Canada Marijuana Laws

It's official -- recreational marijuana use is now legal across Canada. The Cannabis Act was enacted on October 17, 2018, and mandates the use, sale, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana in all 13 provinces and territories. Rules and regulations may vary based on the area of Canada:

Current Marijuana Laws in Canada

+ Alberta

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

The minimum age for purchase and consumption of cannabis at 18. This is in line with Alberta’s minimum age for purchasing and consuming alcohol and tobacco

  • Licensed retail establishments will be the only stores that can sell cannabis, and will not be able to sell cannabis if they sell alcohol, tobacco or pharmaceuticals.

  • Individuals under 25 will not be allowed to purchase cannabis or be on licensed premises.

  • Possession limit is up to 30 grams.

+ British Columbia

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

Anyone 19 years old or older will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of non-medical cannabis in a public place, which aligns with the government’s proposed possession limit.

  • Smoking or vaping cannabis in playgrounds, schools, and other public areas used by kids.

  • B.C. will allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property.

  • Home cultivation of non-medical cannabis will be banned in dwellings used as daycares. In addition, landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit home cultivation.

+ Manitoba

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

Legal age is one year above drinking age, 19 years old.

  • Smoking or vaping cannabis in outdoor public places, enclosed public places and indoor workplaces will be prohibited, and driving under the influence of cannabis or consuming cannabis in a vehicle will remain illegal.

  • The Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act prohibits growing marijuana at home in Manitoba

+ New Brunswick

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

Adults 19 and older will be able to legally buy up to 30 grams of cannabis from a Cannabis NB retail store

  • When grown indoors, the plants must be in a separate, locked space.

  • When grown outdoors, they must be located behind a locked enclosure that is 1.52 meters high.

  • Cannabis consumption in public places or any motor vehicle while in operation are prohibited.

+ Newfoundland & Labrador

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

 

The purchase age will be set at 19.

Consumption of cannabis will be limited to private residences.

+ Northwest Territories

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

 

The legal minimum age to buy, possess or use cannabis is 19, the same as the legal drinking age in the Northwest Territories and are allowed to have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or the equivalent in public at any time.

  • NWT residents may grow up to four cannabis plants per household - regardless of the number of adults in the home.

  • Cannabis use is restricted to private property and is prohibited at public events and in public spaces used by children.

  • Cannabis use in vehicles will not be allowed and there are penalties for driving while impaired.

+ Nova Scotia

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

 

19 will be the legal age to use, buy, grow or possess cannabis in Nova Scotia. Possession is allowed up to 30 grams only.

  • If you’re under 19, cannabis will be seized and you may be fined up to $150. Parents or guardians may be notified. Restorative justice programs may apply.

  • The Smoke-free Places Act will apply to the use of combustible cannabis in public places.

  • Cannabis can only be used in the privacy of your own home.

  • Cannabis in any form cannot be used in vehicles by passengers or drivers. You may be fined up to $2,000 for consumption in a vehicle.

  • Legal age adults will be able to grow up to four cannabis plants per household.

  • The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation will be the only authorized retailer of cannabis in Nova Scotia. Cannabis can be purchased by adults 19 or over at designated NSLC stores or online.

+ Nunavut

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

The use and distribution of cannabis for those Nunavummiut who are 19 years of age and older.

+Ontario

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

The use of cannabis is legal for anyone 19 and older up to 30 grams per person.

  • Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces (e.g. long-term care and/or retirement homes).

  • Cannabis can be used in public places.

  • will be able to grow up to four plants per residence.

+ Prince Edward Island

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

The minimum age to purchase, possess and use recreational cannabis will be set at 19 years of age.

  • Cannabis use will be restricted to private residences, with some exceptions for certain designated spaces, to limit impacts on communities and public health.

  • A household will be permitted to have four (4) cannabis plants, inaccessible to minors.

  • The production and processing of cannabis products will continue to be regulated through federal licensing.

+ Quebec

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

Age of legal consumption is 18 years old.

  • Patients are permitted to possess up to a 30-day supply of marijuana as prescribed by the patient’s healthcare practitioner, with a maximum of 150 grams.

  • Growing their own cannabis is not allowed.

  • Can be smoked in places where tobacco smoking is allowed except in universities and CEGEP campuses.

+ Saskatchewan

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

Only 19 years old, or older is legal to possess or consume cannabis. The province has set the legal age to match the legal drinking age.

  • For a minor (under age 19), it’s illegal to possess marijuana. Possession of more than five grams for a minor would result in a criminal charge while smaller amounts would be handled through ticketing and seizure.

  • Smoking in public places is not allowed.

  • A maximum of four marijuana plants can be legally grown per household.

+ Yukon

Legal Consumption Legislation Law Limitations

19 years and older are allowed to use and possess a maximum of 30 grams per person.

  • Consumption can be done in only on private property and in private residences, subject to landlord restrictions.

  • A maximum of four marijuana plants can be legally grown per household.

Drug Testing in Canada

According to a recent survey, about 10% of Canadian workplaces with 100 or more employees have drug testing programs. In Canada, drug testing is conducted in situations where safety is a concern. Workplace drug testing has become a very essential means of identifying employees with drug and/or alcohol problems in the workplace to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all workers.

Canadian companies adopt drug testing in order to reduce accidents related to drug use. The most common form of drug testing is the urine drug test. This test analyzes urine from recent use of drugs by employees such as amphetamines, cocaine, cannabis, and opiates. With the legalization of cannabis use, this may somehow affect how the employers could keep the workplace as safe and as healthy as it used to be. Discrimination of employees due to the use of medical marijuana may prevent individuals from pursuing their career. Similarly, those who may be using recreational marijuana may find it difficult to be employed if they tested positive for cannabis.

Studies have shown that cannabis use can provide some positive effects, particularly to those with certain medical conditions. However, this may cause confusion unless the different provinces and territories in Canada can add more provisions pertaining to the use of the substance while at work.

Drug testing is an effective means of determining whether someone is fit for work. If one tends to consume more than what he can handle, it will definitely affect his performance and endanger the lives of others. Random drug testing can deter drug users from using while at work, and can somehow help decrease the number of employees that are into drugs.

Similarly, other drug tests may be appropriate for certain circumstances such as work injury or accidents. Employees who are tested positive for drugs may have to bear negative consequences, which may include suspension or termination.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal in Canada?

Starting October 17, 2018, Canada has become the second nation in the world to allow legal consumption of recreational marijuana. The Cannabis Act stipulates provision on how to control and regulate the growth, distribution, and sale of recreational marijuana in Canada. Despite its legalization, certain provisions have been set for each province and territories in Canada in which all users should abide by.

Is Medical Marijuana Legal in Canada?

It is possible to legally obtain medication by registering the medical documents of a patient with a Licensed Producer authorized by the Health Canada’s Medical for Marijuana Purposes Regulations. However, despite it being legalized, patients are not allowed to use the substance in public places for safety reasons. The government understands the need for some patients to use marijuana as an alternative or additional treatment for their medical condition. However, patients should be responsible and accountable for their actions in relation to the use of marijuana.