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The Cannabis Act 101: What Does It Mean for Canadians?

By now you’ve heard that on October 17, it will be legal for Canadians to purchase, cultivate and possess cannabis when Bill-C45 or The Cannabis Act will be implemented. Legal cannabis in Canada will soon be here to stay.

Photo Credit: @Cannalifenet

With provinces taking different approaches to the implementation, many Canadians are unclear about how Bill C-45 or simply The Cannabis Act will impact their daily lives and communities.

Here at Canndora, we don’t take literacy on cannabis for granted, knowing that everyone in Canada has different experiences with the plant. From naysayers to newcomers, to seasoned smokers, and industry professionals, here’s what The Cannabis Act means for all Canadians:

Recreational Purchase of Cannabis

Come October 17, adults in Canada will be able to purchase cannabis legally from either a government-run storefront or online store, or from private, licensed retailers in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland & Labrador. In smaller provinces like P.E.I, cannabis will be available from smaller kiosks rather than brick and mortar stores. Individuals in Nunavut will be able to access cannabis online only, while Yukon only has one brick and mortar store.

Leaf Guru is a Canada-wide resource for legal cannabis in Canada. Their retailer’s list helps Canadians identify the legal cannabis retailers within their area and access.

Licensed stores will offer a variety of flower and cannabis oil products and in multiple strains of cannabis for people to legally purchase. All cannabis products are tested to ensure they meet strain standards and are free of contaminants before hitting the shelves.

Cannabis is accessed from licensed producers (LPs) for sale to the general adult public. As of now, and October 17, there is no legal cannabis edibles market in Canada; the government is still assessing the risks of cannabis edibles, being sure to understand dosing, portion sizing, quality control, and packaging.

While the price of flower will vary across provinces, it’s expected to hover around, or at $10 per gram, but expected to be heavily taxed to include provincial tax requirements and “social responsibility fees” as in the case of Manitoba.

Personal Cultivation

Despite requested amendments to Bill C-45 that provinces could determine whether to permit home growing, personal cultivation will be permitted in all provinces except Manitoba.

While there are some exceptions where landlords can restrict growing by tenants, most citizens can enjoy cultivating up to 4 plants within their own space for personal use only. Adults cannot designate their allocation of 4 plants to another person if they are not using their privilege for home grow.

Cannabis for Medical Purposes

Many wonder if cannabis will still be accessible for medicinal purposes now that there will be recreational cannabis available. The medical cannabis industry will remain strong, where individuals will be able to access medical cannabis prescriptions and remain under the care of a qualified cannabis physician.

Some licensed medical producers, like Beacon Medical, will be going into the recreational market, with the industry leader expanding its Napanee medical cannabis operations across the country to reach into the guaranteed lucrativeness for recreational products.

With recreational cannabis comes the importance of cannabis education, where people will understand the differences between safe consumption, intentional use, and abuse.

Protection of Youth

Much of the reason behind The Cannabis Act was to ensure that cannabis was kept as a regulated substance, reducing the access of the substance by youth. The Cannabis Act has put strict restrictions on advertising and marketing, product packaging, and store design so to ensure that cannabis does not look to be attractive to minors.

Other than in Alberta and Quebec where the age to purchase cannabis will be 18, the age to purchase cannabis will be 19. It is important that young people understand the potential risks of heavy cannabis use in youth and its potential to lead to schizophrenia in later life due to the vulnerability of the undeveloped brain.

Workplace

While for some the prospect of legal cannabis has ignited worry that people may be under the influence of cannabis in the workplace, generally, according to Health Canada, cannabis in the workplace is to be seen as equivalent to other forms of intoxication in the workplace.

Each business should have adequate HR procedures for dealing with suspected cannabis use on the job, especially when heavy machinery is involved. For medical use, it’s the patient’s right to have a prescription, but it should be used within the confines of the prescription and outside of work times.

International Travel

It’s been reinforced time and time again that there is a strong “prohibition against carrying cannabis or cannabis products across international borders, and that doing so is a serious criminal offense”. In the U.S.A., cannabis is federally illegal, and under no circumstances will cannabis be allowed from Canada to the U.S.A. through Homeland Security.

In the news, there have been multiple stories of cannabis users being turned away at the U.S. border based on previous cannabis use. The country has the right to restrict anyone that they may suspect has used or purchased illegal cannabis, and it’s suggested that intel against cannabis users is building.

Criminal Activities

The possession limit for Canadians is 30 grams, and anyone caught with an amount above the possession limit but less than 50 grams will get a fine of $200, similar to a traffic infraction. If there is possession over 50 grams, the Crown could decide to prosecute.

The Cannabis Act also seeks to put extreme penalties to those who are suspected of selling to youth, with a punishment of up to 14 years in jail.

Driving while under the influence of cannabis is strictly prohibited and each province is implementing their task force to tackle cannabis-impaired driving.

Social Use/Consumption

Each province is able to make their own rules as far as public consumption is concerned, and where “420-friendly” activities can and can’t take place.

Places like B.C. and Alberta permit consumption where tobacco use is permitted (meaning that it also comes with the tobacco restrictions). Many hotels across Canada will be designating cannabis-friendly rooms.

It also goes without saying that cannabis consumption should be out of the view and smell of children and used in a respectful manner where it’s not infringing on other’s fresh air – just like any considerate smoker would.

What’s Our Cannabis Future?

Some citizens worry that Canada will all of the sudden turn into the Land of Cheech and Chong, where there will be cannabis smoke everywhere. While this may seem like a legitimate concern, modern day cannabis users are respectful, and safe consumers. There are limits to consumption, and homage to legalization is best paid when cannabis is best used respectfully.

People who are new to cannabis and interested to explore the new world of legal cannabis can do so with the trusted support of a Modern Leaf Certified Cannabis Guide These cannabis experts work to “advise customers on responsible use, help them choose products that best suit their individual needs, support them during the shopping process and provide guidance throughout their experience with cannabis.”

It’s a new, green day for Canada, and its something all Canadians can choose to tolerate, maybe even embrace, as we build a new future of freedom for this country.

 


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