Cannabis is legal! (In Canada)

In this article, Growers Network discusses the change in legal status of recreational Cannabis in Canada.

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Legal Canadian Cannabis

Canadian Cannabis enthusiasts have reason to celebrate as today marks the official legalization of recreational Cannabis in our neighbor to the north. While medical Cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001, purchase and use of recreational Cannabis has still been prohibited.

Though Cannabis legalization is still a national experiment in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vocally touted the benefits of legalization, which include reducing criminal activity related to Cannabis use, as well as reducing the amount of black market Cannabis that is easily obtained by minors. Additionally, a portion of the tax revenue generated has already been pledged to combat Canada’s opioid crisis.


Are there any other potential benefits? Well, since Uruguay legalized Cannabis in 2013, related crime has dropped significantly, and in US jurisdictions with legalized or decriminalized Cannabis, police have benefited by being able to focus resources on more serious crimes than possession and consumption of Cannabis. Additionally, since legalized and medical Cannabis have provided a boon of tax revenue elsewhere, it seems that Canada will enjoy this additional economic boost as resident Cannabis enthusiasts pony up their money to enjoy their legal weed. Last year alone, Canadians spent over four billion dollars on medical Cannabis, and recreational sales are expected to approach five billion, though some think it will take time to reach that mark.

So now you know how Canada hopes to benefit from legalization, but what does legalization look like in Canada? Here’s the gist:

Who Can Buy Recreational Cannabis in Canada?

  1. Adults nineteen and over may publicly carry up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of Cannabis.
  2. Adults nineteen and over may grow up to four plants in their home for personal consumption.
  3. Sale of Cannabis products to minors is strictly prohibited.

Where Can Canadians Buy Cannabis?

  1. Cannabis is sold in all provinces and territories by licensed retailers. Information on specific regulations by province are available here.
  2. Cannabis will not be sold in tobacco shops or liquor stores.

Can People Cross the Canadian/US border with Cannabis?

The answer to this question is a definitive “no.” Crossing the Canadian/US border with Cannabis is prohibited, even if traveling to/from US states where recreational use is legal.

What about previous Cannabis convictions?

An additional piece of good news resulting from legalization is that the Canadian government plans to pardon individuals convicted of possessing thirty grams of Cannabis or fewer.

Canadian legalization is an exciting development for Cannabis advocates everywhere as other jurisdictions look for signs of its success or failure. So how will this “national experiment” work out? Only time will tell, but if analogous trends are any indication, it’s high time Cannabis go legal.

What do you think? Which country will be the next to go legal with Cannabis? Leave a comment in the survey below, or better yet, join our forum and start a discussion!

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About the Author

Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network.