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Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Laws in Canada


In 2018, Canadians were overwhelmed with excitement when the federal government decided to legalize marijuana across the country for the first time. However, many cannabis lovers are confused about the Cannabis Act that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau enacted, and everything that it entails regarding the recreational and medical use of cannabis. The government of Canada has established a legal cannabis market, which is still in many ways, in competition with the black market that was developed prior to cannabis legalization. Cannabis laws somewhat vary between provinces such as Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This is partially due to local government bodies and illegal market problems in major cities such as Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Here we have broken down and simplified all of the complex legal information that you need to know about legal cannabis consumption and sale of cannabis in Canada.

The Cannabis Act

The Cannabis Act is the guiding legal outline, which informs cannabis laws across Canada. This act includes three major principles including the effort to keep cannabis out of the hands of underage individuals, prevent the sale of cannabis on the black market, and protect the health of Canadians with medical and recreational cannabis. Prior to the widespread legalization of cannabis in Canada, Health Canada instituted multiple cannabis laws surrounding the legal medical use of cannabis from licensed producers in the healthcare industry in 2001. At this time, cannabis could only legally be accessed by those with a prescription for the drug. The Cannabis Act continues to uphold the rules and restrictions surrounding medical cannabis, which were put in place at this time.

Distribution of Cannabis

The distribution of cannabis products in pot shops and medical facilities across Canada is overseen by federal and provincial government bodies. Dispensaries and growers must acquire a license to distribute cannabis products or produce cannabis plants on a large scale. Cannabis stores are not permitted to advertise products such as cannabis edibles, weed vape pens, or any other marijuana products outside of the small paramaters of their retail stores. These promotional cannabis regulations tie into the protection of public health and the effect that advertisement may have on youths in Canada. Provincial government officials are responsible for setting the legal age for cannabis consumption within their region. While most Canadian provinces boast a minimum age of 19, Alberta and Quebec are two exceptions with legal minimum ages of 18 and 21 respectively. Legal pot shops are allowed to distribute variants of the traditional dried cannabis plant such as potent cannabis oils, cannabis edibles and other new products. Online sales are another popular form of weed distribution, which is perfectly legal and can be used to ship marijuana products across the country, however provincial minimum age laws must still be enforced with the online sale of legal pot.

Cannabis Possession

Even when cannabis use was strictly prohibited outside of the use of this drug for medical purposes in Canada, illegal users were aware of the various cannabis laws that would affect them depending on the quantity of cannabis they had on their person. Many recreational cannabis users believe that there is no limit to the amount of cannabis which they can legally possess now that it is legal across the country. There are however, numerous laws in place, which prohibit the amount of cannabis that an individual can possess at one time. With new products coming out as recent as in the past year, the federal government has had to adapt their restrictions to guide cannabis stores in the legal sale of cannabis. While users can buy up to five grams of fresh cannabis at a time, this equates to fifteen grams of a standard cannabis edibles, 70 grams of a liquid cannabis product, 0.25 grams of cannabis oils and other concentrates, and a single cannabis plant seed. These strict cannabis laws have helped create a cannabis industry, which is mindful of public health.

Driving Laws

Statistics Canada reports countless cases of drug-impaired driving every year in Canada. For this reason, the Canadian government has issued a zero-tolerance policy for driving with any trace of THC in the body. If you are pulled over by the police while driving, and you are suspected to be under the influence of cannabis, the officer may detain you and test your blood for THC. THC is the primary source of concern for police officials because it is the active mind-altering component of this drug, that may impair your driving. Penalties depend entirely on your THC blood level, which is measured in nanograms. If you test for under five nanograms of THC, you may not be charged with a criminal offence, however you could be fined up to $1,000. If you test for over five nanograms of THC, you will likely be convicted, leaving you with a serious criminal charge on your record. While medical cannabis users may be let off with minimal punishment for a small amount of THC in the blood, new drivers will be faced with harsh punishment if any amount of THC is detected.

Cannabis Over the Border

If you plan on travelling across the border to the United States, or overseas to another continent, the possession of cannabis will be strictly prohibited, and users could be faced with serious criminal charges. If you are travelling to another location where cannabis is legal such as California, search for a local dispensary upon arrival rather than attempting to travel with this substance. Unlike cannabis legalization in Canada, the United States varies in cannabis laws from state to state, and is still illegal in many regions. Additionally, cannabis laws can be extremely strict and lead to punishments as great as the death penalty in countries such as Singapore. If you require marijuana for medical purposes, speak to your doctor and look into local laws before travelling overseas.

Cannabis legalization in Canada has been met with great enthusiasm, however there is plenty of legal information that all users should be aware of before purchasing or consuming cannabis products. Enjoy our range of legal cannabis products across Canada with fast shipping right to your doorstep. Browse our online dispensary offerings today!

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