Recreational cannabis use will be legal in Canada from October 17 after the final regulatory approvals were passed this morning.

Earlier this month Canada’s Senate voted in favour of legalising adult possession of 30 grams of dried cannabis for recreational purposes.

The cannabis spotlight has shone on recreational use in recent weeks as Canada finalised its plans for legalisation and the US mulled national decriminalisation.

President Trump is indicating he’s open to ending a federal blanket ban on marijuana which conflicts with eight US States where recreational marijuana use is legal — and another 22 that allow medicinal cannabis use.

Just last weekend the Republican Party of Texas voted to endorse marijuana decriminalisation, medical cannabis and industrial hemp – and called for a change in federal law.

Positive public sentiment towards cannabis was highlighted in Great Britain last week after an epileptic child’s cannabis oil was confiscated at Heathrow airport.

It was later returned after a public outcry.

The UK is now launching a review into medicinal cannabis – though it’s unlikely to legalise recreational use in the short term.

What’s next for ASX cannabis stocks

The shifting regulatory landscape is likely to impact on the plans of ASX-listed cannabis stocks.

Most ASX-listed cannabis plays are focused on medical marijuana — but huge new markets in Canada and the eight US states that have legalised recreational use could tempt them to consider the recreational market.

At least two ASX stocks have exposure to the recreational market.

The Hydroponics Company (ASX:THC) has announced to investors it’s “REC READY”.

The passing of the Canadian Bill was an “important driver of growth in THC’s hydroponics division” and could lead to acquisitions, THC told investors.

“The new law bodes well for THC’s sales of hydroponic equipment and growing mediums through its wholly-owned subsidiary Crystal Mountain-Dragon Vision in Vancouver.”

ASX-listed cannabis play Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH) also today backed Canada’s move.

“Not only is it positive news for the industry, but it will also make the purchasing of cannabis safer for Canadians by providing legal licensed businesses where consumers know what they’re buying,” Creso CEO Dr Miri Halperin Wernli told investors.

“It will allow for better quality control and more public health awareness campaigns, while depriving organised crime of money and making it harder for children to access.”

“This law signals a great future for the industry in this market and we hope other countries will follow suit.”

Creso has direct exposure to the Canadian market after buying Nova Scotia-based Mernova Medicinal, which is applying for medicinal cannabis permits.

It’s building a a 20,000 square foot medical cannabis growing facility.

“Completion is targeted to coincide closely with the legalisation of recreational cannabis and will allow Creso to vertically integrate its production chain and capitalise on the significant market opportunity of both medicinal and recreational cannabis,” the company said today.

Meanwhile miner-turned-cannabis purveyor Queensland Bauxite has today taken over  Medical Cannabis Ltd and its legendary cannabis seed bank.

Queensland Bauxite (ASX:QBL) bought 55 per cent from founder Andrew Kasavilas in March 2017.

The company’s shares opened up 30 per cent at 6.4c. It closed seven weeks ago at 4.9c.

Critically, it now controls Mr Kasavilas’ cannabis seed bank, made famous on the ABC Four Corners documentary for being stored in his freezer.

And Melbourne-based Rhinomed (ASX:RNO) made a big cannabis-related gain today after agreeing to license its nasal drug delivery product to US medical marijuana provider Columbia Care.

Rhinomed shares jumped 28 per cent to 16c by 11.45am AEST.

Under the propsed deal, Columbia Care and Rhinomed will “jointly develop a range of unique cannabinoid products targeting a wide range of significant and unmet clinical and consumer health needs in the United States”.