Canadian Laws Governing Cannabis

October 17th, 2018 was the historic day when the Canadian government legalized the consumption of recreational weed and people were allowed to buy weed in Canada. The Cannabis Act was brought into action, and it implemented a rigorous legal framework that will work to control the distribution, production, possession, and sale of cannabis in Canada.

The main aim or goal of the act was to accomplish 3 major goals that will benefit the nation in various ways for years to come:

  • The first goal was to make sure that cannabis stays out of the reach of youth.
  • The second motive was to try to keep the profits generated by the production, distribution, and sale of cannabis from ending up in the pockets of criminals.
  • The third goal majorly concentrated on allowing adults to have access to legal cannabis, thereby enabling them to protect their health and safety.

The motto of the Government was to have control over its sale and govern its distribution to the public. This helps in making sure that it does not end up in the wrong hands.

Since it is legalized, it can be sold legitimately and hence will shut down criminal rings that run the underground business of production and distribution of cannabis, thus disrupting their profit channels. This will reduce the number of criminals and crimes that exist in the system.

It can also be used judiciously and adequately by adults for its medicinal values, thereby helping patients that require cannabis for treatment.

What has been made Legal as of 17th October 2018?

cannabis act canada

It differs for each province and territory, but there is a strict age restriction, and it is only legal for people who are of age 18 or older.

  • People can now have up to 30 grams of legal cannabis (be it dried or in the non-dried form) in their possession in public.
  • People can share not more than 30 grams of legal cannabis with other people qualifying as adults.
  • They can grow at most 4 cannabis plants in one residential place for private use, provided that it is from a licensed seed or seedling.
  • People can now purchase fresh or dried cannabis and cannabis oil from licensed retail stores.
  • People can also cook cannabis products like food or drinks, making sure that there is no use of organic solvents to create any concentrated product.

The legal sale of edible products of cannabis will begin approximately one year from the date of implementation of the CannabisAct, i.e. October 17th, 2018.

How old does one need to be to possess Cannabis?

This was a decision that was left to be made by each province and territory; hence it varies with each region. All the provinces agreed on following the general rule of the legal age for the purchase of alcohol or cigarette.

In almost all over the provinces, one must be 19 years of age or above to legally purchase weed, while in Quebec and Alberta it is 18 years.

Where can one buy it?

Since each one of the different territories and provinces was allowed to decide whether the government will be the only distributor of weed, or if they want the private stores to have the ability to sell as well, it differs all over the country.

For the largest and most populous places of the nation:

  • Ontario

The only legal option for this province is the online sales that operate through the Ontario Cannabis Store. The government of the province has been working on private licensing, and legal stores may be expected to open up in 2019.

  • Quebec

There may be more that are expected to open soon, but currently, the only option for the residents of Quebec is 1 of the 12 government-run retail outlets that exist currently in the region.

  • British Columbia

The government launched online sales on Oct. 17, 2018. Though only one store was opened on the legalization day, which was in Kamloops, there were nearly 200 more applications from various private retailers. Most of these and many more retailers are being approved as the months go by.

  • Alberta

Alberta started by selling weed only through the licensed stores and through government website online at AlbertaCannabis.org. Six shops were opened in Edmonton and another 2 in Calgary.

Even though Cannabis has been legalized in Canada, it is always nice to have reassurance. Always be a responsible citizen and make sure that you are not, knowingly or unknowingly, breaking any laws as it might end up in a prison sentence of up to 14 years. While it is acceptable to smoke in your private premises, make sure you check your surroundings to make sure you are not in a non-smoking zone before lighting up. Stay safe and do not drive while high, it is illegal and dangerous.

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