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These Are The Weed Laws in Canada
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These Are The Weed Laws in Canada

If you want to bask in the glory of legal cannabis, then you will have to know Canadian cannabis laws.

Oct 17, 2018 - Rob Hoffman

Photo by Thought Catalog via Flickr

These Are The Weed Laws in Canada

Photo by Thought Catalog via Flickr

Today will go down in the history textbooks as the day when Canada repealed cannabis prohibition. Canada is officially the first G7 nation in the world to legalize Cannabis, which means that investors, business owners, politicians, world leaders, academics, policy makers, scientists, sociologists, and even people just looking to get high the world over will be watching to see how it all unfolds.

One of the most interesting things about Canada’s legalization of cannabis is that each province and territory has their own regulatory system that varies from the last. In some cases, cannabis will be exclusively sold by the government. In other cases, private businesses will serve as cannabis retailers. There are also varying laws around cannabis cultivation, public consumption, and what age you can consume it at.

Curious about the cannabis laws in your province or territory? Here’s your definitive guide to weed laws in Canada.

Weed Laws In Ontario 

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis in Ontario.
  • While public consumption of cannabis was previously going to be illegal in Canada’s most populous province, the rules have since changed under new Premier Doug Ford. Now, according to the Government of Ontario website, cannabis consumption is allowed in “Many outdoor public places (e.g. sidewalks, parks).” It will also be legal to consume cannabis in residential vehicles that meet certain criteria, such as those that have permanent sleeping facilities and are parked.) However, smoking regulations for cannabis will also be established by individual municipalities, employers, and property owners. It will also be illegal to consume cannabis within nine meters of a patio, in publicly owned spaces like sports fields, the grounds of community recreational facilities or within 20 meters of these grounds or school grounds. In other words, it’s legal to consume cannabis anywhere that it’s legal to smoke cigarettes. 
  • Ontarians be able to purchase cannabis on the Ontario Cannabis Store website. You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams of flower at a time. You will also be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public.
  • Privately owned cannabis retailers will also soon be introduced in the province, pending legislation introduced by the government, which, if it passes, would go into effect on April 1st, 2019. These stores would all be mandated to purchase their wholesale cannabis from The Ontario Cannabis Store.
  • You will be allowed to grow a maximum of four cannabis plants per residence.

Marijuana Laws In British Columbia

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams of flower at a time. You will also be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public.
  • Any public space that bans smoking cigarettes will also be off limits for cannabis use. It will also be illegal to consume cannabis in any location where children commonly gather, such as playgrounds, school property, and sports fields.
  • You will be allowed to grow a maximum of four cannabis plants per residence, but these plants must be hidden from public view. However, cultivating and smoking cannabis in homes that are under existing leases will be prohibited (unless it’s federally approved medical cannabis.) Tenants and landlords will be required to negotiate cultivation and consumption policies amongst themselves for new leases.
  • All private cannabis retailers will be mandated to purchase wholesale cannabis exclusively from the  Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB).
  • You will be able to purchase cannabis from both private retailers and provincially run stores. However, only one legal private retailer is slated to open its doors for October 17th, which is located in Kamloops. Over 100 other private retailers have submitted applications to the provincial government, and are waiting for approval.

Cannabis Laws In Quebec

  • You must be 18 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams of flower at a time. You will also be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in certain public spaces. In a private residence, you will be allowed to possess up to 150 grams of dried flower “or its equivalent,” per residence. 
  • It will be prohibited to possess cannabis on the grounds of any schools or educational facilities, including college-level educational facilities, aside from in student residences where possession will be allowed.
  • You will not be allowed to cultivate cannabis for personal use in the province of Quebec.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis anywhere that currently prohibits cigarette smoking. You will also not be allowed to consume cannabis on the properties of health and social service providers, universities, places designated for sports activities, among other places. The full list of prohibited locations for cannabis consumption can be read here.
  • Retail cannabis sales will be exclusively controlled by the provincial government’s Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC).
  • You will be able to purchase cannabis from twelve SQDC stores on October 17th, as well as online on the SQDC website. The brick and mortar stores will be spread out across the province, three of which will be in Montreal, Quebec’s biggest city. The full list of stores and locations can be found here.
These Are The Weed Laws in Canada2 How to Get the Most Out Of Your Stash with the Best Weed Grinders
Photo by OC Gonzale via Unsplash

Cannabis Laws In Manitoba

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will not be allowed to legally grow cannabis at home in Manitoba.
  • You will not be allowed to consume non-medical cannabis in outdoor public spaces in Manitoba.
  • Aside from designated healthcare facilities that provide palliative and/or end-of-life care, it will be illegal to consume cannabis in indoor public places as well.
  • You will be able to purchase cannabis from private retailers in Manitoba. These retailers will be required to buy their wholesale cannabis from the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries (MBLL), who will source their cannabis from Licensed producers in Canada. The province has not yet determined how many retailers there will be, and where they will open in the province. Retail stores are also expected to open in First Nations communities.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower at a time.

Cannabis Laws In Saskatchewan

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • Cannabis will be sold online and in privately owned retailers, which will be regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence, however, this is predicated on your landlord/condo boards’ consent.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public.
  • There will be 51 retail cannabis stores in Saskatchewan, however, the majority of them are not expected to be open on October 17th due to delays in the supply chain.

