A Breakdown of Provincial Cannabis Laws


Harrison Jordan

February 28th, 2018

Policy


Canada’s plan to legalize marijuana is complicated by the fact that each province has to devise their own rules with regards to sales, consumption, and cultivation of cannabis. You can grow up to four plants in provinces across the country, although there are a couple that outright ban the practice. That’s just one of the reasons why we’ve come up with this handy guide to some of the most prominent provinces in Canada.

British Columbia Cannabis Laws

British Columbia is undertaking a hybrid approach, whereby cannabis would be sold by both public and private retailers, although it would be mandatory for municipalities to approve locations. Online sales would be conducted by the government and consumption would generally be allowed wherever tobacco smoking is allowed. Only those 19 and above will be able to purchase.

Alberta Cannabis Laws

In Alberta, retail sales will be handled by the private sector. It’s not known how many retail locations there would be, but the province has implied they would license up to 250 stores in the first year. Like British Columbia, you would generally be able to consume cannabis wherever smoking cigarettes is permitted. If you’re 18 or older, you’ll be able to purchase cannabis.

Saskatchewan Cannabis Laws

Saskatchewan’s retail sales will be run by the private sector, with the province expecting 60 locations in 40 municipalities and communities. Those private retailers would be able to sell cannabis online to its residents. Cultivation at home is allowed but landlords would be able to introduce reasonable limits.

Manitoba Cannabis Laws

Like Quebec, home growing will not be permitted. Retailers will be private companies and will be chosen through a request for proposal. Cities will about to prohibit stores in their jurisdiction. One interesting difference with Manitoba is that unlike most other provinces, the private stores themselves would be able to conduct online sales. 19 years of age or up? You’re in luck – you’ll be able to purchase cannabis.

Ontario Cannabis Laws

The Ontario government will sell cannabis in 40 stores to start for purchasers age 19 and up. These stores will be government-run, and you’ll also be able to order cannabis from the provincial government online. Recreational smokers will only be able to smoke in private homes, but if you are a valid medical user, you can generally light up where tobacco smoking is permitted.

Quebec Cannabis Laws

Quebec will also run their own government-run stores, with 15 to start. Unlike most provinces, you won’t be able to grow at home, and you’ll be subject to a 150g possession limit in private places (in most provinces there is no such private limit). We don’t know what the stores will look like but we do have a name: The Société de Québecoise de Cannabis. If you’re 19 years of age or older, you can buy marijuana in Quebec.

Newfoundland & Labrador Cannabis Laws

This province will be accepting a number of private retail stores through a Request for Proposal. It has already been announced that Tweed (and its parent company Canopy Growth) would be operating four stores in this province. Unlike most provinces, the government itself won’t wholesale or distribute cannabis. Cannabis will be sold directly from licensed producers to private stores. Like Ontario, cannabis can only be consumed in private residences. You’ll have to be 19 years old or older to purchase in the province.

New Brunswick Cannabis Laws

Those aged 18 and up will be able to shop at government-run stores dubbed “CannabisNB”. 11 locations will open at the start, with none of them being within 300m from schools. Home cultivation is allowed but must be in an enclosed, locked space. You can toke up in private residences, but even that’s only the case if you get the consent of the occupant.

Nova Scotia Cannabis Laws

This province will have 9 government-run cannabis stores that will be inside of existing liquor stores (though in a separate area). You’ll have to be 19 years old (or older) to shop in the stores. You will be able to cultivate at home.

Prince Edward Island Cannabis Laws

Those 19 years old and up can shop in the stores which will be run by the government. These stores will be separate, standalone stores that do not sell booze, and so far, there is set to be four of them (in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and West Prince). Residents can also order online from the government.

Yukon Cannabis Laws

Residents of Yukon that are 19 years of age will be able to purchase from one public government-run store that is set to be up and running when legalization comes into play. Like PEI, there won’t be any alcohol sold alongside booze, and you’ll be able to buy cannabis online from the government.

Northwest Territories Cannabis Laws

NW is taking a different approach than most provinces, putting sales of cannabis within existing public liquor stores for those 19 and up. You can only smoke in private residence, and only where the owner consents.

Nunavut Cannabis Laws

Lastly, Nunavut. Like a few other provinces, consumption will be allowed where tobacco is, but will also be restricted from vehicles, school grounds, hospitals, or playgrounds. The territory plans to have a hybrid private-public approach to sell to people 19 and up, but they have also announced that there likely won’t be actual retail stores in 2018. Unlike alcohol, there won’t be “dry” communities where cannabis consumption is totally prohibited.

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