Cannabis Laws In Canada: A Simple Guide Before You Visit

The rules vary by province.

If you are planning to travel to Canada, then I have some good news: cannabis is legal, but there are a few things you should know before you arrive.

There are different laws in each province so make sure you are familiar with what you are legally allowed to do.

Is Cannabis Legal in Canada?

Cannabis was illegal in Canada from 1923 until 2001 when it was made legal for medicinal purposes. It was another 16 years before the recreational use of marijuana in Canada was legalized. This was great news for Canadians, but what does it mean for visitors and tourists?

In Canada, adults over the age of 19 (except for Alberta and Quebec where the legal age is 18) are permitted by law to buy, use, possess and grow cannabis for recreational purposes, however, the laws vary in each province so make so you have done your research as ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse if you are caught.

How much can you possess?

According to the Cannabis Act, the maximum legal amount of dried weed you can possess is 30g, which is equivalent to 150g of fresh weed, 7.5g of concentrates, 450g of edibles and 2.1kg of liquid products. This does not include any cannabis stored at home, to which there is no limit. 

For example, in some provinces the legal amount you can have at home is 1kg and in others, there is no limit at all.

Where is cannabis allowed?

Again, this varies from province to province. In some places you can only smoke weed in private residences; other places will allow you to smoke anywhere where cigarette smoking is permitted.

Certain restrictions apply for things such as smoking in cars, around children or anywhere else cigarette smoking is banned. Be aware that there are fines in places for anyone found to be breaking these rules. 

In Nova Scotia, you can be fined up to $2,000.

It is legal to grow cannabis in Canada, except for Manitoba and Quebec where it illegal. There are however restrictions, such as the Canadian government only permits four plants per household.

Where can you buy cannabis?

Cannabis can be found for sale in private retail stores and on government-approved websites. It is considered illegal to buy weed from a friend and if caught you may be charged with a crime. It is also illegal to give cannabis to a minor, so make sure you are familiar with the ages restrictions in different parts of Canada, as this can lead to a sentence of up to 14 years in prison if found guilty.

Visiting Canada

Weed experts believe that marijuana tourism in Canada will grow rapidly now that the popular leaf has been legalized.

However when visiting you should bear in mind the local laws and restrictions and remember that it is not legal to transport cannabis over international borders, which includes the USA, regardless if cannabis is legal in the state you are traveling to.