Cannabis Act legislative review

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About the review

The Cannabis Act, which came into force on October 17, 2018, put in place a modern cannabis control framework to strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis in Canada. The Act was designed to protect the health and safety of Canadians, to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, and profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.

The Cannabis Act requires that the Minister of Health cause a review of the Act and its administration and operation three years after its coming into force. The Minister will table a report in both Houses of Parliament no later than 18 months after the start of the review.

To fulfill these requirements, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions have announced that an independent Expert Panel will lead the legislative review.

The Panel will provide independent, expert advice to both Ministers on progress made towards achieving the Act's objectives, and will help identify priority areas for improving the functioning of the legislation. An overview of the Panel's mandate is included on the Expert Panel page.

Review process

During the first phase of its work, the Expert Panel undertook a factual assessment of the impacts of the Cannabis Act to date through issues identification, evidence gathering and analysis; engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to determine areas of focus to guide the review; and engagement with stakeholders and the public. The Panel recently published the Legislative review of the Cannabis Act: What we heard report, which summarizes the results of their initial engagement.

The Panel's activities were informed by the results of an online public engagement process, supported by an engagement paper, Taking stock of progress: Cannabis legalization and regulation in Canada, which outlines the key features of the legislative framework, as well as national trends and evidence. The results can be found in the Summary of responses to the online public engagement. The Panel was also informed by feedback from First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners on the paper, Summary from engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples: The Cannabis Act and its impacts.

The second phase of the Panel's work will focus on providing advice on areas of the legislative framework, or its implementation, that the Government could prioritize for improvement or reform. This will culminate in the preparation of a report to Parliament to be tabled by March 2024.

Contact us

Cannabis Act Legislative Review Secretariat
Health Canada
Address locator 0302I
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

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