It’s a tale as old as cannabis legalization itself: though the government legalized weed, residents are going to have to wait while lawmakers get their shit together before they can actually buy the stuff. Canada was supposed to have legal cannabis by July, but a government official announced on Thursday that implementation of the program is going to be delayed.
Earlier this month, the Canadian government claimed that the nation was on schedule to unleash legalized recreational marijuana by its July deadline. But this was contradicted just last week by Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who said the regulatory framework needed for legal pot won’t be ready on time.
According to the Associated Press, the minister said that “provincial and territorial governments need eight to 12 weeks following senate passage and royal assent to prepare for retail sales. That puts it in August and possibly not until a month later.”
It makes sense that it would take awhile for all ten Canadian provinces and countless territories to get their ganja ducks in a row. In the U.S., it generally takes months or years for a single state to figure out how to regulate legal sales. California needed more than a year after it passed Proposition 64 before it opened up the recreational cannabis market. Nevada and Massachusetts both took less than a year, but when they finally did open up sales, the markets were deeply flawed. Maine passed a recreational bill in November of 2016, but it hasn’t yet come up with a program that satisfies local politicians, so Maine consumers are still shit out of luck.
Canada will be only the second nation in the world to legalize cannabis, after Uruguay.