Breaking Down Canadian Cannabis Laws

The Canadian government banned marijuana in 1923. However, after nearly 80 years, the country legalized its use for medicinal purposes in 2001. Afterward, public opinion played a significant role in shaping the next stage for marijuana.

In late November 2017, the House of Commons passed the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45. In March 2018, the House passed the second reading in the Senate, and in June 2018, it passed the bill. October 17, 2018, marks a glorious day in the history of Marijuana in Canada as the government federally legalized its use across the country. The country’s first marijuana dispensaries witnessed huge queues on that day.

It was fantastic news for all Canadians, but still many are unaware of the Canadian cannabis laws. Who can use cannabis in Canada? Where can you use cannabis? How can you buy it? What about visitors?

Who Can Use Cannabis in Canada?

In most Canadian provinces, the legal age to purchase and consume cannabis is 19. However, in Quebec, the newly elected government changed the minimum age to 21, and in Alberta, the legal age is 18.

No individual under the age of 19 may use cannabis. Using it as a youth is a criminal offense and can result in maximum penalties of 14 years in jail.

Where Can You Use Cannabis?

To date, almost every province in Canada has banned smoking cannabis and cigarettes in workplaces, public-transit facilities, and indoor public spaces. In a nutshell, the safest and common area to legally smoke cannabis across the nation will be your home, but only if you are the homeowner. Renters must gain their landlord’s permission instead of assuming they are good to go.

In Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, the law permits people to smoke cannabis where cigarette smoking is allowed. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to all Canadians regarding where one can use legal cannabis. The best advice is to read over the full Cannabis Act, province by province, or find the local government’s website. Though it might demand a bit of digging, most medium- to large-size cities post this information online.

Possession Limits

Regardless of the province, you are in Canada where adults who are 19 years of age or older can legally possess, carry, and share up to 30 grams of cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form, in public. Thirty grams of cannabis equates to roughly 60-75 pre-rolled joints.

Additionally, individuals can also grow up to four cannabis plants per residence for personal use from licensed seeds or seedlings. They can also make cannabis products like food and drinks without adding organic solvents to create concentrated products.

Where Can You Buy THC Products?

Adults in Canada can buy dried or fresh cannabis leaves, oils, and pre-rolled joints from any provincially-licensed retailers. They can also grow their indoor plants. Furthermore, individuals residing in provinces without regulated retail framework territories like Ontario and Nunavut can purchase cannabis online from federally-licensed producers.

Wondering how to buy weed online in Canada?

For those who don’t want to leave the comforts of their home, buying weed online in Canada is the most accessible alternative. Though it is similar to buying anything else online, it comes with a few restrictions. First, you must ensure you purchase weed online only from a recreational retailer licensed
to sell weed in your province.

Often, the government runs most of these websites. Hence, all the products are tested and sourced from licensed cultivators. After finding the right online retailer, getting your weed is just a matter of setting up an account and placing it. When buying pot online, you will have to provide any form of ID to verify your age.

Impaired Driving Laws

Cannabis impairs your ability to drive safely, increasing the risk of getting into an accident. Hence, getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs is against Canadian law.

The Canadian government enforces roadside drug testing to find and charge individuals under the influence of a drug with impaired driving. Anyone caught with over five nanograms of THC in their blood while driving will receive stiff penalties like having their license suspended, fines, criminal charges, and sometimes jail time.

What About Visitors?

Visitors are allowed to purchase cannabis in Canada when traveling from anywhere in the world. However, they must abide by all Canadian laws regarding sale, possession, cultivation, and use. To put it short, visitors who are at least 19 years of age can safely buy and use up to 30 grams of weed.
Furthermore, visitors can also legally carry cannabis on a flight between two Canadian cities, but only if they obey all possession and age laws. For instance, you can lawfully bring ten grams of weed on a flight from Montreal to Vancouver. Visitors are also allowed to mail cannabis from one Canadian town to another.

However, visitors aren’t allowed to transport cannabis from Canada to any other country. It is the case even if they live in a state like California, where cannabis is legal. It is illegal to bring cannabis across international borders, even if it is for medicinal purposes.

How are Weed-related Laws Enforced?

Typically, the Office of Controlled Substances works with law enforcement agencies to ensure the proper reporting of controlled substances, including cannabis.

Staying Up To Date With Cannabis Laws in Canada

Both visitors and Canadians who use cannabis have to make sure they stay up to date with each state’s specific cannabis laws. Various aspects, such as legal age, possession limits, and areas where you can consume cannabis, changes from state to state. Though the 30-gram limit is the standardized
possession limit across the nation, people can store more in a private residence in specific locations.

Be sure you are aware of the Canadian cannabis laws to stay on the safer side and make the most out of cannabis legalization.

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