Canada's new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into effect on October 16. Whereas decriminalization would simply remove laws restricting the use of cannabis products, legalization allows for the taxation of legally produced cannabis. Here are things to know about what's legal and what's not under this law.
What You Are Legally Allowed to Do:
- If you are of legal age – 18 or 19 depending on the province, you can possess, in public, 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or its equivalent in non-dried form.
- It will be legal to share that amount (30gm) with other adults.
- It will be legal to buy fresh cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer, or online from a federally-licensed producer.
- It will also be legal to grow four cannabis plants per residence for personal use from a licensed seed or seedling -- except in Quebec and Manitoba, which have banned home grown weed.
- You can also make food or drinks using cannabis, in your own home as long as you don't use organic solvents to create concentrated products.
What You Cannot Do
- You cannot sell or distribute cannabis/ cannabis products to a person who is under legal age. Under the new law, two new criminal offences have been created for giving or selling cannabis to a young person, or using a youth to "commit a cannabis-related offence." If you're convicted of either, you could receive a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.
- It will still be illegal to carry cannabis across Canada's international borders. That includes when travelling to places where it is also legal, such as the Netherlands or to the U.S. which has certain states that have legalised marijuana.
- The law prohibits advertising marijuana or doing anything to entice or promote its use. That means no packaging or labelling of a product to make it "appealing" to youth.
- It will also be against the law to sell pot through a vending machine or self-service display.
- It is still not legal to buy edibles or cannabis concentrates for about one more year.
Cannabis users are eagerly waiting for the day, however some challenges remain such as the use of the new oral fluid testing devices by Canadian police to detect the presence of THC. Canada will become just the second country in the world to legalize and regulate cannabis for adult recreational use, after Uruguay and hence the world will look to Ottawa to see how this experiment goes.