2018 pot laws in Canada and new Canadian marijuana laws in 2019

Published Jan 25, 2019 05:05 p.m. ET

 This past year has been one for the history books with some of the most significant change we have ever seen to cannabis laws nationwide. While weed isn’t entirely legal everywhere yet, it appears to be well on its way as society slowly shifts its views from old-school propaganda to a more educated opinion. This is exciting for those who not only require medical marijuana for medical reasons, but also for those who would prefer a different high than what alcohol can offer.  

Canada is one of the most progressive countries thus far. The federal government of Canada legalized marijuana for recreational use on October 17, 2018, and since then has been working out the kinks of additional legislation that will see other cannabis products like edibles available by next year. So what change did 2018 bring and what’s next for cannabis in Canada?

2018 Marijuana Laws in Review

On October 17, 2018, the federal government of Canada brought forth the Cannabis Act which outlined all the laws surrounding the use, growing, possession, and purchasing of marijuana for recreational use. The current rules are more restrictive than some people would like as they did not expand beyond raw dried cannabis products including tinctures. Current legislation has the following restrictions on possession only as an individual's ability to purchase was left up to each province to regulate.

  • It is legal to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis flower.
  • It is legal to grow up to four plants per residence. (restrictions on growing outdoors have been set out by each province)
  • It is legal to purchase marijuana for both medical and recreational use. (Only through an approved vendor)
  • Minimum age to purchase is 19 exceptQuebec and Alberta who chose to lower it to 18.
  • Smoking marijuana in Canada is legal in any of these places: in private residences, on sidewalks, in outdoor public spaces, in designated guest rooms in hotels, in a parked vehicle that fits the criteria of having a living quarters including cooking facilities and must be parked or anchored, and controlled spaces including long-term care homes, some retirement homes, residential hospice, province funded supportive housing, and designated psychiatric or veterans facilities.
  • Smoking marijuana is not allowed in: common indoor areas, enclosed public spaces including patios, or in hotels, inns, or motels where it is not designated, on school grounds, in child care centers, or in areas where childcare is provided.
  • No smoking cannabis while in a vehicle that is in operation.
  • Marijuana can legally be purchasedthrough licensed vendors that have approval by the province that they reside or sell within.
  • Edibles are legal to make but are not legal to sell.
  • Marijuana seeds are illegal to sell and therefore cannot be purchased.

New Canadian Marijuana Laws

What’s next for cannabis in Canada in an exciting lineup of regulations that will make cannabis and marijuana products like edibles more widely available to everyone. The federal government of Canada seems to have heard the pleas from the masses wanting access to a market beyond simple dried cannabis through a handful of stores.

New Canadian marijuana laws set to take effect in 2019

  • A private retail store model that will allow more marijuana and cannabis products to be sold by licensed vendors.
  • As of October 19, 2019, edibles will be legal to sell under certain restrictions.
  • Other marijuana products such as concentrates, seeds, clones, drinks, and other holistic health products will also be permitted after October 19, 2019.
  • All provinces will be dramatically increasing the number of contracts they have with growers in 2019 which will see supply issues solved and a more extensive selection available residents.

Effects of Legalizing Weed

So far, the full effects of legalizing weed are challenging to display or predict since new Canadian marijuana laws include a huge chunk of the cannabis market that is yet untouched. Legal products are relatively difficult to come by, andthe expected results of more access meaning more use have yet to show. However, what we do know is that within the very first few weeks of legalization the federal government of Canada released stats showing hundreds of millions spent across the country. This is a win for both the government in need of the extra tax generated revenue as well as the people who are now able to access safe, high- quality product while paying taxes to their country rather than putting that money into the pockets of their local black-market dealer.

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