday, while Canopy (ticker: WEED) was up 11%, though both leveled off on Tuesday afternoon.