What You Can And Can’t Do In Canada Now That Cannabis Is Legal
Midnight of October 17th, 2018 felt like nothing short of New Year: people were enduring cold weather to queue at dispensaries (and lines went round and round the block), car horns being honked, and people cheering throughout the nation as the first recreational dispensaries welcomed the public.
But behind the scenes, many Canadians are still adjusting to the new rules.
Here’s what you need to know about recreational weed in Canada:
Why was recreational use cannabis legalized in Canada?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that the Cannabis Act (also known as Bill C-45) would make adult-use pot legal during his campaign pledge, as a means of eliminating the black market and organized crime as well as minimizing access of pot from the youth. Although some health care authorities in Canada still aren’t supportive of the move and are concerned that the move may come with some repercussions, the entire country moved full-speed ahead with the new laws.
Who is allowed to buy weed in Canada?
Adults that are at least 18 years of age in Alberta will be able to possess and share a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis in public. Other provinces have increased the minimum age to purchase to 19 years old, and Quebec may even opt for 21, but we’ll know more in the coming days.
Cultivation of up to 4 plants per household and making homemade edibles for personal consumption will also be permitted.
Where can I buy cannabis?
Canada is facing a cannabis supply crisis, at least temporarily. Don’t expect all stores to be carrying a ton of weed, particularly those in Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
Cannabis won’t be sold in the same stores that sell tobacco or cannabis. The best way to get a hold of your stash is to buy it from licensed retailers that are regulated by your territory or province, or other federally licensed retailers when the first two options aren’t accessible.
You can also buy your weed online; in Nunavut and Ontario, the sales are purely online for now. But other provinces will have physical storefronts overseen by the government.
Will my previous cannabis charge be pardoned?
While no announcements have been made just yet, authorities are soon expected to release guidelines for pardoning Canadians who have been charged in the past with possession of 30 grams of weed or less.
Can I travel with weed?
The short answer is no. The long answer is that authorities have made it legal to travel on domestic flights with up to 30 grams or less of cannabis either in your checked-in or carry-on luggage, but don’t even think about traveling with it internationally.
It will be illegal to travel with any amount of cannabis even if you’re just crossing the border, and right now it’s a sticky issue to even CONSUME cannabis if you’re headed to the United States because the US Border Patrol considers this illegal according to federal law, and you should expect to be questioned. Yes, this applies even if you are traveling to Los Angeles, Colorado, or any other state that has already legalized cannabis.
Don’t even think about it!
Where can I buy some edibles?
Nowhere… yet. The government is still finalizing the regulations surrounding edibles. Based on the current law, you’ll be allowed to make your own edibles at home but you won’t find any in stores just yet. Authorities are worried about the potency of edibles and are still working on ensuring that consumers get their hands on it safely, and reduce the risk of underage youth accidentally ingesting them.
Can I get high in my university campus?
You’ll have to check what your university’s standing on cannabis consumption is, because schools all over the country are taking drastically different approaches to this issue. Some campuses have resorted to a total ban when it comes to recreational cannabis on campus, others are more liberal, and the rest fall somewhere in between.
Can I get high in public?
Each province and territory has their own set of laws, restrictions, and potential fines for consuming in public. To be sure, check the current rules of where you live.
Can I drive high?
Roadside drug testing is still a sticky issue that the Canadian government is hashing out, but ultimately it will be up to municipal or provincial law enforcement. Reading up on the literature that the Canadian government has on the topic so far would help.