Canada recently became one of the first countries in the world to (almost) completely legalise cannabis. Right now, anyone wishing to do so can stroll into a dispensary and pick up all the cannabis flowers, edibles and related accessories they could ever wish for.
Unsurprisingly, legalisation in Canada has resulted in a huge influx of interest from international tourists. Millions are crossing the border on a regular basis from the United States, but Canada is also seeing huge numbers flock in from Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
So if you’ve set your sights on Canada as a tourist destination in 2019, here’s the info you’ll need to make the most of your trip:
Crossing the Border
Cannabis may be legal in Canada, but actually bringing the stuff into Canada is a different story entirely. So if you’ve been thinking of bringing anything with you…for some strange reason…don’t bother. It’s a pointless endeavour in the first place and stands to land you in trouble - anything up to 14 years in jail if convicted.
As liberal and inviting as dispensaries may be, it is illegal to smoke or vape cannabis in-store. Doing so will see you thrown out and could result in a heavy fine. In addition, you’re also likely to be refused service and given your marching orders if you appear intoxicated at the time.
Under no circumstances is anyone under the age of 18 allowed in a dispensary in Canada. Even if supervised by a parent or guardian, there are no exceptions to the rule in any dispensary in the country. What’s more, you can expect to be asked for proof of ID - even if you’re in your mid-30s and not exactly youthful looking!
Legal Age for Purchasing Cannabis
In the vast majority of territories, towns and cities across Canada, the legal age for purchasing cannabis is actually 19. It’s only in Alberta and Quebec that you can buy cannabis at the age of 18, which is worth bearing in mind.
For the time being, the Canadian government has legalised the sale of cannabis in seven distinct forms, which are as follows:
- Dried flowers
- Ground flowers
- Pre-rolled joints
It’s also possible to buy fresh cannabis flowers that haven’t been dried and cured, in order to go about the process yourself if preferred.
In terms of limitations, there are no differences in purchase limits between residents and visitors. If buying cannabis flowers, you’ll be permitted to buy a maximum of 30g of dried cannabis bud per day. The daily fresh cannabis allowance increases to 150g, limitations on marijuana edibles start at 450g and concentrates can be purchased in quantities of up to 7.5g per day.
One important note - cannabis edibles will not be legally sold at Canadian dispensaries until October 2019.
Rules for Smoking Cannabis
There are different rules regarding the legality of smoking cannabis across Canada’s provinces. Nevertheless, it’s prohibited to smoke cannabis in a public place and must for the most part be consumed exclusively in a private residence or on private property.
Additional restrictions apply regarding the proximity to schools, hospitals, Health Care facilities and so on. It’s also illegal to consume cannabis in a vehicle in territories such as Alberta and nova Scotia.
Possession of Cannabis
As with cannabis purchases from dispensaries, the maximum quantity of dried cannabis flower you can carry on your person is 30g. If you are found to be carrying more than this, you’ll be looking at an immediate $200 penalty - perhaps even jail-time if you’re suspected to be dealing illegally.