With cannabislegalization looming, Canada is gearing up for recreational retail sales, but that doesn’t mean cannabis laws will be the same across the country- far from it- because what the federal government is doing with Bill C-45, aka the Cannabis Act, is basically setting the foundation for legal cannabis, with provinces free to set stricter regulations if they please.
This could lead to a lot of confusion as something that’s legal in one province may not be legal in another, and Trina Fraser from Brazeau Seller Law has put together a handy chart that shows what cannabis legalization looks like province to province, so far.
Let’s have a look at some of the major differences between the provinces and territories below, and for the full chart, please see the end of the article.
All the provinces and territories have set the minimum age at 19- except for Quebec and Alberta, which set theirs at 18.
Many provinces and territories require that cannabis be kept in sealed packaging or otherwise inaccessible to anyone in the car.
Recreational consumption restrictions
Most provinces and territories are placing similar bans on smoking cannabis as there are for tobacco.
Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador stand out as being particularly strict as they seem to be banning public consumption altogether, while in the Maritimes it’s mostly restricted to private dwellings (or vacant land), and it is mostly the same for the territories as well.
The provincial (or territorial) governments will be the sole distributors of cannabis except for Saskatchewan, where it will be private but regulated by the provincial liquor and gaming authority.
Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and NWT