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A Long-Time Coming: An Overview of Cannabis Regulations in Canada

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*Please note that the above image does not feature cannabis. 

Back in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised Canadians that access to legal recreational cannabis would become a reality. With the introduction of Bill-C-45, otherwise known as the Cannabis Act, the Canadian government proposed that the country would legalize the possession use, production and purchase of cannabis for adults, nation-wide.

Two years later, we are now inching closer to a very significant date: October 17th, 2018–the day Canadians will be able to legally purchase cannabis anywhere in the country.

As cannabis has been prohibited in Canada for nearly an entire century (cannabis-use was banned in Canada in 1923), the significance of legalization day is monumental – indeed, many thought this would never happen. Instead, the past year has seen the rise of a now-global industry, with Canada leading the way as the first G/7 nation to introduce legislation that will legalize and regulate cannabis use. 

Once Bill C-45 was approved in June 2018, a federal framework was confirmed to serve as a guide for provincial and territorial governments to follow and adapt as each region develops their own approach to licensing and managing the sales of legalized cannabis. As Canada prepares for October 17th, read on for a cross-country overview of legalization plans.

Alberta (AB)

Legal Age: 18

Where can I buy?

Albertans will be able to purchase cannabis from privately-run retail stores and through an online platform - albertacannabis.org.

Can I grow my own?

Up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public use of cannabis is limited; adults are not permitted to smoke in areas frequented by children or where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

 

British Columbia (BC)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Adults will be able to purchase cannabis through both public and private retail outlets, as well as through online platforms.

Can I grow my own?

Up to four plants per household, but they must be out of sight from public spaces.

Where can I consume?

Public use of cannabis is limited; adults are not permitted to smoke in areas frequented by children or where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).

 

Manitoba (MB)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Legalized cannabis will be available at privately run retail locations.

Can I grow my own?

Prohibited.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba.

 

New Brunswick (NB)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Adults will be able to purchase legalized cannabis in government-controlled storefronts and through an online platform.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Cannabis Management Corporation

 

Newfoundland and Labrador (NFLD)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

NFLD will offer both publicly and privately-run storefronts, along with government-operated online sales.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Cannabis NL.

 

Northwest Territories (NT)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Sales will initially operate in NT Liquor Commission storefronts – meaning that you will be able to purchase alcohol and cannabis in the same location. Following legalization, the NT government is considering the prospect of offering sales opportunities to the private sector.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public use of cannabis is limited; adults are not permitted to smoke in areas frequented by children or where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: North West Territories Liquor Commission.

 

Nova Scotia (NS)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will be the exclusive retailer of cannabis and will manage all sales and distribution through designated NSLC stores and online.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption of legalized cannabis will be restricted due to the guidelines of the Province’s Smoke-Free Places Act.

Regulatory Body: Nova Scotia Liquor Commission.

 

Nunavut (NU)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Initially, the Government’s Liquor Commission will manage all online sales as the sole platform for purchasing legalized cannabis. Following legalization, the Government is considering introducing public and privately-run retail locations.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household (unless forbidden by the homeowner).

Where can I consume?

Adults are legally allowed to consume in public. However, it faces the same restrictions as tobacco, prohibiting use in areas frequented by children.

Regulatory Body: Nunavut Liquor Commission.

 

Ontario (ON) 

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

As of October 17th, 2018, residents will be able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. By April 2019, the province will allow sales of cannabis to be managed by private retail outlets.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Ontario Cannabis Store.

 

Prince Edward Island (PE) 

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

The PEI Cannabis Management Corporation will operate all public sales through four designated retail locations and an online platform.

Can I grow my own?

Up to four plants per household, but must be out of sight of children and minors.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: PEI Cannabis Management Corporation.

  

Quebec (QC) 

Legal Age: 18

Where can I buy?

Sales of legalized cannabis will be available through private retail locations and via an online platform.

Can I grow my own?

Adults are prohibited from growing their own.

Where can I consume?

Public use of cannabis is limited; adults are not permitted to smoke in areas frequented by children or where smoking tobacco is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Société québécoise du cannabis.

 

Saskatchewan (SK)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Sales of legalized cannabis will be handled by private retail businesses that will also be allowed to set up an online platform.

Can I grow my own?

Prohibited

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.

 

Yukon (YK)

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

Initially, cannabis sales will be limited to one government-owned storefront in Whitehorse. Following legalization, private retailers will be granted licenses by the Cannabis Licensing Board and will be allowed to open six months after legalization. Both private and public locations will be allowed to set up online platforms as well.

Can I grow my own?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household; plants must be kept out of public sight.

Where can I consume?

Public consumption is prohibited.

Regulatory Body: Government of Yukon.

DOJA does not condone or endorse the illegal consumption of cannabis.

Article by Sophie Naprawa

Image by Tamara Robinson 

 

Crafted in the Okanagan