Cannabis Legalization in Canada: The New Rules

Cannabis fans, rejoice! From October 17th, 2018, cannabis will become legal across Canada. Finally.

This change in legal standing means that you’ll be able to legally purchase and consume weed without having to show a medical card or proof of medical condition. Marijuana will be available to everyone (just as long as you’re over the age of 18).

Why has cannabis become legal?

Across certain parts of Canada, cannabis was legal for purchase and consumption if you had a legitimate medical reason for doing so. For example, you could be diagnosed with anxiety and depression, or an illness such as cancer, and look toward marijuana as an alternative remedy to help manage your symptoms, pain, etc.

Given that marijuana has become commonly used for public health, the Canadian Government want to make sure that the public is getting access to “safe, legal cannabis”, and henceforth created the Cannabis Act — which to you and I means that the Government decided to legalize cannabis for personal use and make it more easily accessible to everybody.

Additionally, the Government would like cannabis to become more controlled and regulated in order to stop criminal activity involving cannabis, and ensure that cannabis becomes less available to young people.

Where can I legally buy cannabis?

Because the Government is legalizing marijuana, it makes sense that they will also be taking steps to create a regulated, retail-based framework in order to sell weed to consumers. Each province has been given the authority to create their own legislation surrounding the sale of cannabis.

In British Columbia, there will be three main places that you can buy cannabis:

B.C Cannabis Store

In much the same way that liquor is sold through the province’s regulated B.C Liquor Stores, cannabis products will be too. 

The idea being that across British Columbia, the Government will set up and operate a fleet of dispensaries that consumers can visit to legally purchase their products. Sounds simple enough, right? As it stands, there is one B.C. Cannabis Store ready for action, and that’s all the way in Kamloops. Quite the journey to score some legal bud. 

Private, licensed dispensary

We have B.C Liquor Stores and we also have private, licensed liquor stores across the province too. Weed sales will operate on a similar model. And this is where things get a little tricky.

For current bricks and mortar dispensaries who wish to remain legal, they will need to apply to become a private, licensed seller. And according to CBC, the Government has received over 100 applications from current dispensaries that wish to become legal sellers of cannabis.

If your favourite dispensary hasn’t put in an application, you can probably expect to find it closing its doors as the police and Government crackdown on dispensaries that didn’t make the cut to become a legitimate, legal seller.

Online

In British Columbia, you’ll be able to buy marijuana online — but only legally from the Government run website. There will be an age verification process when you order and upon delivery with the courier.

Buying weed online will only be legal from the Government run website. All other online stores will become illegal suppliers and may be subject to hefty fines.

What will be the legal limits for possession?

The Cannabis Act states that individuals who are 18 years or older will be able to do the following:

  • possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in dried or non-dried form
  • share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other consenting adults
  • grow up to 4 cannabis plants per household from seed

The Cannabis Act will also make it legal to make your own cannabis food and drink products at home — as long as organic solvents aren’t used when making concentrated products.

Legal types of cannabis

It’s worth noting that not all types of marijuana products will become legal on October 17th. Dried flowers, both CBD and THC oils, and cannabis capsules will become legal. Edibles, concentrates, and vape juice will remain illegal.

What are the rules for legal cannabis in B.C specifically?

In British Columbia, the legalization will be guided by the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act (CCLA). This essentially means that there is a list of rules and regulations that relate to the purchase of marijuana in BC. Here are a few examples of  legislation that the Act has put in place:

  • 19 is the minimum age to purchase, sell, or consume cannabis;
  • Adults are allowed to possess up to thirty grams in a public place;
  • Everywhere that tobacco is banned (parks, beaches, playgrounds etc), weed is also banned. This regulation extends to include vaping too.
  • Gives adults the authority to grow up to four cannabis plants per household — as long as they’re not visible from public spaces off the property.
  • Prohibits the use of cannabis in vehicles and on school properties

For the full list of regulations, check out the BC Gov website.

Now that you’re all set for October 17th and know where you can legally buy cannabis, we hope you enjoy yourselves! Any questions? Get in touch – we’re happy to help you.