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In a press conference, our neighbor’s federal government outlined what legalized recreational marijuana will look like starting as early as next summer. Here’s an outline of some of the details divulged:

  • Adults age 18 or older will be able to possess up to 30g of dried cannabis flower. Adults will also be permitted to grow up to four plants, not to exceed 100cm (approx. 40in) in height, and those growing at home can use their harvest to make cannabis products, such as food, for personal use.
  • New restrictions include up to 14 years in prison for those taking cannabis or derivative products across borders, as well as restrictions outlining penalties for those caught selling cannabis to minors or using minors to commit a cannabis related crime.
  • Another part of the act will outline how law enforcement should proceed with people suspected of driving under the influence of cannabis. With reasonable suspicions, such as red eyes or the smell of cannabis, police will be obliged to conduct roadside saliva tests. Currently, prosecutable levels are 2.5 nanograms of THC per every milliliter of blood, and carry a CAD$1000 fine and up to a year of license suspension.
  • Individual provinces and territories will regulate logistics and can raise the legal age of cannabis use if they see fit, but cannot lower it from the federally mandated 18 years.
  • Keeping an eye on potential “cannatourism” profits, Canada won’t allow visitors to bring cannabis or derivative products out of the country but will otherwise not regulate the amount of cannabis that visitors are permitted to consume.
  • So far, there are no restrictions on the co-sale of cannabis products and alcohol, despite a task force recommending this.
  • If any province chooses to opt out of selling marijuana they must say so, but the federal government will provide access online.  If a province neglects to put a sales network in place, consumers can purchase directly from a licensed producer.
  • Anyone underage caught with marijuana will be prosecuted, but will not receive a criminal record if they were in possession of 5g or less.

Other details, such as taxation and packaging, will be discussed at a later date. The Cannabis Act will next move to Parliament and access is expected no later than July 2018.