Last Wednesday was a historic day for Canadian cannabis enthusiasts as the country finally moved forward with changes in legislation that legalized recreational adult use cannabis, making them the second country to do so after Uruguay! As you can imagine, this prompted a great deal of worldwide attention as well as celebration for Canadians that are now able to legally purchase their herb. However, once the smoke has cleared and the hype died down a bit, it would be best for folks to understand that while they are now free to smoke cannabis legally, there are still a good number of things that are currently very much illegal across the country.
For starters, selling and buying edibles is still considered illegal under the newly passed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45). While bill C-45 does allow for Canadians to be able to legally consume and make their own edibles, purchasing or selling edibles is still unlawful for the time being. The good news is that this limitation will only be temporary (approx. for a year after legalization) while the federal government prepares appropriate rules regarding their use and distribution. Similar to consuming alcohol and tobacco you are not allowed to use cannabis in public. Rules on where cannabis can be consumed legally can vary significantly at a local level so it would behoove enthusiasts to do their homework about cannabis regulations in their area to avoid any unnecessary run ins with local law enforcement.
Not that it really needs to be said but selling cannabis without the proper permits and licenses is still illegal in Canada. Punishment for selling cannabis without the necessary credentials can involve significant fines and potential jail time (up to 14 years if the amount is greater than the allowed 30 grams allowed by Bill C-45). On the flip-side of that coin, possessing cannabis that was purchased via “illicit” means is also illegal. This includes herb that was sold or produced by folks without the proper credentials and permits. Those found guilty of possessing cannabis from an unlicensed retailer could also face very steep fines and/or up to 5 years in prison.
Another important rule to take note of is the amount of cannabis that you are legally allowed to posses while in public. Per the allowances from Bill C-45 individuals can legally possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public but traveling with amounts greater than that can result in 5 years prison time according to the Cannabis Act. While adults can legally store more than 30 grams at home, it is important to note the legal limit if you plan on transporting your cannabis. Also similar to alcohol, driving while under the influence of cannabis is still illegal. According to Bill C-45 individuals that are found to have THC levels in the blood than 2 nanograms per millilitre within two hours of driving could also potentially face fines and/or jail time.
Are you aware of any other rules or regulations regarding legalized cannabis in Canada that you would like to share with other enthusiasts?