Cannabis Laws In Canada

The legalization and regulation of cannabis

On October 17, 2018, the Cannabis Act came into force.

It puts in place a new, strict framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.

The Cannabis Act will:

  • prevent youth from accessing cannabis
  • displace the illegal cannabis market

Protecting the health and safety of youth is a top priority. Be aware that the Cannabis Act establishes serious criminal penalties for those who sell or provide cannabis to youth. It also establishes a new offence and strict penalties for those who use youth to commit a cannabis offence.

In addition, the Act also prohibits:

  • products that are appealing to youth
  • packaging or labelling cannabis in a way that makes it appealing to youth
  • selling cannabis through self-service displays or vending machines
  • promoting cannabis that could entice young people to use cannabis, except in narrow circumstances where it will not be seen by a young person

Adult possession of cannabis

The Cannabis Act protects public health and safety by:

  • setting rules for adults to access quality-controlled cannabis
  • creating a new, tightly regulated supply chain

Adults who are 18 years or older (depending on province or territory) are able to:

  • possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form in public
  • share up to 30 grams with other adults
  • purchase cannabis products from a provincial or territorial retailer
  • grow up to 4 plants per residence (not per person) for personal use from licensed seeds or seedlings

Possession, production and distribution, and sale outside of what the law allows remain illegal and subject to criminal penalties, ranging from ticketing up to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.

Laws in your area

Each province and territory also has its own rules for cannabis, including:

  • legal minimum age
  • where adults can buy it
  • where adults can use it
  • how much adults can possess

You must respect the laws of the province, territory or Indigenous community you are in, whether you are a visitor or live there.

Municipalities may also pass bylaws to regulate the use of cannabis locally.

Review your provincial and territorial guidelines. Also check your municipality's website for local information.

Identifying legal cannabis products

Legal cannabis products are only sold through retailers authorized by your provincial or territorial government.

Legal cannabis products have an excise stamp"" on the package. The stamp has security features to prevent forgery, just like passports and banknotes.

Each province and territory has a different coloured excise stamp.

Legal cannabis products will also carry the standardized cannabis symbol and mandatory health warning messages to provide information on risks of use.

Initially, adults will be able to legally purchase fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis oils and seeds or plants for cultivation from authorized retailers.

Other products, such as edible products and concentrates, will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force and federal regulations for their production have been developed and brought into force.

Travelling

 It's illegal to take cannabis  & CBD oil across the Canadian border, whether you're coming into Canada, or leaving. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not. 

Consuming cannabis

 Edibles and concentrates are not yet legal for purchase in Canada.  

If you have any health issues or have questions about the effects of cannabis on your health you should speak to your health care provider.

If you use cannabis,learn how to use it responsibly  and reduce risks for yourself and others. In general, start low and go slow.

  • Start with small amounts
  • Choose products with a low amount of THC and an equal or higher amount of CBD
  • Avoid combining cannabis with alcohol and/or other substances as this increases impairment
  • Use cannabis in a safe and familiar environment and with people you trust
  • Avoid smoking cannabis
  • Avoid frequent use
  • Don't drive or go to work impaired

 Growing cannabis


You may not sell the cannabis you grow at home to others. At home The Cannabis Act permits adults to cultivate up to 4 cannabis plants per household (not per person). Provinces and territories may apply added restrictions on personal cultivation.

There are recommended safety and security measures  for growing cannabis plants. Growing for sale

You need to be authorized by Health Canada to be able to grow cannabis for sale. In some cases, you may also need a licence from the Canada Revenue Agency to sell cannabis. Legal cannabis products must carry an excise stamp.

 

Impaired driving

Drug impaired driving has been a criminal offence since 1925.

Impaired driving is the leading cause of criminal death and injury in Canada.

Cannabis-impaired driving can result in injury or death for you, your passengers and others. Cannabis:

  • impairs your judgement
  • affects your ability to react
  • increases your chances of being in a crash

Never get into a car with an impaired driver. It is not worth the risk.

Mixing cannabis with alcohol increases your level of impairment and leads to an even greater risk of an accident.

How long cannabis effects last

Impairment can last for more than 24 hours after cannabis use, well after other effects may have faded.

The time it takes for the effects of cannabis to wear off depends on:

  • how much and how often you have consumed it
  • whether it was smoked or ingested

There is no standard waiting time to drive after using cannabis. If you are using cannabis, do not drive. Find an alternative:

  • stay over
  • call a taxi
  • share a ride
  • use public transit
  • have a designated driver

Policing

Law enforcement officers are trained to detect drug-impaired driving. They enforce drug-impaired driving laws using:

  • Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFST)
    • typically administered at the roadside
  • Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation
    • includes a series of tests and a       toxicological sample (urine or blood)
  • Oral fluid drug screening equipment
    • Law enforcement can require a driver provide       an oral fluid sample on approved oral fluid drug screening equipment
  • Blood samples
    • Law enforcement can demand a blood sample       from a driver if they believe the driver has committed an offence

Law enforcement across Canada have SFST and DRE trained officers and the number of officers being trained is increasing. They also have training and access to approved oral fluid drug screening equipment.

Working together against impaired driving We are working with provincial and territorial partners, as well as other groups such as:

  • MADD      Canada
  • Young      Drivers of Canada
  • Canadian      Automobile Association (CAA)
  • Canadian      Association of Chiefs of Police

Consequences

You could face  consequences like a fine, criminal charges or even jail time if you drive impaired by cannabis or other drugs. Learn more about how impaired driving laws are enforced in Canada.

Check out the Don't Drive High website on the dangers of drug-impaired driving. The site has a number of videos about the impacts of cannabis impairment. Workplace impairment Everyone has a role to play in workplace health and safety. Both employees and employers have a responsibility to address impairment in the workplace, whether it is caused by the use of cannabis or anything else.

The Labour Program, through Employment and Social Development Canada, oversees occupational health and safety for federally-regulated workplaces in Canada. Read about impairment and cannabis in the workplace  to find out about your responsibilities as an employer and employee. 


Referance from Canadian Goverment website, keep up to date for changes: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/2018/06/backgrounder-the-cannabis-act-the-facts.html