New Cannabis Regulations Explained – By Province

Map of Canada with Provincial Flags

As the country is a few weeks away from full legalisation of recreational use of cannabis, provinces and territories are rushing to get ready for the big day. The federal government set out a framework in which all subnational territories will have to work in while allowing some room for each province to customise their laws as they see fit.

This guide explains some of what will be allowed and not allowed in each territory on October 17th, 2018 and how the legal cannabis game will play out for each jurisdiction.

Note that this article is for information purposes only and it is not exhaustive or kept updated. Be sure to get informed about which federal laws apply to all provinces and territories and to ask your local governments about current laws.

Provinces Cannabis Laws Table

Alberta

In Alberta, the minimum legal age required to buy and consume cannabis will be 18 years old. Cannabis consumption in public will be allowed, except for areas where consumption of tobacco is not allowed and in areas where children tend to frequent (ex: playgrounds, parks, schoolyards, etc.). Municipalities are allowed to impose their own restrictions on cannabis consumption. Adults can carry and purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis at a time on their person in public. Up to 4 cannabis plants can be grown at home for personal use.

Private retail stores will be able to sell cannabis, but they will have to go through the AGLC (Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission) to obtain the merchandise. Also, there are restrictions on where these stores can be located by both the provincial government and municipal governments. Interestingly, only the AGLC itself can sell cannabis online to Albertans.

Source: Alberta Government

British Columbia

As for alcohol and tobacco, the minimum legal age required to buy and consume cannabis in British Columbia will be 19 years old.  Adults can carry up to 30 grams of non-medical cannabis in public. Cannabis consumption in public will be allowed, except for areas where consumption of tobacco is not allowed and in areas where children tend to frequent (ex: playgrounds, parks, schoolyards, etc.). Municipalities are allowed to impose their own restrictions on cannabis consumption. Each household will be allowed to grow up to 4 plants at home.

In BC, the provincial government has a legal monopoly over liquor sales, overseen by the LDB (Liquor Distribution Branch). The same monopoly will apply for cannabis sales, although the LDB will sell cannabis through different retail stores under the brand BC Cannabis Stores. The LDB will also be responsible for online distribution of cannabis and no other organisation will be allowed to sell online.

Source: Government of B.C.

Manitoba

The legal age required to possess and consume cannabis in Manitoba will be 19 years old, unlike its drinking age which is at 18 years old. Unlike most other provinces, Manitobans will not be allowed to grow any cannabis plants at home. There doesn’t seem to be information provided as to how much cannabis can be carried at once per person.

Private retail stores will be allowed to sell cannabis products, although they will have to purchase cannabis from Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries, the provincial corporation responsible for the sale and distribution of liquor and gambling products in Manitoba. For now, it’s unclear on how online sales of cannabis will take place in Manitoba.

Source: Government of Manitoba

New Brunswick

Like alcohol and tobacco, the minimum age to purchase and consume cannabis in New Brunswick will be 19 years old. It will be illegal to consume cannabis in a public space, only consumption in private residences will be allowed. Adults can carry up to 30 g of cannabis at once outside of their home, but there are no restrictions on how much cannabis can be kept at home. Each household will be able to grow up to 4 plants at home. Plants can be grown outside, although certain height restrictions will apply.

New-Brunswickers will be able to purchase cannabis solely through Cannabis NB, a subsidiary of the government-owned ANBL (New Brunswick Liquor Corporation). The same applies to online sales.

Source: Government of New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland will be the first province in the country to be able to legally purchase recreational – 1h30min earlier than other provinces – thanks to its time zone. In line with alcohol, the minimum required age to purchase and consume cannabis will be 19 years old. Public consumption of cannabis will not be allowed and will be restricted to private homes. Personal cultivation will be limited to 4 plants per household. For now, it is unclear as to how much cannabis one person can carry outside of their home.

The government will not run cannabis retail stores. Instead, privately-owned retailers will sell cannabis and will need to obtain a license from the provincial government.

Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Nova Scotia

The minimum age required to purchase or consume cannabis in Nova Scotia will be 19 years old. Public consumption will be allowed but will be subject to the Smoke-Free Places Act like tobacco. Each person can carry up to 30 g of cannabis outside of their home, and there is no limit as to how much cannabis they can store at home. Each household can grow up to 4 plants at home.

Nova Scotia will use its government-run NSLC (Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation) to sell cannabis and will have exclusive rights to sell it. This includes online sales as well.

Source: Government of Nova Scotia

Ontario

With the new Ford government, a few amendments were brought to the Cannabis Act 2017. The minimum age to consume or buy cannabis will be 19 years old. Smoking in public will be allowed (with some restrictions). Each person can carry up to 30 g of cannabis on their person in public. Each household will be able to grow up to 4 plants at home.

If the new amendments are passed, private retailers will be allowed to sell cannabis. Because the Ford government has scrapped the idea of government-run stores, Ontarians will only be able to purchase cannabis online through the OCS and will have to wait until 2019 to purchase marijuana in a physical retail outlet.

