Ready to enter into force in October 2018, Canada’s Cannabis Act will finally legalize the adult-use of recreational cannabis in the entire country. Here’s a comprehensive province-by-province guide to cannabis legalization.

The federal government has created the general framework for cannabis legalization, but there are also other specifics of legalization – ranging from the licensed places where cannabis can be sold to the minimum age for purchase and consumption – that the Canadian government has decided to leave up to provinces. If you’re looking for a province-by-province guide to cannabis legalization in Canada, you’re in the best place possible. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the specific regulations set by each province.

Province-by-province Guide to Cannabis Legalization:

Alberta

alberta canada

Population: 4.15 million

What’s the legislative act: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis

Who will distribute cannabis: the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be sold in dedicated private stores or through a government-run website. Cannabis stores are allowed to sell cannabis accessories (pipes, vaporizers, rolling papers, grinders, bongs), but they can’t sell it along with alcohol. People under 18 cannot enter a cannabis store.

Age restrictions: you must be 18 and up to purchase cannabis.

Possession limitations: If you’re 18 or older, you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. However, you can’t transport the herb unless it is packed in an enclosed place that is out of reach for the driver and other passengers in the vehicle.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis consumption is prohibited near hospitals, schools and child-care facility property. Moreover, you can’t smoke cannabis cigarette smoking is banned.

Home cultivation: On the provincial level, you’re allowed to grow up to four plants per household. Nonetheless, landlords and condo boards can regulate these practices according to their own rules.

Online sales: Online sales will be legal through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission website.

Interesting facts: those who are under 18 cannot enter any licensed premises that distribute cannabis. Moreover, anyone who appears 25 years of age (or younger) will be requested to show the proof of age. Finally, cannabis stores must be located at the minimum distance of 100 metres from provincial health care facilities, schools, and school reserves.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: according to the Alberta government, there will be 250 brick-and-mortar stores in the first year following the legalization of cannabis. The government has stated that there will be no cap of the number of allowable cannabis stores but no person or company can hold more than 15% of total retail cannabis licenses.

British Columbia

british columbia canada

Population: 4.63 million

What’s the legislative act: It’s yet to be determined.

Who will distribute cannabis: the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch

Cannabis sales: both private and government-run stores will sell cannabis to the public. No co-habitation with alcohol is allowed.

Age restrictions: you must be 19 and up to purchase cannabis.

Possession limitations: If you’re 19 or older, you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. When transporting cannabis in a motor vehicle, you must make sure it comes in a tightly-sealed package and is kept away from the passengers.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis consumption will be permitted in public places where tobacco smoking and vaping are allowed. When smoking or vaping cannabis for  reasons other than medical, keep in mind to do it away from the areas occupied by children. The list includes parks, community beaches, and playgrounds.

Home cultivation: a person can grow up to four plants per household, although landlords and strata councils can put their own limitations on home cultivation – or even ban it.

Online sales: you will be able to purchase cannabis through a government-run website

Interesting facts: as long as the cannabis is legally sourced, Vancouver’s licensed dispensaries will be able to continue selling cannabis to the public.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: the province doesn’t expect to place any limits on the number of allowable brick-and-mortar stores, but municipal authorities may limit or ban shops within their area.

Manitoba

manitoba

Population: 1.28 million

What’s the legislative act: the Safe & Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act and the Cannabis Harm Prevention Act

Who will distribute cannabis: the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be sold in private stores conditionally approved by the province in February.

Here’s the list of the licensed retailers:

  • Tokyo Smoke/Hiku
  • Canopy Growth/Delta-9 Cannabis
  • Avana Canada
  • MediPharm Labs
  • First Nations
  • National Access Canada

Age restrictions: you must be 19 or older to legally buy cannabis.

Possession limitations: If you’re 19 and up, you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis. When transporting cannabis on moving boats, it must be kept in a secure container.

Consumption restraints: the province doesn’t allow for consumption of cannabis in motor vehicles.

