OTTAWA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that recreational marijuana will become legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17.
"We work in partnership with the provinces, and since we've passed these measures in Parliament we've been listening to the provinces who have been asking for more time to implement it," Trudeau said.
"That's why we're accepting the request of the provinces and that's why we'll be legalizing it as of Oct. 17, 2018," he told a news conference.
The Canadian Senate passed a bill to legalize cannabis on Tuesday after more than a year of intensive study in both the House of Commons and the Senate.
The legislation makes Canada only the second country in the world to allow a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is drafting its own rules for pot sales.
The legislation, which stems from a campaign promise of Trudeau to keep marijuana away from underage users and reduce related crime, allows adults in the country to legally possess and use small amounts of recreational cannabis.
It sets out parameters around the production, possession, safety standards, distribution, and sale of the drug. It also creates new Criminal Code offences for selling marijuana to minors.
Under the bill, it will be illegal for anyone younger than 18 to buy pot, but allows for provinces and territories to set a higher minimum age.