It’s been almost a full week since recreational marijuana was legalized in Canada. We dedicated last week’s blog to some basics about the Cannabis Act – what is allowed, labeling requirements, and a brief look at the financial side of the industry. This week we’re offering some additional information, so read on.
Levels of Responsibility
Federal and provincial/territorial governments have different responsibilities under the Cannabis Act. Canada’s federal government sets rules and requirements for cannabis producers, and industry-wide regulations regarding product packaging, tracking, sizes, types, and potency. The provinces and territories are responsible for developing, implementing, maintaining, and enforcing cannabis sale and distribution systems, as well as increasing minimum age or lowering personal possession limits. (You can find more regulation information here.)
Medical marijuana distribution operates under a separate system, and the rules and processes for obtaining medical marijuana in Canada remain as they were before October 17. However, Health Canada will review its medical marijuana system within five years of legalization.
Cannabis-laced edibles are currently off the market. The Canadian government is drafting separate legislation for edibles that, according to its web site, should be ready within a year of legalization (although details are scant). In the meantime, pot brownies, cookies, etc. cannot legally be sold. Non-smoking stoners can, however, purchase legal weed and make their own edibles at home, for personal use.
It is illegal to take cannabis across Canadian borders. Travelers who do so may be subject to criminal charges, at home and abroad. Marijuana is illegal in most countries, and the Canadian government urges its citizens to respect the laws of the countries they plan to visit. (And since the provinces and territories have their own rules for this product, Canadians traveling within Canada are also urged to understand and respect the rules in their domestic destinations.)
Although a number of U.S. states have legalized cannabis, it remains illegal on a federal level. Canadians are urged to understand the laws before crossing into the United States.
Despite marijuana’s legalization, many Canadians don’t plan to partake in the product. This list offers excellent advice on politeness in the age of legalization.
Canada’s legal cannabis industry is still in its infancy. We will be monitoring this sector, and posting updates as they become available.
View our disclaimer.