Canada Just Officially Passed The Cannabis Act | These Are The Cannabis Laws In Canada

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Canada voted to federally legalize recreational cannabis when Senate passed the historic legislation Bill C-45, more commonly known as the Cannabis Act.

Jun 20, 2018
ustin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister, speaks during a town hall event in Belleville, Ontario about legalizing cannabis in canada

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, speaks during a town hall event in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. (Photo by Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On June 19th, 2018, Canada’s Senate voted to federally legalize recreational cannabis, ending the game of legislative ping-pong with the House of Commons and passing the country’s historic legislation.  Bill C-45, also known as The Cannabis Act will still require Royal Assent before Canada becomes the second country on earth to legalize weed nationwide.

The passing of the Cannabis Act is extremely significant as Canadian legalization could act as a model for other G7 and G20 nations. Since each of the country’s provinces and territories has their own regulatory schemes, the world will be witnessing a real-time case study on the most effective ways to regulate legal recreational cannabis.

While consumption and possession of restricted amounts of cannabis will be legalized once The Cannabis Act has achieved Royal Assent, Edibles will not be legalized until 2019. This has caused significant controversy, as it is the preferred method of intake for many cannabis consumers.

Previously, the Senate had passed the Cannabis Act with a number of amendments, which they then sent back to the House to consider. The House added some of the amendments to the legislation but refused to accept others.

The amendments that the House refused to accept had elicited fierce controversy among lawmakers and Canadians alike. Perhaps the most contested amendment would have given provinces and territories the power to set their own limits on home cannabis cultivation, effectively allowing them to ban home cultivation altogether.

The “Swag Ban” amendment, which would have banned cannabis companies from distributing branded products such as T-Shirts and banners, will also not appear in the final text of the bill. (The Cannabis Act does, however, include regulations on cannabis promotion.)

But during last night’s Senate discussion on the House of Commons’ response to the Senate’s amendments to the bill, Senator Peter Harder presented a motion that would have the Senate not insist on these amendments that were rejected by the House.

If this motion had not passed, the Cannabis Act would have gone back to the House for another round of consideration. But today at around 6:20 pm EST (some were quick to point out that this was 4:20 pm PST), the Senate voted 52 Yeas, 29 Nays, and 2 Abstentions to accept Sen. Harder’s motion. As a result, the Cannabis Act will soon be granted royal assent, the final stage in Canada’s legislative process.

After royal assent, the government plans to allow for an eight-to-12 week transition period as the government prepares to officially roll out recreational cannabis sales.

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Protesters gathered at Queen’s Park, Toronto, demanding the legalization and the change of cannabis laws in Canada. The Cannabis Act will officially legalize recreational cannabis nationwide. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Cannabis Laws In Ontario

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Public consumption is illegal
  • Online sales and retail locations known as the “Ontario Cannabis Stores,” will be government-run

Cannabis Laws In British Columbia

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Hybrid sales model of private retailers and government-run stores known as “BC Cannabis Stores.”
  • Public consumption allowed as long as it is not near vehicles or parks

Cannabis Laws In Quebec

  • You must be 18 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Plans to ban home-growing
  • Online sales will be overseen by the provincial government

Cannabis Laws In Manitoba

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Cannabis sales will be operated by private retailers
  • Online sales will also be operated by private retailers
  • Plans to ban home-growing.

Cannabis Laws In Saskatchewan

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase weed
  • Storefront cannabis sales will be operated by private retailers
  • Online sales will also be operated by private retailers
  • Home-growing will be permitted, but landlords will be allowed to set their own policies

Cannabis Laws In Alberta

  • You must be 18 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Storefront cannabis sales will be operated by private retailers
  • Online sales will also be operated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

Cannabis Laws In Prince Edward Island

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Home-growing allowed
  • Online sales and retail stores controlled by the PEI Cannabis Management Corporation

Cannabis Laws In Nova Scotia

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Cannabis sales will be operated by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation
  • Home-growing will be allowed

Cannabis Laws In Newfoundland and Labrador

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis.
  • Cannabis sales will be operated by private retailers
  • Online sales controlled by a provincial government.
  • Residents can grow up to four cannabis plants in their home.

Cannabis Laws In New Brunswick

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Retail sales are controlled by NB Liquor
  • Home-growing allowed indoors and outdoors in sectioned-off areas

Cannabis Laws In The Yukon

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Government-run stores
  • Public consumption is illegal

Cannabis Laws In The Northwest Territories

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  •  Cannabis will be sold in already existing alcohol stores (they’re considering opening stores exclusively for cannabis in the future)
  • Home-growing will be allowed

Cannabis Laws In Nunavut

  • You must be 19 years or older to consume or purchase cannabis
  • Online sales only
  • Home-growing is banned
  • Public consumption is allowed away from schools and playgrounds
Jun 20, 2018