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Kelowna, BC V1Y 6N4

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Fri/Sat, 8am-6pm

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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 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 newly-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.

What’s consistent from coast to coast?

  • Adults can carry up to 30-grams of legally sourced cannabis for non-medical purposes in public (yes, even during domestic air travel!).
  • Consumption in vehicles is prohibited.
  • Product is legally available in the following formats: flower, pre-roll, capsules, sprays and oils.
  • Edibles and topical products are not yet available for legal sale.
  • Online sales are available in all provinces and territories, whether via private retailers or through government-run websites.

Alberta (AB)

Legal Age: 18

Where can I buy?

Albertans can 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 can 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 can 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 offers 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 is the exclusive retailer of cannabis and manages all sales and distribution through designated NSLC stores and an online platform.

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 and Cannabis 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?

Smoking/vaping is permitted in most public spaces (sidewalks, parks).  

Regulatory Body: Ontario Cannabis Store.

 

Prince Edward Island (PE) 

Legal Age: 19

Where can I buy?

The PEI Cannabis Management Corporation operates 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 are available through government-managed retail locations and via an online platform.

Can I grow my own?

Prohibited.

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?

Adults can grow up to four plants per household.

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?

From at least one government-owned and operated a location in Whitehorse and through the Cannabis Yukon online platform. By Spring 2019, private licensed businesses will also have the opportunity to open storefronts.

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 Lucia Stephen and Sophie Naprawa

Image by Tamara Robinson 

 

Crafted in the Okanagan