What to Know About Marijuana Laws in Canada
Whether you are taking a trip or making a move to Canada, it's critical to know what to expect. For those using marijuana for recreational or medicinal use, it's essential to have some idea of what to expect once you arrive. Is marijuana legal in Canada? How do you get it to use? Here are some of the most important facts you need to know about the laws and regulations on marijuana use in Canada.
Is Marijuana Legal in Canada?
Using cannabis in Canada is legal. Who can use it depends on age and location. In most of the country, those who are over the age of 19 are allowed to consume cannabis products. There are two exceptions to this. In Alberta, people at the age of 18 can consume cannabis. In Quebec, the legal age to use cannabis products is 21. That includes for medicinal and recreational use.
A Long History of Marijuana Regulation
Canada initially banned the use of cannabis products in 1923. It would take nearly 80 years for the country to make changes to those laws to allow for use. In 2001, the country passed the first legalization of cannabis for medical use. In 2017, the country passed the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45 in the House of Commons. A few months later, in March of 2018, the bill passed the Senate. And, finally, on June 18th, 2018, the House passed the bill, providing Canadians the ability to use marijuana as they would like.
Canada was only the second country to make marijuana legal throughout the country. The first was Uruguay.
The plan to make recreational marijuana use legal was a big part of Justin Trudeau's election campaign. This came after the Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation spent time studying the topic to determine if, in fact, it was a good move for Canadians. It only took about 2 years from the time he was elected until the Cannabis Act was passed. By all accounts, legal pot is going well in Canada since it was made legal.
What Is Legal?
While cannabis is legal in Canada there are still some regulations for it. No matter if you are visiting or living there, you'll need to know about these key aspects of using it.
How much can you have?
Under the law, each person is able to possess as much as 30 grams. This applies to all states. However, there are some situations where you can have much more in your home. How much you can have at home is dependent on the location. For example, in Manitoba, there is no specific limit on how much you can have in your home. In British Columbia, people are legally allowed to have as much as 1,000 grams in their homes.
What about dried weed?
The Cannabis Act placed some possession limits on products. However, this only applied to dried cannabis. Under that law, a person was able to have the following based on the equivalent of dried weed. An equivalent to dried cannabis is as follows:
- 70 grams of liquid products
- A cannabis plant seed
- 15 grams of edibles
- ¼ of an ounce of concentrated products
- 5 grams of fresh marijuana
What does this mean for you? By this Act, a person is able to have as much as 2,100 grams of liquid product or 7.5 grams of concentrate. It also means 150 grams of fresh cannabis or 450 grams of edibles. In short, it's easy to get what you need and maintain it as long as you keep it in your home.
How do you buy cannabis in Canada?
There are several options for purchasing weed from a Canadian dispensary. Generally, the most common option is to use a private retail store. These are located throughout the country and in most larger cities. It is also possible to purchase it from the government through online sales. Purchasing from dispensaries is the most common option because it provides individuals with local access and a large range of products they can pick from, in most cases.
Can you grow cannabis in Canada?
It is possible to grow cannabis in Canada. Under the Cannabis Act, a person is able to have up to 4 plants at one time. These can be up to 1 meter tall. This has to be meant for personal use rather than for sale. Manitoba and Quebec do not allow for the cultivation of plants at all. In Albert, cultivation can only happen indoors. In New Brunswick, home cultivation can only happen indoors and requires a separate locked area for storage. It is also illegal to have flowering plants in any public place in Canada.
Canada's laws on cannabis use are some of the most open to allowing people who want to use to do so in a safe way. While local laws are in place, there is the chance that these laws may change as well. For those who want to have access to cannabis, be sure to check with local dispensaries to know what is allowable under those local laws.