Marijuana Laws In Alberta

  • You must be 18 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Cannabis will be sold by private retailers, who are mandated to purchase their wholesale cannabis from the provincial government’s Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC). Online sales will also be run through the AGLC.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence, however, this is predicated on your landlord/condo boards’ consent.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will be allowed to consume cannabis in some public spaces where tobacco smoking is permitted. Each municipality will have the ability to create their own public consumption restrictions. It is illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle in Alberta. You will also be restricted from consuming cannabis on hospital grounds, or places frequented by children such as school property, playgrounds, sports fields, skateparks, among other spaces. You can read the full list of areas where cannabis consumption is restricted in Alberta here.

Cannabis Laws In Prince Edward Island (PEI) 

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Aside from some designated spaces, you will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public. Instead, you will have to consume your cannabis in a private residence.
  • PEI will be opening four government-operated cannabis retailers by October 17th, which will be located in Montague, Charlottetown, Summerside, and West Prince. These will be operated by The Prince Edward Island Cannabis Management Corporation, which will also be running online sales.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence, so long as they’re not accessible by minors in the household.

Cannabis Laws In Nova Scotia

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public in Nova Scotia. Violating the province’s Smoke-free Places Act by consuming cannabis in public or in a vehicle could result in a fine as high as $2,000. You will have to consume cannabis in a private residence.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per dwelling. However, individual municipalities have the power to enforce their own cultivation restrictions and bylaws.
  • You will be able to purchase cannabis online or in stores, both operated by the The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.
1These Are The Weed Laws in Canada How to Get the Most Out Of Your Stash with the Best Weed Grinders
Photo by Thomas Bjornstad via Unsplash

Marijuana Laws In Newfoundland and Labrador

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • The Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) will be regulating retail cannabis sales, which will be privately owned for brick and mortar stores, and governmentally owned for online sales.  There are currently more than thirty private retailers moving through the license approval process.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per dwelling.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public, only in a private dwelling or the yard attached to it. Cannabis consumption in hotel rooms, apartments, or camp sites will be dependent on the policies put in place by the building owner.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.

Cannabis Laws In New Brunswick 

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in a public place or vehicle.
  • Retail cannabis sold in both brick and mortar stores and online can be purchased through Cannabis NB, a subsidiary of the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation (ANBL). 
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence, however, this is predicated on your landlord/condo boards’ consent.

Cannabis Laws In The Yukon 

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence.
  • There will be one temporary brick and mortar cannabis retailer in the Yukon for October 17th, located at 120B Industrial Road, and operated by the Yukon Liquor Corporation. You will also be able to have cannabis delivered to you, through the Yukon Liquor Corporation, which you can order on this website. After legalization, the territory intends to allow private retail stores to open, once a licensing regime is more firmly established.
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public in the Yukon, only in private residences, and only if you don’t use that residence to operate a daycare or preschool.

    Cannabis Laws In The Northwest Territories

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • You will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants per residence
  • You will not be allowed to consume cannabis in public in the Northwest Territories, aside from on trails or roadways (so long as you’re not driving), and parks when they’re not being used for a public event. Otherwise, you will only be able to smoke cannabis on private property where tobacco consumption is permitted.
  • You will be able to purchase cannabis in most government-run liquor stores eventually, but on October 17th, the NWT Liquor & Cannabis Commission’s website will be the only place to buy it.

Weed Laws In Nunavut

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • For at least the first year of cannabis legalization, you will only be able to purchase cannabis online through the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
  • While Nunavut had previously put a ban on homegrown cannabis, they’ve since amended their policy to allow the territorial government to regulate whether home grows can be put in place. For now it does appear that there is a ban on home grows in the territory, but that could change.
  • You will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower in public at a time.
  • The government has said that any restrictions on tobacco now apply to cannabis as well. This means that you can mainly consume cannabis in your own personal residence, but also in some public places where tobacco is allowed. Hospital grounds, schools, and other places where children frequently gather, are also off limits for cannabis consumption.

What are the Cannabis Advertising Laws in Canada?

Advertising restrictions for cannabis are similar to those already in place for tobacco products. Mass advertising techniques, such as billboards and commercials, are banned. Cannabis companies are also not allowed to engage in sponsorship, hold contests, or offer promotions. They’re also not allowed to make cannabis look like an appealing addition to one’s lifestyle (diverging from the ostentatious bullshit we put up with from the alcohol industry.)

This doesn’t mean that cannabis companies haven’t been dipping their toe across the line, and in some cases launching extravagant marketing campaigns themselves. Some have also called on Health Canada to more clearly define what is and isn’t allowed under cannabis’ new regulatory regime.

Is it legal to smoke weed in public in Canada? 

This depends on the individual province or territory you are in. In some provinces and territories, you can smoke in quite a few public spaces. In other places, smoking anywhere other than your own home is forbidden—and even that requires your landlord’s consent. Find your province or territory above to learn about where you can and can’t consume cannabis.

Where is it legal to smoke weed in Canada?

Again, this depends on the province or territory you are in. Generally, provinces and territories have at least banned cannabis consumption in the spaces where it’s currently illegal to smoke tobacco. Ontario has even claimed on its government website that “many” outdoor public places, including “sidewalks” generally, will be fair game for cannabis consumption. Other provinces and territories confine your legal right to cannabis consumption to within private residences where the landlord has given you permission (unless you own the property yourself.) Find your province or territory above to learn about where you can and can’t consume cannabis.

3These Are The Weed Laws in Canada How to Get the Most Out Of Your Stash with the Best Weed Grinders
Photo by Thought Catalog via Flickr

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