Statements & Speeches

Cannabis Act – (Question Period)

June 23, 2022

Hon. Judith G. Seidman: Honourable senators, my question is for the government leader. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018, and came into force on October 17, 2018.

The act requires that, three years after coming into force, the Minister of Health conduct a review on the administration and operation of this act and its impact on public health.

In particular, the review must assess the health and consumption habits of young persons in respect of cannabis use, the impact of cannabis on Indigenous persons and communities and the impact of cultivation of cannabis plants in a dwelling house.

Senator Gold, eight months have passed since the three-year anniversary of the Cannabis Act and the minister has not yet initiated this review. When can we expect this important legislative review to begin?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for the question. There is no doubt that a legislative review of this act — or any act — is important. I don’t know why a review has not been commenced. I won’t speculate in that regard, but I’ll certainly make inquiries.

Senator Seidman: Senator Gold, a legislative review was deemed necessary to monitor the impact of this major change in the law and its effects, including any unintended consequences on the health of Canadians.

Frankly, putting these reviews in our legislation is only effective if the reviews are actually carried out. More and more, to my chagrin and disappointment, we discover that they are not.

How can we ensure that this review is conducted as soon as possible?

Senator Gold: I will make inquiries and try to report back. I will use my best efforts to encourage that this process — an important process, as you properly underlined — be commenced.