Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government will introduce legislation to legalise recreational cannabis the week of April 11th and it should become law by July next year, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to lack of authorisation to discuss the upcoming legislation.
Trudeau has long promised to legalise recreational cannabis use and sales.
Canada would be the largest developed country to end a nationwide prohibition of recreational cannabis.
In the US, voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada voted last year to approve the use of recreational cannabis, joining Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.
Uruguay in South America is the only nation to legalise recreational cannabis.
Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould declined to confirm the dates provided by the official, but said in a statement the government is committed to introducing legislation this spring that would "legalise, strictly regulate, and restrict access to cannabis."
"This will be done in a careful way to keep it out of the hands of children and youth, and to stop criminals from profiting," the statement said.
"In order to meet our commitment to legalise, the legislation will need to pass through the parliamentary process in a timely fashion."
The news was noticed online by Snoop Dogg , who tweeted "Oh Canada!"
The Canadian government is expected to follow the advice of a cannabis task force headed by former Liberal Health Minister Anne McLellan as well as the advice of former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who is the parliamentary secretary to the justice minister.
The task force recommended adults be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis for recreational purpose and grow up to four plants.
It also recommended that higher-potency cannabis be taxed at a higher rate than weaker strains.
It also said recreational cannabis should not be sold in the same location as alcohol or tobacco.
Under the task force proposals, alcohol-free cannabis lounges would be allowed.
The panel's report noted public health experts tend to favour a minimum age of 21 as the brain continues to develop to about 25, but said setting the minimum age too high would preserve the illicit market.