Going Green: A comprehensive review of Canada’s journey to legal cannabis

October 17, 2018

Katie Schultz and Christina Leadlay

This e-guide contains a list of the key players, committee meetings, debates, highlights from Question Period, press releases (from government and non-government groups) on Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act, as well as stories on the topic published in the Hill Times and the Lobby Monitor. The team at Parliament Now has compiled this data from their own archives, Hansard, and all Hill Times archives. The “Look Forward” explores what’s next on the legal cannabis “to-do” list, from legislation on edibles, future areas of concern, and the mandatory review in 2021.


Table of Contents / More Info

Table of Contents

Executive Summary........................................................................................................ 1

Key Players..................................................................................................................... 3

Jurisdictional responsibilities ........................................................................................ 6

Standing Committee on Health...................................................................................... 7

Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology ............... 394

Debates in the House – Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act ............................................... 792

Question Period....................................................................................................... 1,085

Cannabis-related articles in Hill Times Publications ............................................ 1,123
Missing mandate letters will hinder new, shuffled ministers, say Ritz,
MacKay; no cause for panic, says McLellan....................................................1,123
Pot industry urges feds to hold off on plan to recover regulatory costs...........1,125
Excerpt from “Canada’s lobbying office turns 10, ex-Conservative MP
running for mayor” ...........................................................................................1,126
‘You can’t criticize people for evolving,’ says ex-MP Oliver as politicos
get in on ground floor of cannabis boom ......................................................... 1,126
Excerpt from “Feds to back five Senate changes to cannabis bill, plus 22
of their own”.....................................................................................................1,128
Indigenous Senators played key role in passage of Cannabis Act...................1,129
With cannabis legalization around the corner, feds should heed Senate
call for third-party oversight.............................................................................1,130
Excerpt from “Liberals drawing up gun bill amendments, cannabis bill
enters home stretch”........................................................................................1,131
Opinion: “Workplace safety missing from debate over C-46”..........................1,131
Excerpt from “Liberals failing to prioritize Canadians’ health concerns in
an effective manner” ........................................................................................ 1,132
Excerpt from “Health Minister Petitpas Taylor says she won’t hesitate to
fight marketing abuses from drug companies; mum on supporting surrogacy
bill, suicide motion”..........................................................................................1,132
As legal pot nears, employers pushing for drug testing law stuck at
starting line ......................................................................................................1,133
Excerpt from “Health-care money belongs to the provinces” .......................... 1,135
Opinion: “How Canada can ensure workplaces remain safe before marijuana becomes legal”
................................................................................................1,135
Excerpt from “Senate committee likely to amend C-45 on home pot
cultivation, says sponsor”................................................................................1,136
Editorial: “Note to Senators: home pot growth not worth sweating over”........1,137
Tory Senators fed alternative facts in U.S. cannabis field trip..........................1,138
Cannabis bill missing one thing: quick action on dose control ........................1,139
Questions abound on drug-impaired driving bill as clock ticks down to cannabis
legalization........................................................................................1,140
Bill C-45: a characteristically Canadian model of cannabis reform..................1,141
Excerpt from “Nation-to-nation status sounds good in principle”....................1,142
Senate committee split on amendment to delay cannabis bill.........................1,143
Excerpt from “This just in: The Hill Times to host its Party on the Hill on May
23”.......................................................................................................1,144
Excerpt from “PBO preparing to tackle challenge of costing party platforms
in 2019, with lessons learned by recent practice run”......................................1,145
Feds ‘not ready’ to roll out cannabis legalization given ‘huge gap’ in police training: critics
..................................................................................................1,146
Significant social value to allow home growers to continue in a regulated
system .............................................................................................................1,147
Senate Foreign Affairs Committee won’t have time to fully examine how
sweeping cannabis bill will affect international treaties, says Andreychuk.......1,148
Senators expected to lobby peers over controversial pot bill amendments,
Social Affairs calling the shots .........................................................................1,150
Cannabis bill a concern for Indigenous communities and ‘ripe for
amendment’: Sen. Sinclair ...............................................................................1,152
Opinion: “Medical marijuana: the forgotten issue in the new law” ...................1,153
Excerpt from “Budget 2018 comes with $6-billion in new spending and
projected $18 billion deficit” ............................................................................1,154
Excerpt from “Press gallery’s Marc Fortier to retire after 30 years”..................1,154
Feds’ pot legalization could be delayed beyond July 1 deadline.....................1,154
Excerpt from “From marijuana to medications: Trudeau government and
health file in 2018” ...........................................................................................1,155
Embracing new technology for a new cannabis industry ................................. 1,156
Excerpt from “Liberals to put sexual harassment, cannabis, transparency
bills in the window as opposition parties hammer ethical lapses” ...................1,157
