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Recreational cannabis is now officially legal in Canada. On October 17, 2018 recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada, making the Great White North the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana.

The Cannabis Act, which underwent a lengthy approval process from both the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons of Canada, finally received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018, solidifying Canada’s legalization plans.

The Cannabis Act implements the legal framework for the nation’s soon-to-emerge cannabis industry, with strict laws and regulations in place for the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis products in Canada. In doing so, Canada has outlined three major focuses for legalization: preventing marijuana from negatively impacting the youth, fighting to end black market operations, and protecting public health and safety through legal access to the plant.

When it comes to rules and regulations, federal, provincial and territorial governments all played a role in defining the laws that govern legal cannabis.

The Federal Government was responsible for creating industry-wide rules and standards, while provincial and territorial governments were tasked with forming and implementing enforcement framework to manage the sale and distribution of cannabis within their respective regions. Provincial and territorial governments were also allowed to modify certain aspects of the federal law and add safety measures as they see fit. Because of this, cannabis laws vary slightly between provinces and territories across the country.

Here's exactly what each form of government controls in terms of legal framework

Federal Government:

  • Requirements for cannabis cultivators, processors and manufacturers
  • Rules and standards enforced nationwide, including:
    • Product types allowed for sale
    • Seed-to-sale tracking requirements
    • Serving sizes and product potency limits
    • Packaging requirements for cannabis products
    • Labeling requirements for cannabis products
    • Identifying restricted ingredients
    • Best practices for production
    • Limitations on promoting and advertising cannabis

Provincial and Territorial Governments:

  • Increasing the legal age for recreational cannabis
  • Implementing added rules for home cultivation
  • Reducing possession limits
  • Limiting where adults of age are allowed to consume cannabis

Since the laws vary slightly in every province or territory, it’s always a good idea to make sure you do your research before traveling to different regions and using cannabis.

Explore Canandian Cannabis Laws

Learn about federal cannabis laws:

View federal cannabis Laws