Canada Reportedly to Legalize Pot by 2018

Marijuana stocks in Canada got a boost today after reports the Liberal Party is set to table a framework for legalizing recreational marijuana.

According to a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will announce legislation during the week beginning April 10 that will seek to legalize recreational marijuana by Canada Day — July 1, 2018. (See also: 10 Canadian Marijuana Stocks For Your Portfolio)

CBC News said former Toronto police chief, Bill Blair who has been handling the marijuana file briefed the Liberal caucus over the weekend with the roll-out plans that will include the following:

The federal government will be in charge of issuing licenses to producers
Provinces will have control over how the marijuana is distributed and sold; they will also have the right to set the price
The government will set a minimum age of 18, but provinces will have the right to increase the age limit
Canadians who wish to grow their own will be limited to four plants per household
News of the legislation comes the same day the New Democratic Party (NDP) meets in Montreal to discuss issues affecting Canada's youth. The NDP party has been highly critical of Trudeau and the Liberals for stalling on marijuana legislation. "I believe in legalization," MP Peter Julian said during the NDP leadership debate.

"I do not believe Justin Trudeau is going to bring in the legalization of marijuana and as proof that we are still seeing, particularly young Canadians, being criminalized by simple possession of marijuana."

In early March, Trudeau reiterated his stance saying "until we have a framework to control and regulate marijuana, the current laws apply."

Shares in Canadian medical marijuana companies surged Monday after the news of the planned legislation. Both Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:CGC) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (OTC: ACBFF) - Canada's largest medical marijuana providers were higher by as much as 10 percent in mid-afternoon trading. (See also: Legal Weed Market to Triple In 5 Years)