The long-awaited journey is almost over with a mere five days left until recreational pot is legalized nationwide. Cannabis will be legal as of October 17, 2018, which means that Canada will then become the second country in the world with controlled weed access. The government aims to regulate production, distribution, sales and possession of our favorite funny, green stuff, in hopes that through marijuana legalization, cannabis will stay out of the hands of youth, keep the profits out of the hands of criminals and provide safe, legal and smokable ganja for the Canadian population. Needless to say, what framework will be in place to ensure that our nation can achieve all these goals?
How does Canada plan to control access?
Just like how you currently need to be an adult over the age of 18 to 19, depending on the province you reside it, to have access to liquor, the same rules will apply for purchasing weed.
Adults over the age of 18 will be allowed to:
- Possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis in public
- Share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
- Purchase dried or fresh cannabis/cannabis oils from a provincially-licensed marijuana retailer – if your province does not possess a regulated retailer, you will be able to purchase weed online from federally-licensed producers.
- Grow their own cannabis plants from licensed seed or seedlings (up to four plants per residence, only for personal use).
- Make their own personal cannabis products, food or beverages, at home as long as the organic solvents are homegrown, purchased from a regulated retailer and are not used to create concentrated products.
- Edibles products and concentrates will be legal for sale sometime next year.
What are the possession limits for cannabis products?
Upon marijuana legalization, the Cannabis Act will allow 30 grams of dried cannabis (as explained above), while Canadians will also be allowed to have other cannabis products in their possession.
- 5 grams of fresh cannabis
- 15 grams of edible product
- 70 grams of liquid product
- 0.25 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
- 1 cannabis plant seed
That being said, an adult that is 18 years of age or older, can legally possess 150 grams of fresh cannabis.
How will the Cannabis Act protect youth?
The Act has created two new criminal offences, with the potential to receive a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.
Also, similar to how there are strict guidelines for the promotion and advertising of tobacco products, the Act discourages youth away from cannabis by prohibiting any glamourization of weed products. The packaging will be very plain, kept away from the eyes of youth and not seen on displays or in vending machines.
As for public education, the Canadian Government has committed to spending close to $46 million over the next five years dedicated to cannabis public education and awareness activities. The goal is to inform Canadians of the health and safety risks that can come from cannabis consumption.
How about the penalties for criminals?
Although weed will be legally distributed in regulated shops, that doesn’t mean that the black market will simply disappear. Under the Act, the follow penalties will be as follows:
- Possession over the limit: a fine for small amounts/up to five years in jail for large amounts.
- Illegal distribution: a fine for small amounts/up to 14 years in jail for large amounts.
- Producing weed cultivation beyond personal consumption allowance: a fine for small amounts/ up to 14 years in jail for large amounts.
- Taking weed across the border: Up to 14 years in jail.
- Giving or selling weed to youth: Up to 14 years in jail.
- Using youth to commit a cannabis-related offence: Up to 14 years in jail.
Now that you know what to expect in terms of regulation, what excites you most when it comes to marijuana legalization? Tell us in the comments section below.