The Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, which has been studying the impact of legalization for months, released its final report on Tuesday. It recommends:
* Setting a national minimum age of 18, but giving provinces and territories the ability to match their legal age for alcohol, which is 19 in most provinces.
* Placing severe restrictions on pot advertising, matching the strict rules for tobacco promotion.
* Limiting people to 30 grams of cannabis for personal use in public.
* Limiting people who grow their own weed to four pot plants.
Legalization was one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s biggest campaign promises during the 2015 federal election.
The task force, which was chaired by former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan, said it looked at other jurisdictions where pot has been legalized in order to learn from their experiences. Even so, Canada will be charting its own path.
"We are the largest developed country to move on legalization," McLellan said.
The Canadian Medical Association had recommended setting the minimum age for pot sales at 21.
The task force acknowledged concerns that early pot use will have negative cognitive effects since the human brain is not fully developed until age 25. But a higher legal age "will likely drive users into the illicit market, continue to criminalize cannabis possession, and burden the courts," the task force report says.