Only two more months until adult-use cannabis is legal in Canada

Aug 17 2018, 4:33 am

As of today, Canada is two months away from the legalization of cannabis on October 17.

Here’s an update of how legalization is going to play out in each province, but keep in mind, things can change over the next two months, particularly with municipal elections coming up.

See also

Alberta

Age of majority: 18
Where you can smoke: Anywhere smoking cigarettes is permitted; anywhere not frequented by children (playgrounds, schools, etc.)
Where to get it: Private retailers (government-run wholesale); online (government-run and private)
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: Jasper announced its cannabis regulations – or lack thereof – in mid-August. Council has opted to scrap the 100m buffer zone between dispensaries and schools; to allow retail stores to stay open late; and to impose zero limits on the number of cannabis retailers permitted, with the mayor’s full support. This means that Jasper now has some of the most lenient local cannabis legislation in the country.

British Columbia

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Most places you can smoke cigarettes with multiple exceptions including recreational areas, parks, enclosed public spaces, bus/ferry stops, or near children
Where to get it: Province-run BC Cannabis Stores and online, and from licensed private retailers
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted; plants must not be visible from public spaces, or grown in houses designated as community care facilities
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: The BC Liquor Distribution Branch announced that it will be levying a 15% mark up on cannabis to retailers, which is significantly less than the mark up on liquor. Municipalities have significant control over cannabis distribution in their jurisdictions. Burnaby, for example, wants to limit their retail outlets to government-run stores only.

Manitoba

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Private retailers; private online retailers(must have a brick-and-mortar store) (government-run wholesale)
Home growing: Provincial regulations prohibit home cultivation
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: In mid-August, Manitoba announced that it will opt not to charge sales tax on recreational cannabis in order to offer pricing that competes with the black market. Although the 8% sales tax won’t be charged, consumers will still pay additional fees including the federal excise tax. Retailers will be charged 75 cents per gram plus 9% by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries for their services as a distributor, as well as a 6% “social responsibility fee.”

New Brunswick

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Province-run retail stores and online, via Cannabis Management Corporation (NB Liquor subsidiary)
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household – indoors, in a separate and locked space; outdoors in a locked enclosure with a minimum height of 1.52m
Possession limits: Maximum 30g in public
Recent developments: New Brunswick has proclaimed itself “ready” for legalization since June – in fact, they were so ready that the delay from summer to October 17 has cost them millions – slicing their presumed CAD$6 million in revenue to CAD$3.6 million, according to Finance Minister Cathy Rogers.

Newfoundland/Labrador

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Private retailers, online, province-run dispensaries where there are no private storefronts
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted
Possession limits: 30g total
Recent developments: Thomas Clarke in Portugal-St Phillips was voted out of running a local dispensary by town council, despite having received a license from the province to do so. The town blamed a petition by residents as the reason it put the kibosh on Clarke’s business plan, leaving many questions about who has jurisdiction over Newfoundland cannabis.

Northwest Territories

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Private and province-run retail stores (government-run wholesale via Liquor Commission); online sales
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: No major updates to report at this time.

Nova Scotia

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Anywhere smoking cigarettes is permitted
Where to get it: Government-run retail stores and online, via NS Liquor Board
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: In early August, Dalhousie University psychologist Dr. Simon Sherry accused Nova Scotia of “glamorizing and normalizing” cannabis in its dispensary design, in contravention of federal law. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp dismissed the accusation.

Nunavut

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Anywhere smoking cigarettes is permitted
Where to get it: Province-run retail stores; private retailers/dispensaries if acting as agency on behalf of the Nunavut government
Home growing: Provincial regulations prohibit home growing
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: No major updates to report at this time.

Ontario

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Province-run Ontario Cannabis Stores (online only) until April 2019, by which point private retail sales will also be allowed for provincially-licensed retailers (pending legislation passes and licences are issued)
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: After weeks of rumours and uncertainty, Doug Ford’s PC party recently announced a new hybrid public/private distribution system for Ontario, dismantling the private one created by his predecessor, Liberal Kathleen Wynne. Ford announced that Ontario cannabis sales would be online-only via the LCBO-run OCS until the spring of 2019. At that point, private retail sales will be permitted – albeit only in licensed, brick-and-mortar stores. Ford also granted municipalities the right to opt out of allowing cannabis retail stores to operate within their jurisdiction; so far Toronto suburbs Richmond Hill and Markham have decided to opt out.

Prince Edward Island

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places, with a few exceptions (such as multi-unit dwellings).
Where to get it: Province-run dispensaries and online, via PEI Cannabis Management Corporation
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted (not accessible to minors)
Possession limits: Maximum 30g in public
Recent developments: No major updates. Training for PEI Cannabis Management Corp staff has been underway since June.

Québec

Age of majority: 18
Where you can smoke: Anywhere smoking cigarettes is permitted
Where to get it: Province-run retail stores or online, via Société Québecois du Cannabis
Home growing: Provincial regulations prohibit any home cultivation
Possession limits: Maximum 150g total; maximum in public TBD (likely 30g)
Recent developments: In mid-August, the SQDC released renderings of how their stores will look. With a provincial election looming in early October, there could be big changes in store for provincial legislation, especially if the currently-reigning Liberals are ousted.

Saskatchewan

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: Private retailers stores/private online retail (must have brick-and-mortar storefront as well)
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household
Possession limits: 30g in public
Recent developments: Legalization is creating a small job boom in Saskatchewan, with reportedly hundreds of new jobs in cultivation, distribution and retail being created by the cannabis industry. Municipalities will have the power to ban cannabis sales if they so desire; so far about half a dozen municipalities have opted out.

Yukon

Age of majority: 19
Where you can smoke: Prohibited in public places
Where to get it: One province-run retail in Whitehorse, initially; private retailers (min. 6 months post-legalization); online (government-run and private)
Home growing: Up to 4 plants per household permitted
Possession limits: 30g in public or in a vehicle
Recent developments: No major updates to report at this time.

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