Legalization of Cannabis in Canada

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The cannabis legalization date in Canada was October 17th, 2018. It’s the date Canadians could legally indulge in weed and other cannabis products. This has come into play under the brand new Cannabis Act. Wondering what exactly cannabis legalization entails? Keep reading to better understand legalized weed in Canada.

Here you’ll learn about what regulations have been put into place for purchasing and using marijuana. Read about topics ranging from possession laws to growing your own plants at home. You also be able to familiarize yourself with the health factors involved with smoking and consuming marijuana.

What is the Cannabis Act?

The government of Canada has not just legalized cannabis, but also passed laws on how to regulate its use and purchase. These laws help to control the production, distribution and possession of the cannabis products. The main goal is to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands, specifically Canadian youth.

What are the laws on adult possession?

The main priority of the Cannabis Act is to keep cannabis from kids and teens. There are obviously some laws set in place for adults as well. Each province differs slightly but everywhere you must be of legal age to use recreational cannabis.

You can’t purchase more than 30 grams at a time. This is the also same amount you are legally allowed to carry in public. Each province has a different law on how much weed can be stored at home. Some provinces allow an unlimited supply at home whereas Quebec only allows for 150 grams within the residence.

You can only purchase the product from an approved retailer in your province or territory. Most provinces are allowing adults to grow four recreational plants per residence (not per person). So if you have three roommates you can still only have four plants in the house.

How do the provinces differ in regulating cannabis use?

If you are wondering about the regulations, you have to first consider your province or territory or residence. The laws are generally the same throughout Canada with slight differences from province to province.

Whether you’re in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario or Quebec; it’s very similar regulation.

Before purchasing or using recreational cannabis, check out your area’s government website to learn the rules. Here you’ll find the minimum legal age, possession limits, where you can buy it, where you can use it, and rules for growing your own plants.

Is the cannabis I’m purchasing actually legal?

First you need to check the provincial laws (Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec etc…). This will tell you where you can legally purchase cannabis products within your province. Depending on where you live you can purchase from government retail shops, online dispensaries, or private retail storefronts.

During the first year of the Cannabis Act you can buy seeds, plants, oils, or fresh/dried flowers from a legal retailer.

When you purchase a product from one of the legal suppliers you’ll notice an excise stamp on the packaging. This stamp proves that it is in fact a legal cannabis product; the stamp colors vary for each province. When ordering online discretion is a top concern. Products come packaged in vacuum-sealed bags to keep any skunky scents from escaping. Also, it is usually shipped in a basic shipping box or envelop.

Just because it is now legal is it actually safe?

Cannabis is safe for most people, but this does not mean everyone should be using it. For people thinking of using cannabis, it’s recommended to speak to a healthcare provider before trying it. Even if you are in good health, you still need to be responsible. Of course there are certain conditions where cannabis can be beneficial, but first check with a professional.

The main thing to remember is to be responsible and avoid overusing the cannabis.

Are there any potential health risks when ingesting cannabis?

There will always be some health risks associated with cannabis use, Health Canada goes into further detail here.

Can anyone in Canada grow weed?

As mentioned previously, most provinces are allowing four recreational plants per household. Each province has its own rules on growing, so be aware of your area’s regulations before you start growing. For example, in Ontario you can grow four plants but its neighbor of Quebec doesn’t allow recreational growing.

If you want more than four plants for medical reasons, you’ll have to apply for a license through Health Canada. 

What are the rules for driving while under the influence of cannabis?

No matter where you live in the country, it is always illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis.

Is it legal to travel with cannabis?

Regarding international travel, cannabis bought in Canada must stay in the country. Crossing into the USA with cannabis products is illegal as the video below further explains.

Is it legal to travel between provinces with cannabis?

In general you can cross provincial borders with cannabis products, but you must be aware of each province’s laws. Regardless of which province you are from, you must abide by the laws of the area you travel to.

For example, the minimum age for cannabis possession in Alberta is 18, but in neighboring British Columbia you must be 19. If you are 18 and decide to take a road trip from Alberta to BC, legally you won’t be allowed to use or purchase weed.

For further questions, be sure to check the Cannabis Act.