Marijuana has already been legal in Canada for around two years now. The legalization was granted to reduce criminal involvement in the sale of cannabis and limit availability to young people. However, laws and regulations vary per province and territory.
Check out these cannabis laws to guide you during your stay in Canada.
The Canadian Cannabis Act states that adults are allowed to buy, use, and grow recreational weed. However, the actual legal age varies per location. The legal age in almost all parts of Canada is 19. The exceptions are in Alberta and Quebec, where the legal age is 18. Giving cannabis to a minor is also a legal offense. Given the difference between the legal age among the provinces, this can be a bit complicated. For example, this means that if a 19-year-old from Alberta went to Ontario and shared weed with an 18-year-old, he/she can still technically be arrested and sentenced as much as 14 years in prison.
Canada's Criminal Code prohibits any form of driving under the influence of drugs. There is also a federal law that allows the police to use saliva testing to measure the levels of THC in your body. Legal blood drug concentration limits have also been set. This means that if you have 2 nanograms or more of THC in your body, you can be charged with a criminal offense. Law experts from Warnetthallen.com suggest that you should be honest about your medical history to avoid any issues in case you get involved in a cannabis-related car accident. This is helpful especially if you have a medical prescription of cannabis or can prove that you are legally authorized to use marijuana for medical purposes. Consulting legal experts early on can greatly benefit you in the long run.
Adults are allowed to legally possess and share 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults in public. The possession limits are based on dried cannabis. Refer to the equivalent of 1 gram of dried cannabis to other products below:
- Cannabis plant seed- 1 gram
- Fresh cannabis – 5 grams
- Concentrates (liquid/solid) – 0.25 grams
- Edibles – 15 grams
- Liquid – 70 grams
The limitation on how much cannabis one can have at home, on the other hand, varies per territory. 1000 grams of cannabis is allowed at home in British Columbia. In Nunavut and Quebec, you are allowed to legally possess 150 grams of cannabis at home. There is no limit for cannabis possession at home in New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, the Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Ontario.
When you are traveling in Canada, you are allowed to possess a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis. However, it is illegal for you to take cannabis across the Canadian border for medical or non-medical purposes. This is also regardless of whether you are entering Canada or leaving Canada to go to a country where cannabis is legal or decriminalized. Apart from that, cannabis can only be transported in a vehicle as long as it remains inaccessible to both the driver and the passenger during the trip. This is because the use of cannabis in both parked and moving vehicles is not allowed. Lastly, only 4 non-medical cannabis plants that are not budding nor flowering can be transported in a vehicle.
You are legally entitled to use cannabis in a private residence, your condo or apartment unit, on your balcony or backyard, and designated outdoor public spaces. It is important to remember that you are not allowed to use it in retirement or long-term care homes, schools or around children, motorized vehicles or while driving, workplaces, restaurants, bar patios, and sheltered outdoor areas. If you are staying in a hotel, you can only smoke or vape cannabis as long as the hotel permits it. The use of non-medical cannabis is generally not allowed on boats. However, you are permitted to use non-medical cannabis on boats that have sleeping areas, a kitchen, and a toilet as long as it is moored or anchored. It can also be used in motorhomes, campers, and trailers if used as a private residence and parked off a public road or a forest service road near designated campsites.
You can only legally purchase cannabis through retail physical or online stores that are authorized by the provincial or territorial government. Buying weed from unauthorized people will be considered illegal. Legal cannabis products (except those with less than 0.35% THC) have an excise stamp, as well as a standardized cannabis symbol and mandatory health warning messages.
Adults can legally cultivate 4 cannabis plants per household for personal use only. Selling the cannabis you grew at home is not permitted. To be able to grow cannabis for sale, you have to acquire a license from Health Canada and, in some cases, from the Canada Revenue Agency. Producing cannabis beyond personal cultivation limits can result in 14 years of imprisonment.
Originally, only dried cannabis and cannabis oil were made legal for commercial consumption when cannabis was nationally legalized. As of December 17, 2019, federal cannabis regulations have permitted edibles, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals for consumer purchases. Now you are legally allowed to consume edible cannabis in the form of food and drinks. You can now also purchase vaping liquids, tinctures, wax, creams, lotions, balms, and other similar products. Making edible cannabis at home is also allowed for adults of legal age. However, the use of solvents to concentrates and other concentrated products is not allowed.
Laws and regulations regarding the use of cannabis vary per province or territory. For your own welfare, it is important to abide by the provincial or territorial laws regardless of whether you are just a visitor or a Canadian citizen. It is your responsibility to know and respect the laws of the province, territory, or indigenous community that you are in or planning to go to.