December 20, 2017 1:02 am

Richmond mayor cheers as Trudeau’s July 1 pot deadline goes up in smoke

WATCH: Ottawa cuts deal over marijuana tax revenue

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Richmond’s mayor is cheering news that the federal Liberal government may slow down its marijuana legalization program.

In an interview with Quebec television network TVA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quoted as saying, “The date will not be July 1st, I can assure you of that.”

Trudeau went on to say the government is still committed to legalizing cannabis by “next summer.”

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READ MORE: City of Richmond warms up to recreational pot sales

Richmond city council penned a letter to the federal and provincial governments in October calling for the pot rollout to be delayed.

Now that Ottawa says it’s tapping the brakes on the process, Mayor Malcolm Brodie says the devil will be in the details.

“If he just gives an extra couple weeks, I’m not sure the difference is going to be that great,” Brodie told Global News.

“It’s really important that we have an effective rollout in such a huge shift in policy, so let’s do the right thing and let’s get it right.”

READ MORE: B.C. Government unveils how cannabis will be sold once legalized

Brodie had initially said he wanted Richmond to be a pot-free municipality, but softened that position earlier this month describing the process as “inevitable.”

WATCH: How an RCMP officer became the head of a Canadian marijuana corporation

However, he said he’s still convinced tacking six months onto the government’s target date will get a better result.

“I would think the beginning of January 2019 would be a more realistic target,” Brodie said.

“At the provincial level there is so much to iron out. And then you have to bring it to the local level, and you have to be fair to those who want to be involved in retailing as well.”

READ MORE: B.C.’s liquor stores want control of recreational pot sales, but not everyone’s on board

Earlier this year, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said there was no chance police will be ready to enforce new marijuana laws next summer.

B.C. has unveiled the basic framework for its legal pot regime, which will set the minimum age for consumption at 19, the same as for alcohol.

The province said that wholesale cannabis distribution will be fully controlled by the province’s liquor distribution branch, and that retail sales will be left to an as-of-yet undefined mixture of public and private outlets.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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