Everyone is wondering, what is the Cannabis Act, and how will it affect me?
The idea of cannabis legalization throughout Canada has been in the works for years, and people have mixed feelings about it.
Stricter punishments for those on the grey market side, but the freedom to get as high as we want for those of us following the rules.
If you are interested in legally growing your own medical cannabis, please contact us to learn more.
As of October 17th, 2018 Canadians nationwide can now legally indulge in our favourite green pass-time, without worrying about being hit by the hard hand of Johnny Law.
Still wondering what is the Cannabis Act exactly?
In this article, we explain, in simple easy to understand terms, everything you need to know about the legalization of cannabis in Canada, and the rules that go along with it.
The Basic Facts of the Cannabis Act
Here are the rules and regulations of the Cannabis Act that have been put into place for purchasing and using cannabis, regulations for growing your own plants, and health factors involved when using cannabis.
What is the Cannabis Act?
In simple terms, the Cannabis Act is a set of laws that tell us how, where, and when to use Cannabis.
These laws have been set in place not only allowing for using and purchasing cannabis in all of the provinces but also establishing rules for how to regulate it.
They are set in place to control the production, distribution, and possession of cannabis with a focus on preventing it from getting into the wrong hands, specifically Canadian youth.
What are the laws regarding adult possession?
When you are wondering what the Cannabis Act is exactly, you are probably wondering about possession.
Although the main priority of the Cannabis Act is to prevent young people from possessing cannabis, there are specific laws set in place for adults who want to get high as well.
Each province differs slightly, but in general, the Act states that you must be 18 (or 19) years or older to use recreational weed.
You can’t purchase more than 30 grams at a time, or have more than this amount in public at any time.
You can only purchase the product from an approved retailer in your province or territory, and most provinces are allowing adults to grow four recreational plants per residence (not per person).
So if you have three adults living under your roof you still can only have four plants within the household.
How do the provinces differ in laws?
The laws are generally the same throughout Canada with slight differences from province to province mainly being the age to buy, and whether you can grow it or not.
For your specific provinces Cannabis Act rules and regulations, click below;
If you aren’t from New Brunswick, check below to learn about the Cannabis Act rules and regulations for your province.
Cannabis Act in Alberta
Cannabis Act in British Colombia
Cannabis Act in Prince Edward Island
Cannabis Act in Manitoba
Cannabis Act in New Brunswick
Cannabis Act in Nova Scotia
Cannabis Act in Ontario
Cannabis Act in Quebec
Cannabis Act in Saskatchewan
Cannabis Act in Newfoundland and Labrador
How do I know if the cannabis I’m purchasing is actually legal?
If you are buying from an overpriced government-run store, consider yourself safe.
If you’re buying a dime bag from a shady dude in the park, no it’s probably not legal. Do you think this guy has ever thought to himself “What is the Cannabis Act?”. Probably not.
First, you need to check the Cannabis Act provincial laws to figure out where you can legally purchase cannabis products within your province.
Depending on where you live you can purchase from government retail shops, online government shops, or private retail storefronts.
During the first year of the Cannabis Act, you can buy seeds and plants, oils, or fresh/dried cannabis from a legal retailer.
After the first year of the Cannabis Act, things like cannabis concentrates and edibles will be for sale, once laws have been established to regulate these products.
When you purchase a product from one of the legal suppliers you’ll notice an excise stamp on the packaging. This stamp proves that it is in fact a legal cannabis product – the stamp colours vary for each province.
Just because it is now legal does this mean it is safe for me to try cannabis?
Let’s be honest, 90% of you reading this have been smoking for years. But, for those who want to try their first dance with sweet lady Jane, here’s a bit of info.
Cannabis is safe for just about everyone, but this does not mean everyone should be using it.
Anyone experiencing health issues should first consult his or her healthcare provider before trying it out.
Even if you are in good health, you still need to be responsible.
For first-time users, always start small and consider things like THC vs. CBD content – don’t start out with a strain that is extremely high in THC.
Don’t mix marijuana with other drugs and always use it in an environment where you feel safe. The main thing to remember is to be responsible and avoid overusing and abusing the product.
Are there any potential health risks to be aware of before using cannabis?
Like any drug, there are always risks involved when overusing a product.
If you are responsible, however, there are very few health risks related to cannabis use. The main thing to keep in mind is that the human brain continues to grow and develop until the age of 25, so anyone younger than this should just be aware and use it responsibly.
Anyone under the legal age – 18 or 19 – should not use cannabis at all. No matter what your age is, smoking or consuming weed can have short-term effects on your memory, attention span, and critical thinking skills. Although this seems like common sense, you should not use cannabis if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
So what’s the deal with growing your own weed?
If you are looking to grow your own, please fill in the form below and we will help you in every way possible.
As we mentioned before, most provinces are allowing for four recreational plants per household.
Each province has its own rules on this topic, so be aware of your province’s regulations before you start growing. If you obtain a medical license from Health Canada you can grow much more than four plants for medicinal use.
The ACMPR Medical Grow License has been replaced by the Cannabis Act Medical Grow License. Click either link to link to find out more.
Click here to use our calculator to find out how much you could grow, and if you already have a license, read up on our article on license renewal.
You also need a special license to sell and distribute, but this process is much more challenging and extensive.
What are the rules for driving while under the influence of cannabis?
No matter where you live in the country, it is always illegal to drive under the influence of drugs. Even if you have only consumed a small amount, you should never drive after using cannabis products.
When you get behind the wheel under the influence you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also others.
