Canada’s Marijuana Laws Explained

canada marijuana laws

Canadians can rejoice. Canada has approved a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

You can’t run out to the stores to buy it just yet- it will take from 8 to 12 weeks for every province to prepare for the change.

But by 17 October 2018, Canadians adults will be able to purchase marijuana for recreational use from marijuana retailers and even grocery stores in some areas!

Even though lighting up will be legal, residents will still have to stick to federal laws. Adults 19 years of age or older (18 in Alberta and Quebec) can carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis, but public smoking is prohibited in most places. Getting caught with more than 30 grams can result in up to a five-year prison sentence. Selling marijuana without a license can result in up to 14 years imprisonment.

As far as growing goes, adults will be able to grow up to four marijuana plants up to a meter tall. This must be done in a secure and approved location. Landlords will have the right to forbid the growing and smoking of pot in their properties.

The laws on how old you have to be and how much you can carry will also vary between provinces. Here are some important questions on Canada’s marijuana laws answered and a province-by-province breakdown.

When will marijuana stores open in Canada?

Cannabis will officially be legal and available to buy in Canada on October 17th, 2018. Marijuana stores are already being set up in most provinces. Online sales will also be available.

How old do you have to be to buy cannabis in Canada?

In most Canadian provinces, you must be 19 years of age or older to buy and smoke cannabis. The legal age in Quebec and Alberta is lower at 18 years old. Those who are below the legal age will not be permitted to buy or smoke marijuana.

canadian weed laws

How much marijuana can you legally possess?

The Cannabis Act states that adults can buy and carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis. However, these limits are different for other marijuana-based products. The Department of Justice states that 1 gram of dried cannabis is equivalent to:

These laws mean that an adult would be able to possess up to 150 grams of fresh cannabis or 30 cannabis plant seeds, for instance.

Can tourists buy weed in Canada?

Yes! Provinces are able to make their own laws on this, but currently, it seems the same laws that apply to residents will also apply to tourists.

You can expect to see marijuana tourism boom in Canada. Especially in areas such as Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto.

Can you take weed across the Canada borders?

No. While Americans will be able to buy cannabis in Canada, taking it across the border is highly illegal and punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. This applies regardless of the marijuana laws of the resident’s home state.

Are there still laws against marijuana?

Yes, certain marijuana laws still apply in Canada.

Driving while intoxicated can result in tickets for small amounts or up to 5 years in jail for serious offenses.

The illegal distribution and sale of cannabis or growing more than the legal limit can also result in 5 years imprisonment. You must have a license to sell cannabis of any amount.

Taking cannabis across Canada’s borders and selling to a minor (with or without a license) are serious offenses punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Public use is also restricted in many places. Make sure you stay educated on the laws of your province (detailed below) to avoid any trouble.

Marijuana growing laws in Canada

Canadians can grow up to 4 cannabis plants per residence, subject to provincial restrictions. Plants can be up to one meter tall. These must only be for personal use and not for resale (unless a license is obtained). You must be 19 or older (18 in Alberta) to grow cannabis plants.

marijuana growing laws

Growing your own plants is not legally permitted in Quebec, Nunavut, and Manitoba.

Marijuana shipping laws in Canada

Canada already has marijuana delivery laws in place for the shipping of medical marijuana from licensed producers. These same rules are likely to apply for recreational marijuana deliveries. Canada Post has been shipping medical marijuana since 2013 and has its own set of guidelines.

The ACMPR states that marijuana and marijuana/CBD products must be shipped in tamper-evident and child-resistant containers. They must also adhere to certain packaging, labeling, and shipping regulations. Marijuana must be packaged securely so it cannot be smelt, identified or damaged.

Marijuana delivery is already very popular in Canada. With legalization on the horizon, it’s the ideal hotspot for a marijuana delivery business.

Marijuana Laws By Province

Marijuana laws in Alberta

Adults of 18 years or above will be able to purchase and smoke cannabis in Alberta. It will be available from licensed stores and online sales operated by AGLC.

Edibles are currently illegal to sell and drivers must not have cannabis within reach of them. Those under 18 caught with 5 grams or more will be subject to criminal charges under federal legislation. Less than 5 grams will result in seizure and notification to their parents/guardian.

Marijuana laws in British Columbia

The legal age of consumption in British Columbia is 19. Marijuana will be available to purchase from stores and online sales, both government-operated and privately-run.

Smoking is prohibited in cars, near children, and anywhere where tobacco is prohibited. Landlords are also able to ban smoking and growing on their property.

Marijuana laws in Manitoba

In Manitoba adults aged 19 years or older will be able to purchase marijuana from privately-run stores and online sales.

Manitoba laws are slightly stricter than most provinces. Growing your own marijuana is prohibited. It is also illegal for retailers to sell marijuana to anyone intoxicated by alcohol or other substances. Municipalities will also be able to ban marijuana sales within their area, subject to a referendum.

Marijuana laws in New Brunswick

You must be 19 years or older to buy and smoke cannabis in New Brunswick. The province plans to open 11 marijuana stores operated under the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation. There will also be government-operated online sales.

Cannabis must be kept securely at home and can only be smoked on private property.

Marijuana laws in Newfoundland and Labrador

N.L. marijuana laws state that you must be 19 or older to buy and smoke marijuana.

Marijuana will be sold by privately-owned stores as well as online sales. Applications for licensing are currently closed and 24 stores across the province are in the process of becoming licensed cannabis retailers.

You must only smoke on private property or private residences. The laws on growing your own cannabis are currently undetermined.

Marijuana laws in Northwest Territories

Marijuana will be available to those 19 years of age or older. It will be sold via government-operated online sales and privately owned liquor stores. Specialist marijuana stores may open in the future.

Smoking is permitted in certain public places such as parks and trails. Residents will also be able to smoke and grow up to four plants in their own home.

Marijuana laws in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia residents 19 years or older will be able to purchase marijuana from government-operated stores and online sales.

There are currently 12 stores confirmed which will open to the public on October 17. Residents can smoke in private (subject to landlord’s approval) and in public places where tobacco is also permitted.

Marijuana laws in Nunavut

The age of legal consumption in Nunavut is 19. Marijuana will be sold through online vendors. Businesses can apply for a license to sell cannabis, but these will not be approved until 2019.

Growing your own marijuana is prohibited in Nunavut. Smoking is allowed in private and in certain public places that have obtained a permit.

Marijuana laws in Ontario

Marijuana will be available through government-operated stores and websites in Ontario to anyone aged 19 or above.

Ontario currently has plans to open 40 marijuana stores across the province. Smoking is only permitted in private residences.

Marijuana laws in Prince Edward Island

PEI marijuana laws limit the sale of marijuana to adults aged 19 or older through government-operated sales (online and retail).

Four marijuana stores will be opened in Summerside, Montague, Charlottetown, and O’Leary. People will be permitted in some public spaces, as well as in private residences.

Marijuana laws in Quebec

Marijuana will be available to those aged 18 or older in Quebec. It will be sold via government stores and online sales.

Marijuana can be smoked in public in spaces where tobacco smoking is permitted, except for university campuses.

Marijuana laws in Saskatchewan

You can buy and smoke marijuana in Saskatchewan providing you are 19 or older. It will be sold via privately-owned stores and online retailers.

Smoking is only permitted on private properties and must be restricted around minors.

Marijuana laws in Yukon

Marijuana will be available in Yukon through government-operated sales (online and retail stores) to people aged 19 or older.

Like most provinces, smoking will be limited to private residences.

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