Home cultivation: Not allowed

Online sales: private stores will be permitted to sell cannabis to residents of the provice via their websites.

Interesting facts: currently, the province is working on the proposals for private stores, putting a great emphasis on the local ownership.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: this aspect remains unregulated thus far, although it’s likely that each of the government-licensed retailers will be allowed to run multiple stores.

New Brunswick

new brunswick canada

Population: 753,914

What’s the legislative act: the Cannabis Control Act and the Cannabis Management Corporation Act

Who will distribute cannabis: the Cannabis Management Corporation

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be sold in stores owned by New Brunswick Liquor. The company runs its subsidiary CannabisNB, through which cannabis will be distributed. All stores must be located at least 300 metres away from schools, cannabis must be kept in glass containers, and the cross-sales with alcohol is prohibited.

Age restrictions: Only those who are 19 and up can buy cannabis.

Possession limitations: anyone who is 19 or older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis.

Consumption restraints: cannabis consumption is only allowed in private dwellings, such as houses and apartments, with the approval from the occupant.

Home cultivation: Up to four plants (kept in a locked enclosure).

Online sales: Available through the CannabisNB website

Interesting facts: If you’re up for using cannabis in a private residence, keep in mind that you’re required to do it under lock and key.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: there will be 20 brick-and mortar cannabis stores in New Brunswick: three in Greater Moncton, two i Fredericton and Greater St. John, and one in Bathurst, Sussex, Rothesay, Campbellton, Perth-Andover, Shediac, Richibucto, Sackville, Tracadie, St. Stephen, Miramichi, Edmundston, and Oromocto.

Newfoundland and Labrador

newfoundland canada

Population: 528,448

What’s the legislative act: An Act to Amend the Liquor Corporation Act

Who will distribute cannabis: the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be sold in private stores. As in other provinces, no alcohol co-habitation is allowed.

Age restrictions: you must be at least 19 to buy cannabis.

Possession limitations: 30 grams of cannabis in public for those who are 19 and up.

Consumption restraints: cannabis use is allowed only in private residences.

Home cultivation: up to four plants

Online sales: at first, cannabis will be sold online through a government-run site, but in the future, private retailers will most likely gain the right to sell cannabis online, too.

Interesting facts: Newfoundlands and Labrador have concluded a supply and production agreement with Ontario’s Canopy Growth, granting the company four retail-sale concessions.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: this aspect of the cannabis legalization in Newfoundlands and Labrador is still being discussed. What we know so far is that the licensed producer Canopy Growth will have four spots for starters.

Northwest Territories

canada northwest territories

What’s the legislative act: Legalization and Regulation Implementation Act

Who will distribute cannabis: Northwest Territories Liquor Commission

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be sold in liquor stores at first, but it’s very likely that the government will permit the operation of private or government-run cannabis stores.

Age restrictions: you must be at least 19 to purchase cannabis.

Possession limitations: those 19 and older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public. Transportation is allowed only if the cannabis remains unopened and kept away from the driver and the passengers.

Consumption restraints: Public smoking or vaping of cannabis will be prohibited in areas densely populated by children and crowrds, in motor vehicles, and in places where tobacco smoking is banned.

Home cultivation: people in Northwest Territories will be able to grow up to four plants pe household. However, condominium laws and rental agreements can regulate the cultivation by their own rules.

Online sales: you will be able to buy cannabis through a government-run website.

Interesting facts: local communities will have the right to run referendums to set up restrictions or bans on cannabis, just as they do it with liquor sales.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: this matter is still to be discussed. Currently, there is one liquor warehouse and seven liquor stores.

Nova Scotia

nova scotia

Population: 942,926

What’s the legislative act: Cannabis Control Act

Who will distribute cannabis: NLSC (Nova Scotia Liquor Corp)

Cannabis sales: Existing NSLC liquor outlets will be permitted to sell cannabis. Newly-built NSLC stores will gain the right to distribute the plant, too.

