Here’s What You Need to Know About Marijuana Legalization in Canada

marijuana legalization canada
 Trevor Hagan / Bloomberg / Getty

Looking to light up? You might want to head north: New legislation legalizing marijuana for recreational use has gone into effect in Canada, making it the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to legalize weed. According to The Globe and Mail, the new law, called the Cannabis Act, allows anyone to possess up to 30 grams of pot at a time. But good luck finding it: Various news outlets have reported a widespread shortage of cannabis throughout the country, especially in Alberta, and many weed retailers have had to close their doors after selling all of their product. If you do get your hands on some, regulations vary widely from province to province, and cities have their own local laws as well. If you’re wondering where you can buy weed in Canada and where you can smoke it, we’ve got you covered.

 

 

To help you sort through the legalese (and stay out of jail), here are some of the major rules to keep in mind if you’re planning on getting blazed up north. But this list isn’t comprehensive, so make sure to consult local laws and regulations before you arrive. The Canadian government webpage on weed regulation is a good place to start.

How old do I have to be to purchase marijuana?

The Cannabis Act stipulates that you must be 18 or older to buy weed, although the minimum age is 19 in the North West Territories, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nunavut, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Novia Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

Where can I buy weed?

The provinces have a patchwork of laws governing how you can get bud. According to The Globe and Mail, every province allows online weed purchases, and all except Nunavut allow you to purchase it at brick and mortar stores (Nova Scotia and the North West Territories even allow cannabis sales in liquor stores, so you can indulge two vices in one place).

How much can I carry around with me?

The legal limit for possession in public is 30 grams. In a private residence, the provinces have their own restrictions, mainly around growing marijuana plants. If you’re in Quebec, though, there’s a limit of 150 grams per household regardless of the number of adults who live there.

What kind of marijuana is legal?

The Cannabis Act covers fresh and dried pot and some cannabis oils, but not concentrates or edibles. Those products remain illegal for now, although they will likely be regulated in the next year.

Where can I light up?

The general rule of thumb is to follow local tobacco smoking rules. If it’s legal to light up a cigarette, you can smoke weed too. But there are some important exceptions: Smoking pot near playgrounds or anywhere children gather is illegal in many places, and it’s also prohibited in vehicles. In Saskatchewan, Nunavut, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, it’s illegal to consume marijuana anywhere in public.