Government of Canada Tables Final Report of the Legislative Review of the Cannabis Act

Government of Canada Tables Final Report of the Legislative Review of the Cannabis Act

March 21, 2024 | Ottawa, ON | Health Canada

In 2018, the Government of Canada introduced the Cannabis Act, which put into place a legal framework that takes a comprehensive public health approach to cannabis. The Cannabis Act is designed to protect the health and safety of Canadians while keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth and profits out of the hands of organized crime.

In accordance with the Act, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health and the Honourable Ya’ara Saks, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health released the final report of the Legislative Review of the Cannabis Act.

This final report is the result of the extensive work conducted by the independent Expert Panel, chaired by Morris Rosenberg, that led the review over the last 18 months. The report provides an independent assessment on progress made towards achieving the Act’s objectives to protect the health and safety of Canadians and displace the illegal market.

Since the launch of the review in September 2022, the Expert Panel engaged extensively with a wide range of cannabis stakeholders to better understand the impacts of the cannabis legislative framework and the challenges and opportunities that exist within the sector. The panel held nearly 140 engagement sessions and heard from over 600 participants. They met with the public, other levels of government, people who access cannabis for medical purposes, youth, the cannabis industry, law enforcement, marginalized and racialized communities, and public health experts. They also undertook distinctions-based engagement activities with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to further understand the impacts of cannabis and the Cannabis Act on Indigenous persons and communities.

The report found that there has been significant progress made on several of the key objectives of the legislation including:

  • the establishment of a licensing framework supporting a legal industry that is providing adult consumers with a quality-controlled supply of a variety of cannabis products
  • steady progress in shifting adult consumers to the legal cannabis market
  • for the most part, adherence to rules on promotion, packaging and labelling, including prohibitions about making claims about health or lifestyle benefits
  • a significant reduction (95% between 2017 and 2022) in the number of charges for the possession of cannabis and minimizing the negative impact on some individuals from interactions with the criminal justice system

The report identifies 54 recommendations and 11 observations to strengthen and improve the administration of the Act.

Health Canada is currently reviewing and analyzing the Expert Panel’s findings and will provide recommendations on next steps to the Minister, who will continue to work closely with other implicated federal departments, the provinces and territories, Indigenous persons and communities, partners and stakeholders

Source link