Canadian marijuana firms warned to play by the rules after legalization

The former chair of the federal cannabis taskforce is warning the industry to play by the rules when recreational marijuana is legalized.

Anne McLellan says too often government has seen big tobacco and big pharma push up against the rules and test them in court.

The former federal justice minister says the cannabis industry has the opportunity to play within the rules, and perhaps get some concessions in the future.

But McLellan told the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, N.B., that firms could face pushback from government and communities if they don't.

The Senate has approved the Trudeau government's recreational cannabis bill, but with nearly four dozen amendments that the government may not entirely accept.

Bill C-45 passed in the upper house last week by a vote of 56-to-30 with one abstention, over the objections of Conservative senators.

The bill must now go back to the House of Commons, where the government will decide whether to approve, reject or modify the changes before returning it to the Senate for another vote.