Age restrictions: minimum age for purchase is 19

Possession limitations: people who are 19 or older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis smoking is banned in all indoor public areas, e.g. schools, daycare grounds, parks, beaches, playgrounds, sport venues, bars, and restaurant patios.

Home cultivation: home growers can cultivate up to four plants per household

Online sales: cannabis will be available online through the NSLC website.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: Nine in total. Halifax houses two stores, and one stor each is located in Lower Sackville, Truro, Yarmout, Amhrest, New Glasgow, Dartmouth, and Sydney River.

Nunavutnunavut canada

Population:  35,944

What’s the legislative act: Cannabis Statutes Amendment Act

Who will distribute cannabis: Nunavut Liquor Commission

Cannabis sales: until the government consults with the communities, no retail sales are planned for 2018. The government, however, suggest that sales could be run by privately-owned dispensaries.

Age restrictions: people under the age of 19 are not allowed to purchase cannabis.

Possession limitations: The legal possession limit in public for those 19 and older is 30 grams. No storage restrictions have been introduced yet, but the government is considering limits on the cannabis storage practices to prevent companies from stockpiling their content for the illegal redistribution process. Nonetheless, there will be no “cannabis-free” communities as there are with alcoholic beverages.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis consumption is banned in vehicles, school grounds, playgrounds, health centre grounds, hospitals, and in places where tobacco smoking is not permitted.

Home cultivation: home growers will be able to cultivate four plants per household, although the government will most likely allow landlords and housing cooperatives to regulate the cultivation and use of recreational cannabis according to their judgement.

Online sales: cannabis will be available for purchase through a government-run website.

Interesting facts: There are over 7,000 represented by the Western Convenience Store Association, the organization that have lobbied the Nunavunt government to sell cannabis.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: since no retail distribution of cannabis is planned for 2018, there will be no brick-and-mortar stores for now.

Ontario

ontario

Population: 13.6 million

What’s the legislative act: The Cannabis Retail Corporation Act (2017) and the Cannabis Act (2017)

Who will distribute cannabis: ORCC (The Ontario Retail Cannabis Corporation)

Cannabis sales: only standalone ORCC stores will be allowed to sell cannabis. The co-habitation with alcohol products is prohibited.

Age restrictions: the minimum age for purchase and consumption of cannabis is 19.

Possession limitations: People 19 or older can posses up to 30 grams of cannabis in public. Only products that are packed in baggage that is fastened can be transported in vehicles.

Consumption restraints: It’s prohibited to consume cannabis in enclosed public spaces, workplaces, or vehicles.

Home cultivation: As in most provinces, the Ontario government allows home cultivators to grow up to four plants per household.

Online sales: Cannabis will also be sold through the ORCC official website.

Interesting facts: It’s possible that the Ontario government will allow cannabis consumption in hotel rooms – both for medical and recreational use.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: the goals are high, because in July 2018, there will be 40 brick-and-mortar cannabis stores, with 150 coming by 2020. You will find them in Ajax, Brantford, Brampton, Belleville, Barrie, Catham-Kent, Cambridge, Guelp, Hamilton, Kawartha Lakes, Kitchener, Kingston, London Mississauga, Oakville, Niagara Galls, Petterborough, Ottawa, Oshawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, St. Catharines, Toronto, Waterloo, Widsor, Vaughan, and Whitby.

Prince Edward Island

 

 

Population: 152,021

What’s the legislative act: It’s yet to be determined

Who will distribute cannabis: PEI Liqour Control Commission

Cannabis sales: only government-run stores will be allowed to sell cannabis, but the cannabis product cannot be sold along with alcohol.

Age restrictions: 19 is the bottom limit to purchase cannabis.

Possession limitations: If you’re 19 or older, you can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public. Transportation is allowed only in enclosed packaging, and if the package is open, the product must be kept out of sight.

Consumption restraints: cannabis consumption is restricted to private residences, but the government have said that they see a potential for expansion to designated public areas in the future.

Home cultivation: home growers can cultivate up to four plants.

Online sales: online cannabis will be available for sale through a government-run website.