Opinion: “Best practices and pitfalls, how lessons learned stateside can
inform Canadian cannabis legalization”...........................................................1,158
Excerpt from “All hands from all parties on deck for democracy caucus
debut” .............................................................................................................. 1,159
Opinion: “Trudeau government should create process to pardon, expunge
criminal records of Canadians with cannabis offences”...................................1,159
Opinion: “MJ-101: time for ‘higher’ knowledge about cannabis”.....................1,160
A look ahead at cannabis legalization in 2018 .................................................1,161
Opinion: “Cannabis legalization in Canada: the case for pardons and
preferential licensing”.......................................................................................1,163
Opinion: “Municipalities key to safe, effective cannabis legalization”..............1,164
Opinion: “How our plan to legalize cannabis will strengthen health, justice,
and public safety” ............................................................................................ 1,165
Health Canada adding staff, launches new branch, in preparation for
legal pot...........................................................................................................1,166
Government falling behind on cannabis public education, say critics .............1,168
Opinion: “Liberals’ answer to drug impaired driving? Precious little” ..............1,170
Opinion: “Must cannabis be grown in Fort Knox?”..........................................1,171
Excerpt from “The full interview: Perry Bellegarde on running again, ‘closing
the gap,’ and more” .........................................................................................1,172
Marijuana legislation will not achieve its objectives and should be defeated........1,173
Excerpt from “‘We’ve got things moving,’ AFN national chief Bellegarde
touts new federal money in re-election pitch”..................................................1,174
Opinion: “Protecting health and safety top priority on legalizing cannabis,
says Grit MP Serré” .........................................................................................1,175
Opinion: “AFN throws wrinkle into rollout of legalizing pot”.............................1,176
Taxing medical cannabis hurts vulnerable patients..........................................1,177
The nervous, joyless journey to legalize marijuana ..........................................1,178
Pot bill sponsor wants to shake up Senate schedule, but Tories push for status quo
........................................................................................................1,180
Excerpt from “Cannabis Act, finance minister’s ethics controversy to be front-and-centre
for last sitting stretch of 2017”..............................................1,181
Excerpt from “Liberals, Conservatives finalize candidates for upcoming byelections”
.....................................................................................................1,182
Better to be done right than on time: Senate, opposition concerned about marijuana legalization deadline
........................................................................ 1,182
Opinion: “Pop bad, pot good? Liberals are confused on health”.....................1,184
Excerpt from “‘It’s obviously a farce,’ MPs to grill feds on broken promise to
open up PMO, cabinet ministers’ offices to access act”..................................1,185
Near majority of Canadians back legal pot but it doesn’t look like a
vote-getter in 2019: poll...................................................................................1,186
Opinion: “Latest plan won’t stunt marijuana black market” .............................1,187
Opinion: “Ontario: dope dealer extraordinaire” ................................................ 1,188
Excerpt from “Liberal MPs consider pushing for government apology to
black Canadians”.............................................................................................1,189
Opinion: “Provincial ministers’ summer gabfest hands Trudeau a gift he
could not refuse”..............................................................................................1,189
House Health Committee to study marijuana bill before Commons returns .........1,190
Opinion: “Cannabis legalization: good intentions, but is it good policy?”........1,192
Excerpt from “Is it too soon to talk about Trudeau’s legacy?” .........................1,193
Editorial: “Blair right guy to usher in legalized pot regime” ..............................1,193
From policing to politics, government’s pot point man says public service
is paramount....................................................................................................1,194
Opinion: “Two years later, reconciliation must include access for proper health coverage for indigenous peoples”
...................................................................1,196
Opinion: “Federal health minister must explain tobacco, marijuana policy discrepancies”
.................................................................................................1,197
Excerpt from “Serré pitches in for ALS ‘LIFT’ campaign” ................................1,198
Government anxious to advance marijuana reform, bill changing impaired-
driving law could move quicker than pot legalization.......................................1,198
How should we regulate legally available substances that pose health
risks? A lesson from Sweden...........................................................................1,200
Doctors call for public health campaign to dispel mistruths about pot............1,201
Excerpt from “Philpott promises more details forthcoming on efforts to lower
drug costs and marijuana education campaign”..............................................1,202
Opinion: “Canada can make cannabis safe for the world”...............................1,203
Excerpt from “Budget bill, marijuana legalization looming, as opposition
parties fuming”.................................................................................................1,204
Senators, opposition set to challenge pot bill age limits, prison terms in
committee ........................................................................................................ 1,204
Excerpt from “The case of Justin Trudeau’s ‘often’ missing name tags”............1,206
What you need to know about the government’s marijuana legislation ...........1,206
Marijuana legalization presents both potential political risks and gains for
Liberals, say insiders........................................................................................1,207
Editorial: “Liberals should be congratulated for keeping this particular promise”
........................................................................................................... 1,209
