Marijuana Legalization in Canada: All Your Questions Answered

You likely have doubts about the legalities surrounding cannabis legalization and regulation – plenty of people do. Having spoken to consumers from all over the country, we know the most common questions in the minds of pretty much everyone. From buying to consuming legally, we can tell you everything you need to know.

Marijuana Legalization in Canada FAQ

For sure, many questions come to mind concerning legal cannabis. Much of the sought-after answers – apart from cannabis legalization – concern safety, not only in purchase and use but also consumption. For easier understanding, we have compiled them into a comprehensive FAQ.

Why Was Cannabis Legalized in Canada?

On October 17, 2018, the Canadian government legalized recreational cannabis after nearly a century of prohibition. Its primary public goals include:

  • Keeping cannabis out of the hands of young persons
  • Protecting the public through strict product quality requirements
  • Deterring criminal activity around cannabis
  • Reducing the burden of cannabis on the criminal justice system

What Is Cannabis Legalization 2.0?

The Cannabis Act was the bill passed that permitted the cultivation and sale of cannabis. It allowed certain product types while providing an additional year to create regulations for others. This is why adults could buy dried flowers, oils, and seeds as of October 2018. Edibles, however, cannot be sold. Nonetheless, consumers could make them at home for personal use.

Marijuana Legalization 2.0, which came into effect in October 2019, added more categories that could be sold – including edibles and topicals. It is an exciting time for both businesses and consumers. Cannabis for medical purposes and recreational use no longer have to be limited to seeds and dried flowers. Edibles, alone, is a huge industry. More importantly, the strict regulations imposed by Health Canada ensures that commercially available weed-infused foods and drinks follow, among others:

  • Regulatory controls for production practices
  • Restrictions on product formulation
  • Conform to quality standards for ingredients and testing

Where Can You Buy Legal Cannabis in Canada?

Cannabis is sold in Canada through provincially-regulated wholesalers. Each province and territory has determined how they want to distribute and sell cannabis in their province or territory. In each province and territory, there are online and in-person options for buying cannabis.

Most provinces control sales through government-run websites, such as the Ontario Cannabis Store and BC Cannabis Stores. Retail stores can be either government-run or privately operated. Fire and Flower, for example, has locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Find all the details you need on each province and territory here.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Buy Legal Cannabis in Canada?

Each province and territory has been allowed to set the legal age of access for cannabis – and it varies. You must be at least 21 years old in Quebec and 18 years old in Alberta. The age of access is 19 years old in Yukon, Saskatchewan, PEI, Nunavut, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

How Do You Know the Cannabis You buy Is Legal?

All legal cannabis in Canada comes with an excise stamp. While each province and territory has a slightly different appearance, they all share standard features that make them easily discernible. You can review the excise stamp appearance here.

How Much Cannabis Can You Buy Legally?

Each adult in Canada can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis on their person. This means that all cannabis retail options will limit your cannabis purchase to no more than 30 grams. That said, the limit for at-home storage of cannabis is much larger and varies by jurisdiction. And so, you can buy 30 grams of cannabis, take it home, and then go back to buy more (if you ever had a reason to do so).

Can You Travel with Cannabis in Canada?

If you are travelling within Canada, you can carry up to your 30 gram limit of cannabis. This applies even if you are driving across provincial or territory borders inside Canada. So, as long as you stay within the country, feel free to hold up to your limit while travelling.

Can You Fly with Cannabis in Canada?

If you are travelling within Canada’s borders for your entire flight, you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. This does not apply to any flight that leaves Canada. The legalization of cannabis is limited to within the country. Quite simply, there are no proper ways to bring any recreational cannabis with you to another country.

Can You Drive High?

No, you cannot drive high in Canada. There are strict rules in Canada, which vary by jurisdiction, around driving high. For your safety and the safety of those around you (including other motorists), do not drive while high.

How Should You Store Cannabis While Driving?

While you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis with you inside your car, you should take one additional precaution. Since driving while high is such a concern in Canada, you should avoid the appearance of being able to consume while driving. This means that you should store the cannabis far away from the driver, preferably even in the car trunk.

What Is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound in cannabis that produces the ‘high.’ It is an impairing compound that alters sensations, perceptions, and even mood. When it comes to THC, the dosage is critical. Start low and go slow when consuming THC to avoid the potential adverse events that do occur. As you find out how THC impacts you, you can safely enjoy consuming cannabis.

What Is CBD?

As opposed to THC, CBD is non-impairing and does not produce any stereotypical high. CBD is even able to counter some of the effects of THC when found inside your dried flower. Consider finding strains that possess a bit more CBD inside for those who are new to cannabis or experience adverse events from THC.

Can You Smoke Cannabis Outdoors?

Each local jurisdiction has set rules and regulations around the public consumption of cannabis. Many cities have used the same rules for tobacco as they have for cannabis. Refer to your local jurisdiction website for more details based on where you are located.

Can You Smoke Cannabis Indoors?

Smoking rules for indoors consumption of cannabis are determined at a local level and by building-specific rules. Refer to your city website and your specific location rules to decide whether you can smoke cannabis inside.

Where Can You Vape Cannabis?

Rules for vaping cannabis in Canada generally follow the rules around smoking cannabis. This means that there are certain limitations about where you can enjoy vaping some dried flowers. You should refer to your local jurisdiction to determine the rules for vaping cannabis inside and outside where you are located.

Should You Buy Sativa or Indica?

The age-old question continues into the post-legalization world. Whether you want to go with a Sativa or an Indica cannabis strain depends on what effects you seek. If you’re looking for a daytime high that stimulates creativity, go with a Sativa like Lemon Z. On the other hand, Indica strains will help you get comfy and cozy while promoting relaxation. Try these incredible Indica strains – Garlic Jelly and Ice Cream Cake.

How Do You Read Cannabis Labels?

Each cannabis label is standardized to help you understand what you need to know. You’ll likely immediately notice the large THC warning symbol and health warning along with the brand name and logo. Along with the excise stamps, these are features that legal cannabis in Canada must possess.

You’ll see the percentage of THC and CBD listed for each strain when it comes to dried flowers. You need to understand the term ‘total,’ as in total THC and total CBD. This phrase describes how much THC and CBD will be found in the dried flower when smoked or vaped as intended.

Note: Dried flowers do not contain large amounts of these two specific compounds just yet. First, you must apply heat for all the relevant compounds – which are inactive – to their active forms, such as THC and CBD.

Cannabis Legalization Opens Up the Possibilities

Marijuana legalization in Canada has put the country in uncharted territory. No country in the world has a system like the one currently found here. So far, the results have been incredible, and the future is full of possibilities.

Now that your questions have been answered, you can confidently explore this new world. These Cannabis Act and the subsequent Marijuana Legalization 2.0 help keep all Canadians safe by imposing strict regulations. It also ensures that criminal activities are deterred while also restricting access to youths. As long as you follow the rules, you should have no trouble with the law. Do be mindful of being a responsible consumer.