Retail stores: those who are under 18 cannot enter any licensed premises that distribute cannabis. Moreover, anyone who appears 25 years of age (or younger) will be requested to show the proof of age. Finally, cannabis stores must be located at the minimum distance of 100 metres from provincial health care facilities, schools, and school reserves.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: Four to start, one each in Charlottetown, West Prince, Montague, and Summerside.

Quebec

 

Population: 8.215 million

What’s the legislative act: The Cannabis Regulation Act

Who will distribute cannabis: The Quebec Alcohol Corporation

Cannabis sales: cannabis will be available for sale in government-run stores. Alcohol co-habitation is not allowed.

Age restrictions: the minimum age for purchase is 18.

Possession limitations: Cannabis consumers who are 18 and older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public. Youth who possess even small amounts of cannabis will face legal consequences, such as fines.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis consumption is banned from post-secondary educational institutions, sports, artistic, judicial, cultural, and recreational facilities, as well as from common areas heavily occupied by parents with children.

Home cultivation: Home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted. Those who want to obtain their cannabis will have to buy it from the government-run stores.

Online sales: cannabis will be sold online through a government-run website

Interesting facts: Quebec is the first province to put quantity restrictions for possession in a private place to 150 grams, besides setting the 30-gram public limit like other provinces. The Quebec government wants to keep the cultivation prohibition within their boundaries despite the fact that federal legislation allows such activities.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: The Quebec government estimates to open 15 stores by mid-2018, and another 135 within two years.

Saskatchewan

 

Population: 1.13 million

What’s the legislative act: The Saskatchewan Cannabis Control Act

Who will distribute cannabis: The government leaves the distribution of cannabis to licensed cannabis producers who will sell it directly to private stores. The legal cannabis market will be supervised by the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority

Cannabis sales: Cannabis will be sold in private stores. The retailers won’t be able to sell alcohol alongside with cannabis products.

Age restrictions: only those 19 and up are permitted to buy cannabis

Possession limitations: cannabis is available for adults, who can possess up to 30 grams of the plant in public.

Consumption restraints: only consumption in private residences will be allowed.

Home cultivation: there are no regulations about the number of allowable plants per household, but it looks like landlords will be able to set restrictions on the home cultivation of cannabis.

Online sales: cannabis will be sold online through retailers’ websites.

Interesting facts: According to the provincial laws, those who want to transport cannabis in a motor vehicle will have to do it in an enclosed package or keep it in the trunk, where other passengers can’t reach the product.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: There are 51 retail permits available so far.

Yukon

 

Population: 35,874

What’s the legislative act: The Cannabis Control and Regulation Act

Who will distribute cannabis: The Yukon Liquor Corporation

Cannabis sales: Cannabis will be sold through government-run stores at first. Then, this right will be given to privately-owned stores. However, cannabis retailers won’t be allowed to sell alcohol along with cannabis products.

Age restrictions: Only those who are 19 or older can buy and consume cannabis.

Possession limitations: Adults can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in public. When carrying cannabis in public places, a person in possession must make sure that a young person cannot get access to their cannabis. Otherwise, he or she may face a fine.

Consumption restraints: Cannabis consumption will be limited to privately-owned properties and adjoining residences where pemitted by the landlord.

Home cultivation: Home cultivation is allowed as long as growers keep their plants out of public view.

Online sales: Cannabis will be sold online through a government-run website.

Interesting facts: Before entering the market, private retailers must gain the approval of the province’s Cannabis Licensing Board.

Brick-and-mortar cannabis stores restrictions: To begin with, there will be one brick-and-mortar cannabis store. This number will most likely increase in the near future.

 

There you have it! The complete province-by-province guide to cannabis legalization.

We hope you have enjoyed this province-by-province guide to legalization in Canada. What rules stuck out to you? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Author: Cannabisnearme Team

CannabisNearMe.ca helps Canadians and cannabis tourists find local dispensaries, accessory stores, licensed producers, product brands, and service businesses working in the Canadian legal cannabis market.
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