What are the Rules for Using and Buying Marijuana?
Canada is preparing for “legalization 2.0” at the end of the year. Dispensaries will look different – they may be stocked up with edibles, vape pens, and other “derivatives” that cannabis lovers can consume. Right now, Canadians can only access marijuana in flower form (if they want to head to a brick-and-mortar location.)
If you’re new to buying and consuming weed, you may have a lot of questions about what happens when you enter the shop and what happens once you’ve made your purchased. While laws may change and each province has different policies for how to buy and use marijuana, the general rules are the same.
How Old Do You Have To Be To Buy and Use Marijuana in Canada?
The youngest you can be if you want to purchase marijuana is 18, but this rule only applies to Alberta. This used to be the case in Québec until the government increased the age to 21. In the rest of the country, you have to be 21. (Québec is so strict with their marijuana laws that they banned wearing merchandise that promotes cannabis consumption.)
When you enter a dispensary, you will have to show your ID. Trying to buy pot underage, as well as buying pot for minors, is strictly illegal. Criminals can face up to 14 years for giving pot to minors or using them in a crime involving cannabis.
What About Buying Online?
To ensure that cannabis doesn’t get into the hands of children, many online retailers require that you use a Canadian credit card to purchase marijuana. Others will require a signature from a legal adult upon delivery.
How Much Pot Can I Buy at One Time?
There are limits for how much pot each person can have on their person at one time. If you are caught with over 30 grams of dried cannabis flower on your person, you could face up to five years in jail.
Some provinces increase the amount of marijuana that you can have at home – British Columbia, for example, allows people to keep up to 1kg marijuana in their home.
Are There Limits on Derivatives?
30 grams of dried cannabis flower is a lot different than 30 grams of cannabis concentrate. Canada also has limits on derivatives. You will face charges if are caught with more than:
- 150 grams of the fresh cannabis
- 450 grams of edible product
- 2100 grams of liquid product (vape juice)
- 7.5 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
- 30 cannabis plant seeds
What If I Want to Grow My Own Cannabis?
Even though you can have 30 seeds on your person, you can’t grow 30 plants. Canadian laws limit households to four cannabis plants at a time. (Sorry, friends in Québec and Manitoba – you can’t grow any plants without a license.)
(If you want to start growing your own personal cannabis, you will need to make your four plants count. Learn more about maximizing your yield with our guide to growing marijuana in Canada.)
Once you start growing plants, you have to keep them in your house. Transferring plants in public is illegal.
Rules About Public Consumption of Marijuana in Canada
Once you’ve got a hold of dried cannabis flowers, it’s time to toke up. But where can you smoke in Canada?
The rules depend on the province.
In British Columbia, Québec, and Alberta, you can smoke in public places as long as tobacco smoking is also permitted. You can’t, however, smoke around beaches, playgrounds, or any place where children might be present.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick prohibit the consumption of cannabis in all public spaces.
The Northwest Territories allow cannabis consumption in public spaces unless space is holding a private event – smoking on playgrounds is also prohibited.
Ontario has a very extensive list of where you can and cannot consume marijuana.
In addition to rules set by provinces or territories, check with your local legislators about where you can and can’t consume marijuana. Landlords and other building owners may also prohibit the consumption of cannabis on their properties. When in doubt, ask around before you start taking.
Rules About Traveling With Marijuana In Canada
Marijuana is legal throughout the entire country of Canada – if you’re going on a road trip or flying to a different part of the country, you can legally bring your weed. As long as you comply with the main rules of using marijuana (you must be 19, can only have 30 grams at a time, etc.) you can cross state borders. If you are flying domestic, you can bring your weed on the plane.
This is not the case for international flights. Bringing marijuana over national borders may result in up to 14 years behind bars. Even if you are flying into a place where marijuana is legal (Uruguay, Colorado, Washington D.C., etc.) you cannot bring your weed with you.
Other Things You Should Know About Marijuana Rules in Canada
Sale and Distribution
The government owns and runs the stores that you will visit as you sample and experiment with cannabis flower. Once you buy cannabis, it’s yours – you can’t sell it unless you are a licensed retailer.
Selling or distributing cannabis may land you up to 14 years in jail (depending on how much cannabis was involved and if you were selling to minors.)
Don’t drive while under the influence of cannabis. Just don’t do it. You could face fines, criminal charges, or even jail time if you’re caught.
If you are driving and have cannabis in the car, put it away. Keep it out of reach from any passengers (especially minors) and you should be fine.
The Most Important Rule of Cannabis Consumption…
“Puff, puff, pass.” If you’re sitting around with a group of pals smoking some Ghost Train Haze that you picked up from a dispensary or from an online retailer, don’t hog the joint. Take two puffs and pass it on to the next person.