OTTAWA, Ont. – Marijuana will officially be legal in Canada on Oct. 17.
Prime Minister Trudeau announced the long-awaited date this week after the Senate passed the final draft of bills regulating use and enforcement of the drug.
The date for legalization gives a longer lead time than the government said provinces were asking for, giving them 17 weeks to prepare for the changes.
The provinces will be responsible for regulating the use and sale of cannabis products, as well as enforcing violations of the new laws.
Road users will be expected to have cannabis levels less than 25 nanograms in their system to legally operate a vehicle.
Trucking industry advocates have been calling for a nation-wide zero tolerance for commercial drivers and others in safety sensitive positions, asking the government to add the provision to the new regulations.
No federal regulations for commercial drivers or other specific groups will be coming soon, however the Senate encouraged the provinces to regulate such matters themselves.
Ontario has such a zero-tolerance policy for both commercial and novice drivers and recently implemented harsher punishments for things like driving under the influence or while distracted.
For fleets testing for cannabis use to ensure drivers are fit-for-duty is a minefield, and one that has come with only a little direction.
Both Trudeau and his point-person on pot, MP Bill Blair, have said legalization is a process and they expect issues like workplace testing and regulations for commercial drivers to be addressed at some point in the future.
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