Canada is expected to introduce a legislation on legalizing marijuana in spring 2017, Health Minister Jane Philpott said on Wednesday.
Last year, during his election campaign, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, promised to introduce a bill to legalize the recreational use of Marijuana, however a time frame had not been specified.
According to Philpott, if recreational marijuana is legalized, the Canadian law will keep it away from children as well as forbid it to be misused in the hands of criminals.
"We will work with law enforcement partners to encourage appropriate and proportionate criminal justice measures," she said. "We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem."
Medical marijuana is already legal in the country; however, legalisation of recreational marijuana will affect customers, as illegal marijuana dispensers have already started to do so.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are awaiting the federal government’s decision on how it will regulate the drug.
Shares of medical marijuana producers rose on Wednesday after the Philpott's announcement with Canopy Growth Co rising 6.67 percent to C$2.72 by mid-afternoon. OrganiGram Holdings rose 9.26 percent to C$1.18 and Aphria Inc rose 5.19 percent to C$1.62.
There has been speculation existing medical marijuana companies could benefit if the drug is fully legalized but the Canadian government has not provided details on its production and distribution plans.