Source: Government of Ontario

Prince Edward Island

The minimum age to purchase and consume cannabis in PEI will be 19 years old. Like most other provinces, PEI residents will be able to carry up to 30 g of cannabis for personal use outside of their home. Each household can grow up to 4 cannabis plants. However, public consumption of cannabis will not be allowed and will be limited to private households. If caught smoking cannabis in public in PEI, you can face fines of up to $400 for a first offense.

The government-run Prince Edward Island Cannabis Management Corporation will have 4 retail outlets on the Island where residents can purchase recreational marijuana. Online purchase will also be made available.

Source: Government of Prince Edward Island

Québec

The minimum age required to purchase and consume cannabis in Québec will be 18 years old, in line with alcohol and tobacco.

Québec residents will be allowed to carry up to 30g of cannabis in public. Interestingly, each household can have up to 150g of cannabis, regardless of how many people live in the household. Québec seems to be the only province to limit total household possession of cannabis. Households will not be able to grow any cannabis plants. Also, every adult will be limited to possess up to 150g at all times in all places. Public cannabis consumption will be allowed, but some restrictions will be in place.

Québec has decided to create a subsidiary under its government-owned liquor stores (SAQ – Société des alcools du Québec) to open up new branches branded as SQDC (Société québécoise du cannabis). The SQDC will also be responsible for online sales.

Source: Gouvernement du Québec

Saskatchewan

The minimum age required to purchase and consume cannabis in Saskatchewan will be 19 years old. Smoking marijuana in public will be prohibited and will be reserved for domestic use only. Smoking in public can result in a fine of $200. Residents will be allowed to carry up to 30 g of cannabis outside of their home. Each household can grow up to 4 plants at home.

Private retailers will be allowed to sell but will have to go through the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority to sell cannabis and it will be the only place where Saskatchewanians can legally purchase it.

Source: Government of Saskatchewan

Northwest Territories

In the Northwest Territories, the minimum age to consume and purchase cannabis will be 19 years old. It seems like public consumption will not be allowed. Each adult can carry up to 30 g of cannabis in public. Each household can grow up to 4 plants at home.

The Northwest Territories plans to sell cannabis through new its Liquor Commission. It is unclear if online sales will be made available.

Source: Government of Northwest Territories

Nunavut

In Nunavut, the minimum age to consume and purchase cannabis will be 19 years old. The government seems to be backtracking on its ban on homegrown cannabis at home, although it is unclear how many plants will be allowed, if any. On October 17th, 2018, home-grown plants will still be banned. There is no information on how much dried cannabis adults can carry in public.

Nunavut will have government-run stores through the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission in physical retail stores and online, although it seems like private retailers may be allowed to enter the market at a later date.

Source: Government of Nunavut

Yukon

In Yukon, the minimum age to consume and purchase cannabis will be 19 years old. Consumption of cannabis in public will be illegal and will be restricted to private residences. Each person can carry up to 30 g of cannabis outside of their home, and there is no limit placed on how much dried cannabis can be kept at home. Each household an grow up to 4 plants at home.

One temporary store will be opened up in Whitehorse by the government where Yukoners can purchase cannabis. Online purchases will also be made available. After the Cannabis Licensing Board is created in 2019, private retailers can start applying to the Board to sell cannabis.

Source: Government of Yukon

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Disclaimer: The above information is provided for educational purposes only. The High Investor is not liable for any present mistakes or different interpretations. The information may be out of date. This article is not meant to provide legal advice. Note that local laws may vary and you should always check with your local governments as the sole reference for legal possession, use, growth, sale, purchase, and consumption of cannabis in your area, especially as laws are subject to change at any time. By using this website, you fully accept its Terms and Disclaimers.

Uncertainty settles in for Ontario’s cannabis retailers

Medical marijuana jars in a retail store

Ontario’s new Ford government has brought some quick changes in the province and regulations around cannabis have not been spared. Under the new proposed amendments to the Cannabis Act (2017), private retailers would be allowed to sell marijuana. Previously, it was expected that only government-run stores would be the only place to purchase recreational cannabis.

If the amendments are passed, Ontario could see private cannabis retailers as starting April 1st. For now, the only place where Ontarians will be able to purchase recreational cannabis when it is legalised on October 17th, 2018 will be online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. The Ontario government does not plan on opening retail stores themselves next month in an effort to save $150 million by 2020, according to CTV News.

However, some important questions are left unanswered. The Ford government wants to limit cannabis producers to one retail store only. This rule would apply to the producers’ affiliates, although the term “affiliate” remains largely undefined by the Ford government, leading to uncertainty. The government claims it wants to encourage competition.

Others worry about the lack of oversight over private retailers compared to government-run stores when it comes to selling cannabis to under-age consumers. The Ford government has yet to provide clarifications on such questions.