Editorial: “Keeping in place pot prohibition doesn’t add up” ...........................1,210
Opinion: “Sunny haze descends on Liberals’ pot plans” .................................1,210
Opinion: “Pot promise put to the test”.............................................................1,211
Opinion: “Despite much talk on marijuana, distribution largely overlooked”.........1,212
Lobbyists ready to guide businesses through new frontier of legalized pot..........1,213
Excerpt from “New spending cooled in Liberals’ 2017 budget, with federal
deficit projected at $28.5-billion”.....................................................................1,215
Excerpt from “Leitch video: at least we know more about her ‘Canadian
values’” ............................................................................................................ 1,215
Excerpt from “Six things we learned from the latest Conservative leadership fundraising data”
..............................................................................................1,215
Excerpt from “Aubin in charge of U.S. Embassy as Heyman takes leave”.......1,216
By legalizing marijuana, Canada could breach global treaties ......................... 1,216
Opinion: “Marijuana legalization can be win for environmental movement” ....... 1,217
Opinion: “Canada should lead on filling medical-cannabis research gap” .........1,218
Excerpt from “Hot issues to watch in 2017” ....................................................1,219
PBO identifies limited taxation potential from legal pot despite past reports predicting billions
.............................................................................................1,219
All you need to know about marijuana legalization in Canada .........................1,221
Excerpt from “MP Jenny Kwan ate nothing but two oranges and noodles
every day last week”........................................................................................1,224
Excerpt from “Big primer on Trudeau government’s agenda”..........................1,224
Excerpt from “The 15 most influential, unelected people in federal
government” ....................................................................................................1,225
New medical marijuana regs show need for broader legalization policy,
say producers ..................................................................................................1,225
Opinion: “New medical marijuana regulations should allow pharmacist
dispensing” ...................................................................................................... 1,227
Excerpt from “Lobbyists to focus on marijuana, defence procurement, infrastructure,
caucus retreats, departmental consultations this summer” ......1,227
Opinion: “Women and weed tipping point in last election” ..............................1,228
Details on marijuana task force coming, to deal with supply, jurisdiction,
retail, taxes.......................................................................................................1,229
Opinion: “Avoiding prohibition 2.0”..................................................................1,231
Opinion: “Libs don’t have a public safety plan for marijuana legalization” .........1,232
Opinion: “Conservatives: Update pot policy or risk looking like prudes in
poorly fitting blue suits” ...................................................................................1,233
Excerpt from “Trudeau ranks below corporate bosses on trust survey” ..........1,234
Opinion: “Regulating cannabis must be done properly” ..................................1,234
Opinion: “Canada on drugs at the UN: Standing up for a long-overdue
policy shift” ...................................................................................................... 1,235
Excerpt from “Philpott wants new Health Accord in place by 2017, a
‘fundamental change’”.....................................................................................1,236
“Marijuana task force could assemble this spring, says Philpott”....................1,237
Cannabis-related articles in the Lobby Monitor .................................................... 1,238
Excerpt from “Pre-election cabinet shuffle meant to face provincial, border
problems head-on” ..........................................................................................1,238
Cannabis lobbying could go up in Ontario with interest in private retail ..........1,239
Excerpt from “On Queen Street: Railway Association of Canada makes
tracks with new president”...............................................................................1,240
Cannabis stakeholders unite, form new industry group...................................1,240
Excerpt from “NAFTA, steel tariffs stirs strengthening of lobbying teams”.........1,241
Excerpt from “Comedians, small businesses and solar experts add names
to registry” .......................................................................................................1,241
Excerpt from “Cannabis companies want to discuss C-45; Indigenous groups
looking for action and funding”........................................................................1,242
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Indigenous caucus on Kinder Morgan
pipeline to lobby on environmental reforms; other registrations”.....................1,242
What lobbyists are watching for as Senate scrutinizes cannabis bill ...............1,243
On Queen Street: New CEO, new chapter for medical cannabis group...........1,244
Senate embracing change, but its purpose remains, Sen. Harder says...........1,245
Excerpt from “January lobbying: Mining, media production, telecom interests break
through amid winter recess” ..................................................................1,246
Former lobby czar to advise feds on cannabis, opioid files .............................1,246
Excerpt from “December lobbying: Mining, municipal, Jewish interests lead activity
in hibernation season” ......................................................................... 1,247
Excerpt from “Lobbyists set sights on pot legislation, innovation file, environmental
reforms, budget in 2018”..........................................................1,248
On Queen Street: Global Public Affairs launches cannabis-focused advisory
panel ................................................................................................................ 1,248
On Queen Street: Cannabis Canada in leadership transition, appoints
temporary executive director ...........................................................................1,249
Vaping company wants to talk cannabis forms on the Hill...............................1,250
Medical marijuana non-profit takes its ‘#DontTaxMedicine’ message to Hill ........1,251
Weedmaps, Yelp for pot companies, taps Ensight for its outreach....................1,251
Organic pot company in B.C. to lobby feds.....................................................1,252
Day at the Registry: Earnscliffe, Ensight, StrategyCorp sign new cannabis clients
