Everything you need to know about cannabis being legalized in Canada
It looks like we’re going to have to wait a little longer before we can legally purchase marijuana and light up in Canada.
In April 2017, the federal government introduced legislation to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis in Canada by July 1, 2018, and many (many) Canadians have been waiting for the glorious day to arrive. But after senators struck a deal in mid-February to hold a final vote by June 7 on the legislation that will govern the incoming weed regime, legality has been pushed back to August at the earliest. The delay will be due to the subsequent process of actually opening up shop for the sale of recreational marijuana after the vote – something that will not happen overnight.
It’s up to the federal government to set the requirements for producers who grow and manufacture cannabis, as well as set industry-wide rules and standards when it comes to everything from the prohibition of certain ingredients, to the types of cannabis available for sale and the types of promotion permitted. When it comes to the actual distribution and use of recreational marijuana, each province will have its own legislation.
Here’s what to expect across Canada ones it all (finally) takes effect.
Who can buy it
The legal age for buying marijuana across the country coincides with each province’s legal drinking age. So, for example, you must be 19-years-old to purchase weed in Ontario (where the legal drinking age is also 19), where as you can be 18-years-old to legally obtain marijuana in Alberta (where the drinking age is 18). You’ll have to have a valid government-issued ID to legally purchase weed or have it in your possession in Canada.
Where to buy it
It will be up to each province to decide whether to allow privately run cannabis retail stores. In Ontario, only the government will oversee the distribution of weed, turning to the LCBO to handle it through a subsidiary corporation. In Ontario, weed will be sold in these government stores and online under strict rules. In British Columbia, on the other hand, weed will be sold both at privately run retail stores or through government-operated retail stores and online sales.
What to bring
Bring your ID and your full wallet – you can use debit, credit card, or cash to buy weed.
How much you can buy
When it comes to “grabbing,” customers are limited to purchase 30 grams at a time across the country (which is still enough to fuel the daily smoker for a good month). That’s the same amount you’re allowed to have in public possession and the same amount you’re allowed to share with other adults.
Where you can smoke it
Across Canada, the rules are similar to tobacco laws when it comes to weed smoking. Motor vehicles, the workplace, and public parks are off limits. For those who rely on weed for medical use, the rules are the same as tobacco and e-cigarettes. The medical blazers generally won’t be allowed to smoke or vape medical cannabis in enclosed workplaces, enclosed public places, motor vehicles, and other smoke-free places, with a few exceptions.
Weed on the road
Aside from being strictly prohibited while driving, the legalization of weed comes with tougher drug impairment rules throughout the country, and driving high is a major no-no. This means enhancing existing impaired driving penalties and creating a zero-tolerance approach for young drivers and treating driving under the influence of marijuana as serious as driving under the influence of weed.
If you have a green thumb, the will, and the room, you will be legally allowed to grow up to four plants in Canada, however, Quebec has opted not to allow people to grow their own weed.