What You Need To Know About Canada Legalizing Cannabis
In October 2018, Canada took a drastic cultural and social leap towards legalization of cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. It was a monumental stepping point for the Canadian nation to wipe out the giant illegal cannabis market from the country. This article is all about legalization of cannabis in Canada, the laws regarding cannabis trade and its future implications. Read on!
The Cannabis Act
The Cannabis Act, also popularly known as Bill C-45, was put forth in Canadian parliament with a vision to stop the youth from accessing illegal cannabis, to control its public health impacts, to monitor cannabis production, possession and trade, and to develop strict quality control practices to establish product quality and safety of cannabis and its related products.
The bill has stemmed from a pledge made by the PM Trudeau during his campaign to keep the younger population away from cannabis and to curb the crimes related to cannabis use. Public health professionals have, however actively voiced their concerns regarding the health impacts of the legalization of cannabis, stating that its negative uses will perhaps undermine its positive impacts.
Bill C-45 came into action on 17th October 2018 in Canada. This bill has paved for research on the medicinal and therapeutic potential of cannabis which has made cannabis one of the most sought-after alternative therapies of the century.
The Territorial Rules
Just like the rules and regulations regarding alcohol vary with region, the laws regarding minimum age to deal with cannabis differs in every province and territory. In some states, the minimum age limit is 18, while in others it is 21.
The local authorities also have control over the local purchase and other aspects of cannabis trade. There are also strict rules in place regarding using cannabis recreationally and driving afterward. It can lead to serious penalties like up to $1000 fine and up to 10 years of jail time.
Know Your Limits
Despite the fact that the possession and trade of cannabis have been legalized above a certain age across the country, there is still a reasonable limit on the amount of cannabis that can be possessed at a single time and abiding by this limit is mandatory for every person-citizen or visiting. You are allowed to carry no more than 30 grams of cannabis in public at one time. The household limit varies.
So even if you decide to move to Canada for making the most out of the medicinal uses of cannabis, you have to beware of the laws regarding possession and even cultivation of the hemp plant (yes, even cultivation rules are in place). And oh, just so you know, the consequences of not following the rules can lead to up to 14 years of jail time.
No surprises there. Just like tobacco advertisement has drastically gone down in recent years, the government has imposed a rule of no major advertisements of cannabis and its related products. The idea is to discourage the recreational use of other products like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is derived from the same hemp plant. Even fancy packaging is disproved.
No Crossing the Border
While you can eat, drink and smoke cannabis to your heart’s content on this side of the border, it is illegal to carry it with you while crossing the borders. The law applies to even the minimal amount of cannabis or cannabis-based products. You can, however, travel within the country while carrying cannabis.
Although some states have legalized it in the US, the federal law still makes cannabis a schedule A drug, which is why you need to be vigilant while dealing with cannabis. If you are planning to tour the region, carefully read up the laws regarding cannabis, even if it is for medicinal purposes.
So Where Can You Get Cannabis?
The provincial governments in majority part of Atlantic Canada have licensed certain stores in every province and region to trade in cannabis and its related products. In the rest of the country, the private sector is the boss of the cannabis trade.
If you are visiting Canada, you can now buy cannabis much like cigarettes and alcohol. You should carry a valid identification card in order to be able to verify your age before you can purchase cannabis. You can easily buy cannabis online, in-store and also via government-authorized companies. Online purchase is possible cross-country through authorized private retailers.
How Much Is Cannabis Going To Cost You?
The price depends on the quality of cannabis and its amount present in the product you’re buying. You can buy it at as less as $7 per gram. Excise taxes apply on cannabis and will be included in the retail price.
Cannabis Legalization in Canada: The Future Prospects
Legalization of cannabis in Canada has given rise to a whole new legal industry which can strengthen the country economically. It is perhaps way too early to comment on the social implications of this act. Will it create a socially responsible society or spiral the nation towards an ethical downfall? One can only wonder at the moment.
Canada has taken a big step towards putting the dark illegal recreational cannabis days behind and discovering the world of therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Legalization of cannabis has paved way for its academic and medicinal uses. Hereafter, further research can be carried out to unfold the science behind and to establish a sound, scientific basis for the many health benefits of cannabis.