In 1923 cannabis was illegal in Canada, and it took the country 80 years to legalize medical marijuana in 2001. With the help of the public, Canadian marijuana laws favoured the people. In late November 2017, the House of Commons passed the Cannabis Act, Bill C-45.
The Cannabis Act implements a strict legal framework for regulating the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis across Canada. The primary motive for the Act includes:
– Keep youths from consuming cannabis
– Keep out the black-market sales of cannabis
– Protect public health and safety by making it easy for adults to consume legal cannabis
In this article, we will focus on the different cannabis regulations in Canada relating to medical cannabis, possession, youth, public health, packaging for cannabis products, and more.
Canadian regulations relating to possession sales and distribution
Cannabis regulations in Canada state that adults can legally purchase, use, possess, and grow recreational cannabis. However, each state will have its age limit and cultivation laws. In fact, in all states, you must be 19 and above to gain access to cannabis. However, in provinces such as Alberta and Quebec, the legal age is 18.
Residents in all states are allowed to possess a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis, but depending on your location, you can have lots more at home. In a Province like British Columbia, you can keep up to 1,000 grams of weed at home. Whereas in Manitoba there’s no limit to home possession.
Different provinces have different regulations concerning the legal use of marijuana. For example, residents in Prince Edward Island can only smoke cannabis in private residences. Residents in British Columbia are not allowed to smoke cannabis in cars, around children, and anywhere else where tobacco smoking is prohibited. This is a similar regulation in Nova Scotia where individuals can receive a fine of $2,000 for not following the rules relating to cannabis.
Generally, you can find legal marijuana for sale in local vendors and government online sales. The Canadian Government notes that each household must grow a maximum of four plants. However, provinces such as Manitoba and Quebec don’t allow the growing of cannabis.
Keep in mind that the possession limits in the Cannabis Act relate to dried cannabis. The cannabis ACT notes that a gram of dried weed is equivalent to the following:
– 1 cannabis plant seed.
– 70 grams of liquid product.
– 25 grams of concentrates.
– 15 grams of edibles.
– 5 grams of fresh marijuana.
Simply put, you can possess a maximum of 7.5 grams of concentrates, 150 grams of fresh weed, 450 grams of edibles, and 2,100 grams of liquid product.
Giving/selling cannabis to a minor
Keep in mind that the only legal purchases include those made from officially licensed stores. This means that an individual can’t sell to a friend or a neighbour. It’s illegal to sell cannabis to minors and given the varying laws in each province, selling weed could bring legal problems.
If for example a 19-year-old from Quebec goes to British Columbia and gives some cannabis to an 18-year-old, then the 19-year-old could face legal charges and face up to 14 years in prison.
Travelling with cannabis
The laws to traveling with marijuana also vary from province to province. Residents in Nunavut can transport cannabis in a car as long as it is kept secured from passengers. Residents of Prince Edward Island can keep their cannabis in open packaging, but passengers and drivers should not have access to it. Residents in Manitoba must keep their cannabis in their car trunks while driving.
Driving under the influence of more than five nanograms of cannabis can lead to stiff penalties. Critics have claimed that this arbitrary limit isn’t backed by science and medical marijuana users, who end up developing higher levels of the psychoactive compound in the blood, are more likely to exceed the legal limit.
Cannabis Packaging Regulations
Companies must follow complaint packaging to maintain its quality and follow the law. Since cannabis is perishable and the Canadian government has set several regulations to protect the health and safety of the general population.
Some of these regulations focus on compliance packaging which includes the visual appearance and accessibility of the packaging. Other regulations focus on keeping the product harm-free. Here are some of the guidelines set by the Canadian government relating to packaging for cannabis products:
– Must be simple in appearance, including labels.
– Must not show an individual, character, or animal (real or fictional).
– Must not have any emotional or visual branding (e.g., praising cannabis use).
– Cannot have any packaging windows showing its content.
– Must contain a maximum of 30g of dried cannabis or its equivalent in other forms.
Cannabis Edible Regulations Canada
In October 2019 Canada launched Cannabis 2.0 products. The regulations permit the production and sale of cannabis extracts, topicals, and edibles.
Edible cannabis products consumed via eating or drinking must respect the following guideline:
– Maximum of 10 mg of THC per package
– No added vitamins or minerals
– No nicotine or added alcohol
– Limitations on caffeine
Bottom line: What other regulations need to be put in place?
In Canada, cannabis regulations vary from state to state. Here is a summary of some laws to keep in mind. While there’s a 30-gram limit enforced in each state, several locations allow residents to store more in a private residence.
While most states set their legal age to 19 years, two states have set their legal age to 18 years. It is illegal to transport cannabis across in or out of Canada. The Canadian Cannabis Act will punish anyone who decides not to respect the regulations.
Lastly, we hope that the Canadian government will soon pass legislation to pardon those previously caught in possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana. Cannabis Amnesty, an activist group notes that around 500,000 Canadians have a criminal record because they were caught possessing small amounts of marijuana when it was still illegal. Now that it’s legal, we hope that their records will be cleared. This will be an act of common sense shown by the government.