This goes for medical users as well, which we DO NOT agree with. Even a low dose of CBD or THC can get you in trouble.
Crossing the Border with Cannabis
Can you bring weed into the states?
Can you bring weed from the states to Canada?
Can you bring weed from province to province?
Here are the Cannabis Act rules and regulations for entering, leaving, and traveling within Canada with marijuana.
According to the Cannabis Act, can you enter Canada with cannabis products?
Even though recreational marijuana is now legal throughout Canada, this does not mean you can cross the border into the country with it.
Regardless of the amount you have or if you have a medical prescription, it is still illegal.
Any cannabis products must be declared to the Canada Border Services Agency when crossing the border and failing to do so could lead to serious fines or a criminal record.
What about leaving Canada with cannabis? Or Bringing weed into the states?
This should come down to common sense. In the current world, we live, you would have to be out of your mind to think our orange friend to the south will let you through the wall with weed.
It is still illegal under the Cannabis Act to transport marijuana, medical or not, out of the country.
Whether you fly or drive across the Canadian border with cannabis you are always risking facing criminal charges and might not be allowed entry into your desired destination.
Are there any laws regarding crossing provincial and territorial borders with cannabis products?
For the most part, you can cross provincial borders with cannabis products, but you must be aware of each province’s laws.
Regardless of which province you are from, you must follow the rules and regulations of the area you are traveling to.
For example, one province may allow use for 18-year-olds but if you travel to a province where the laws require you to be at least 19 you are using cannabis illegally.
What You Need to Know about Cannabis Impairment
We have all “Greened Out” before, even if lie and say we haven’t.
We have already touched on impaired driving under the influence of weed, but what else should you know about cannabis and mental/physical impairment?
Here are the facts on cannabis impairment, how it affects you, how you might be punished by law, and the potential risks of using it while in the workplace.
How does cannabis affect the mind and body and how long do these effects last?
Even after the initial “high” of smoking or consuming weed fades away, you can still be impaired – even up to 24 hours believe it or not.
This is determined by several factors, such as how you ingested it and how much you used it. It can affect your judgment and reaction times, so the main thing to remember is to never drive under the influence.
In today’s world, there is no excuse not to grab a Uber, call a taxi, or use public transportation instead of getting behind the wheel.
What are the potential punishments if you are caught driving under the influence?
You think you saw a lot of alcohol-related traffic stops, well that’s nothing compared to what will come.
Cops will be out in full force trying to get those tax dollars and ruin your day, be careful out there!
Now that recreational cannabis use is legal under the Cannabis Act, police and law enforcement officials are being trained to detect cannabis impairment.
This is especially true for anyone committing traffic violations. If you are pulled over and thought to be under cannabis influence, the officer will perform a series of tests.
These include Standard Field Sobriety Testing, Drug Recognition Expert evaluation, and you might even be asked to give an oral fluid or blood sample.
So your best option? Just don’t drive after using cannabis products of any kind, it’s as simple as that.
What about impairment in the workplace according to the Cannabis Act?
Thinking of having a nice big bowl of the devil’s lettuce on your lunch break? Make sure to get the OK from your boss, or you could find yourself out of a job.
It is the duty of the employer as well as the employee to promote workplace safety and address any potential impairment issues right away.
All in all, it is the employer’s choice when determining how to manage workplace impairment, so just be aware that showing up to work under the influence could lead to possible termination.
Although it may not be illegal to come to work impaired, it is important to promote safety for you and everyone around you.
What is the Cannabis Act, and how Will Affect the Cannabis Industry?
Many licensed producers and distributors of cannabis are wondering how the new laws under the Cannabis Act will affect the industry as a whole.
Even if you are just a small-time producer growing for medical reasons, you might experience some changes with the Cannabis Act. Here’s what you need to know.
What if you already have a license with Health Canada to grow for medical purposes?
If you already have a license with Health Canada to legally produce cannabis for medical reasons under the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations), not much changes.
Check out our article about how to renew your current ACMPR, and turn it into a Cannabis Act Grow license.
What if you want to become a licensed producer and sell cannabis commercially?
For those wanting to sell cannabis products, you’ll need to apply for an additional license through Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
Once you get licenses from both Health Canada and the CRA, sellers need to follow certain procedures to stay within the laws of the Cannabis Act.
Your product must clearly display the excise stamp that is indicative of your province. Once you start selling you’ll have to calculate and collect the appropriate taxes and then send the excise duty to the CRA with your tax return.
Anyone selling cannabis must follow these protocols, or else they are not considered to be selling a legal product. There are also certain packaging guidelines you have to follow, so study up on this before you start selling.
How will Health Canada monitor the selling and distribution of legal cannabis?
With legalization there will be much more distribution and overall traffic of cannabis products throughout the country.
Health Canada has developed a new system for being able to track the entire lifespan of each cannabis product – all the way from cultivation of the seeds to selling the finished product.
But don’t worry, individual consumers will not have information stored on them – confidentiality is important to Health Canada and your personal information will stay protected.
The Final Verdict on the Cannabis Act
Since the Cannabis Act is still relatively new, each government has the power to alter the existing laws and regulations.
If there is a need, your area’s government can increase the minimum age for using cannabis, set more restrictions on public use, add more rules on personal growing, or lower possession limits.
There will still be a lot of changes coming, new laws, court cases, and problems. It’s hard to say something has become legal, when the added 47 new laws to go along with it.
As always, we say save the trouble and get your medical license to grow your own. This is still legal under the new Cannabis Act, and can save you a lot of trouble, not to mention money.