Legal marijuana will roll out differently in Canada than in U.S.
Trudeau: Legalizing marijuana will better protect kids and community
Mail-order weed? You betcha!
With marijuana legalization across Canada on the horizon, the industry is shaping up to look different from the way it does in nine U.S. states that have legalized adult recreational use of the drug. Age limits, government involvement in distribution and sales, and access to banking are some big discrepancies.
And yes, Canadians will be able to order cannabis online and have it delivered through the mail — something that’s illegal in the United States.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday that marijuana will be legal nationwide on Oct. 17. In the meantime, Canada’s provinces and cities are working out issues concerning how cannabis will be regulated.
Here’s what to expect:
It’s up to the provinces and territories to determine how to handle distribution, and they’re taking a variety of approaches.
Ontario plans to open up to 150 stores run by its Liquor Control Board — a model of public ownership that is unusual in the U.S. The tiny Washington state town of North Bonneville has one city-owned pot shop.
British Columbia is planning for a mix of public and privately owned stores, while Newfoundland and Saskatchewan will have only private pot shops. In some remote areas where stand-alone marijuana stores might not be economically feasible, including in the Northwest Territories, cannabis could be sold at existing liquor stores.
Just like U.S. states with legal pot, the provinces also differ on home-growing, with many allowing up to four plants and others, including Quebec, barring it.
And rather than a minimum age of 21, as U.S. states have set, Canada’s federal minimum age to use marijuana will be 18, with most provinces adding an additional year.
The varying approaches make the provinces something of a laboratory for determining the best ways to legalize, said Matt Gray, founder and chief executive of Herb, a Toronto-based news and social media platform for the pot industry.
The Legal Status of Cannabis
Fresh and dried cannabis, cannabis oils, extracts, edibles, plants and seeds are legal for those 19 years or older in Ontario, however, all must be purchased from an authorized retailer or online at the Ontario Cannabis Store.
Learn more about Ontario laws around cannabis through the KFL&A community partnership video, Know the Law, which is also available in French.
The Ontario Ministry of Health offers more information on cannabis legalization in Ontario in both English and French. Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information on Canada’s cannabis laws.
If you have questions about cannabis use or municipal laws around cannabis, call KFL&A Public Health’s Tobacco Information Line at 613-549-1232 or 1-800-267-7875 ext. 1336