............................................................................................................... 1,252
Cannabis-research firm registers as feds increase funds for public education ..... 1,253
H+K to lobby for SICPA Product Security’s cannabis interests........................1,254
Excerpt from “Who’s on the Hill: Policy mag hosts NAFTA working lunch;
GRIC to hold welcome-back bash, and more”.................................................1,254
As Ontario maps out marijuana plan, questions remain over market access........1,255
Cannabis producer joins lobbying scene ......................................................... 1,256
Marijuana shop signs with Hill + Knowlton.......................................................1,256
Day at the Registry: Medical marijuana company files to lobby.......................1,257
Excerpt from “Alberta resort brings dispute with parks agency to the Hill”...........1,257
Excerpt from “On Queen Street: Nascent cannabis field welcomes Hill lobbyist into the fold”
....................................................................................................1,258
Excerpt from “May Lobbying: Health, environment and trade fuel chatter on
the Hill” ............................................................................................................1,259
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Marijuana group registers, among others” ..... 1,259
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: registrants to talk with govt on taxes, environment and media”
..................................................................................1,260
Excerpt from “Women’s international aid group calls govt for feminist funding approach”
........................................................................................................1,260
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Naloxone company lobbies for wider use
of nasal spray”.................................................................................................1,261
Cannabis producers excited by ‘transformative’ marijuana legislation ............1,261
Lobbyists ‘foolish’ if they’ve been ignoring Senate on cannabis......................1,263
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Asthma society reactivates account after
7 years”............................................................................................................1,264
Cannabis packaging questioned in light of strict tobacco law.........................1,265
Cannabis lobby to focus on packaging, provincial input..................................1,266
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Aviation and marijuana regulation hot topics
in new lobby files”............................................................................................1,267
Mixed reaction at marijuana legalization timeline.............................................1,268
Excerpt from “On Queen Street: Global Public Affairs launches cannabis
specific service”...............................................................................................1,269
Lobby firm launches marijuana newsletter.......................................................1,270
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: 7-Eleven lobbying on healthy eating;
H&R Block files first in-house registration” ......................................................1,270
Pharmacists push for drug stores to dispense medical marijuana...................1,271
Mental health group mulls age restriction for marijuana use............................1,272
On Queen Street: Alistair Bursey appointed new chair to Canadian Pharmacists Association
....................................................................................................... 1,273
Excerpt from “Day at the registry: Green Cross Biotherapeutics wants to
build their ‘profile’; companies working with electric vehicles pop-up on the registry”
............................................................................................................ 1,274
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association
registers to lobby; groups register on cannabis and marine files”........................1,274
Marijuana task force announced, groups looking to talk about distribution
models .............................................................................................................1,275
LP lobby group rebrands as Cannabis Canada, set to expand membership
ahead of legalization ........................................................................................1,276
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: New cannabis group lines up to lobby,
B.C. coal industry advocates refocus on Ottawa” ...........................................1,277
Let provinces decide on pot distribution, keep LPs out of direct sales at first,
says C.D. Howe report.....................................................................................1,278
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Canadian Marketing Association set to
lobby on Innovation Agenda”...........................................................................1,279
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Abortion debate returns to the Hill as
activists lobby on C-225”.................................................................................1,279
Cannabis advocacy groups merge as distribution question heats up..............1,280
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Tanning industry advocate, Toronto-area municipality return to the Hill”
..........................................................................1,280
The Q&A: Former CFIB analyst wants to help take small business marijuana
to Ottawa .........................................................................................................1,281
Excerpt from “Convenience store advocate bows out of marijuana debate,
wants Ottawa’s ear on regulations, credit card fees”.......................................1,283
Feeling the buzz? Cannabis lobbying puts heat on Ottawa as sector struggles
to find clear voice.............................................................................................1,284
Marijuana industry group taps new executive director with health file
experience ........................................................................................................... 1,286
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: Hemp group lobbying for access to ‘billion dollar’ market opportunity
................................................................................1,287
Excerpt from “Day at the Registry: New lobby filings on marijuana legalization, e-cigarettes, forestry and technology”
.............................................................1,288
THC Biomed announces intent to purchase licensed cannabis testing firm.......1,288
The Look Ahead ...................................................................................................... 1,289