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Legal Cannabis In Canada: Spotlight On Provincial Regulations

Written by Steven Bridge
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Canada made history in 2018 when it became the second country in the world to legalize cannabis. Legalization has been going well in Canada since then but has not been without its problems.

One of those problems is the differences between provincial laws in different parts of the country. While cannabis legalization in Canada has been going well, on the whole, one of the main issues faced is one of supply and demand. The demand for medical cannabis and CBD is so high that suppliers simply can’t keep up with demand.

As it turns out, the technicalities of a nation that allows cannabis are complex and have been managed poorly to date. The issues surround licensing red tape that’s stopping enough products from reaching the shelves for consumers. It’s expected that these “teething problems” are just a symptom of cannabis legalization being new and nothing more sinister.

At the time of this article, an ounce of cannabis in Vancouver comes in at around $190. That’s a high price and is due to the lack of supply in the province. Bear in mind that an ounce in States like Oregon will cost roughly half of that, and that’s because they have an overabundance of cannabis there.

Furthermore, many Canadians, especially those who travel between Provinces regularly, have been left dazed and confused, as legalities differ on a province-by-province basis.

Let’s take a quick look at the different cannabis laws for each province in Canada, to ease some of the confusion surround this topic. 

Even though it’s legal, having cannabis in Canada can be complicated. Continue reading to learn more

Alberta

  • Public consumption laws the same as tobacco
  • Aged 18 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • No using cannabis near children
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation
  • Government-controlled online sales permitted
  • 65 cannabis outlets currently – 250 planned within 18 months

British Columbia

  • Public consumption laws the same as tobacco
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation (hidden from street view)
  • No cap on maximum cannabis stores allowed
  • Government-controlled online sales permitted
  • Slow and frustrating licensing process so far

Manitoba

  • Public consumption almost totally restricted (be careful in public)
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • No home cultivation permitted under any circumstances
  • Only a handful of retail outlets approved so far
  • 6 percent tax to be levied on income from retail purchases

New Brunswick

  • Consumption only permitted on private property
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation (must be locked and secured)
  • Government-controlled online sales permitted
  • Plan to open 20 government-controlled retail locations
  • Serious supply issues at various times leading to stores shutting down

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Consumption only permitted on private property 
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation
  • Hybrid retail model – retailers in conjunction with the local authority
  • Relatively relaxed attitude compared to other provinces

Nova Scotia

  • Consumption only permitted in designated public spaces (or at home)
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation (mandatory indoor grow)
  • Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation to control online and retail stores
  • 12 retail outlets open to date

Ontario

  • Consumption only permitted in designated public spaces (or at home)
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation (relaxed attitude)
  • Private retail outlets to open April 1, 2019
  • Issues with supply chain (mislabeling, mold, etc.) led many back to the black market

Prince Edward Island

  • Consumption only permitted on private property
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation (indoors and away from kids)
  • Prince Edward Island Cannabis Management Corporation to run retail and online outlets
  • Successful and streamlined rol0out compared with other provinces

Quebec

  • Public consumption laws the same as tobacco
  • Cannabis at schools and universities strictly forbidden
  • Aged 18 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Proposed bill to increase the legal age to 21
  • No provision for home cultivation
  • Issues with supply since legalization – shops closed periodically

Saskatchewan

  • Public consumption completely prohibited
  • Aged 19 or older to possess, grow or purchase
  • Up to four plants for home cultivation
  • Unique private distribution scheme planned
  • Some supply and licensing issues

As you can see, the laws vary quite a bit depending on where you are. The only common thread at the moment is that whichever province you’re in, possession of up to 30g of cannabis or CBD flowers are permitted for personal use. Aside from that, everything from legal age to consumption areas may differ 

About the author

Steven Bridge

Having been a cannabis and CBD aficionado for many years, Steven spends much of his time opposite a shiny MacBook, researching, exploring, understanding and creating interesting reading for people interested in knowing more about CBD, Vaping, Cannabis Strains and Delivery Methods, and just about anything related to magical green herbs that help people with anything from sleepless nights to pain.

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