A Province-by-Province Guide to Canadian Cannabis Regulations

This summer, Canada is set to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis nationwide. In the meantime, Canada’s provinces and territories are putting together their own cannabis regulations, with everything from the minimum age for purchase to where and how cannabis can be sold to be determined independently by each province. Here are the facts as they stand now, stay tuned for updates, and HURRY UP SUMMER!!

Alberta

Provincial legislation: An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis

Cannabis distributor: the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold in standalone AGLC stores and through a government-run website. Cannabis stores may sell cannabis accessories (bongs, pipes, rolling papers), but co-location with alcohol is forbidden.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: You can’t transport cannabis unless it is closed packaging that is out of reach of the driver and other occupants of the vehicle.

Consumption restrictions: No consumption on any hospital, school or child-care facility property. No consumption where cigarette smoking is prohibited.

Home-grow: Allowed for up to four plants, although landlords and condo boards may be able to place restrictions on the practice.

Online sales: Yes, through the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission website.

Points of interest: No minor may enter any licensed premises that sell cannabis, and proof of age must be requested for anyone that appears 25 year of age or younger.

Population: 4.15 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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British Columbia

Provincial legislation: TBD

Cannabis distributor: the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold in both government-run stores and privately-owned stores. Details are still being decided, with the province reportedly considering cannabis sales inside BC’s alcohol retailers.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: TBD

Consumption restrictions: TBD, although BC Premier John Horgan suggested consumption may be permitted wherever cigarette smoking is allowed.

Home-grow: TBD

Online sales: TBD

Point of interest: What will happen to Vancouver’s many beloved black-market dispensaries? In early January, the Vancouver Police Department launched the illicit-cannabis-targeting Project Apprentice, arresting a number of brazen street dealers. Will polite but forbidden dispensaries eventually be among the VPD’s targets?

Population: 4.63 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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Manitoba

Provincial legislation: Safe & Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act and Cannabis Harm Prevention Act

Cannabis distributor: the Liquor and Gaming Authority of Manitoba

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold by licensed private retailers. So far, the province has approved four retail cannabis permits, but it’s not yet known how many stores this will translate to.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: On moving boats, cannabis must be stored in a secure compartment.

Consumption restrictions: Consumption of cannabis in motor vehicles is prohibited.

Home-grow: Not permitted

Online sales: Yes. Private stores will be able to sell to residents of the province online.

Point of interests: The province’s request for proposals for private stores included a big emphasis on Indigenous ownership.

Population: 1.28 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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New Brunswick

Provincial legislation: the Cannabis Control Act & Cannabis Management Corporation Act

Cannabis distributor: New Brunswick Liquor, under the name CannabisNB

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold in privately owned stores, with no overlap with alcohol sales permitted. Locations must be at least 300 metres away from schools and cannabis must be displayed under glass.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Consumption restrictions: Can only be consumed in private dwellings with consent of occupant.

Home-grow: Yes, up to four plants, which must be in a locked enclosure.

Points of interests: In private residences, personal-use cannabis is legally required to be kept under lock and key.

Online sales: Yes, through the CannabisNB website.

Population: 753,914

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: The province is predicting it will have 20 stores open in 15 communities upon legalization.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial legislation: An Act to Amend the Liquor Corporation Act

Cannabis distributor: the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold at privately owned stores, with no alcohol co-habitation permitted.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Home-grow policy: Yes, up to four plants.

Possession restrictions: TBD

Consumption restrictions: Private residences only.

Points of interest: Ontario’s Canopy Growth has struck a supply and production agreement with the province, resulting in the company being given four retail-sale permits.

Online sales: Yes—through a government-run site at first, and through private retailers’ sites in the future

Population: 528, 448

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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Nova Scotia

Provincial legislation: The Safe & Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act

Cannabis distributor: Nova Scotia Liquor Corp.

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold in NSLC stores, including existing NSLC liquor outlets

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: TBD

Consumption restrictions: TBD

Home-grow: Yes, up to four plants.

Online sales: Yes, through the NSLC website.

Population: 942,926 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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Nunavut

Provincial legislation: TBD

Cannabis distributor: TBD

Retail sales: Details TBD

Minimum age for purchase: TBD

Minimum age for purchase: TBD

Possession restrictions: TBD

Consumption restrictions: TBD

Home-grow: TBD

Online sales: TBD

Point of interest: The Western Convenience Store Association, representing over 7,000 such stores in Northern provinces including Nunavut, have lobbied the government to sell cannabis.

Population: 35,944

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: TBD

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Ontario

Provincial legislation: The Cannabis Act & Cannabis Retail Corporation Act

Cannabis distributor: The Ontario Retail Cannabis Corporation

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold at standalone ORCC stores, with no co-habitation with alcohol products permitted.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: Cannabis may only only be transported in vehicles if it is “packed in baggage that is fastened.”

Consumption restrictions: No consumption in vehicle, enclosed public spaces, or workplaces.

Home-grow: Yes, up to four plants,

Online sales: Yes, through the Ontario Retail Cannabis Corporation website

Points of interests: Ontario enacted strict provincial laws giving jail time and fines for those who operate illegal dispensaries, which may be shut down pending resolution of charges.

Population: 13.6 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: 40 to start in July 2018, with 150 by 2020. Locations include Ajax, Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Brantford, Cambridge, Chatham-Kent, Guelph, Hamilton, Lindsay (Kawartha Lakes), Kingston, Kitchener, London Mississauga, Niagara Falls, Oakville, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vaughan, Waterloo, Whitby, and Windsor.

Prince Edward Island

Provincial legislation: TBD

Cannabis distributor: PEI Liqour Control Commission

Retail sales: Cannabis will be sold at government-run stores, with no alcohol co-habitation permitted.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: Can only be transported in motor vehicles in unopened packaging, and where an open package is being transported it must be secure and inaccessible to anyone in the vhicle.

Consumption restrictions: Restricted to private residences, “with a potential for expansion to designated public spaces at a later date.”

Home-grow: Yes, up to four plants.

Online sales: TBD

Population: 152,021

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: Four, in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague, and West Prince.

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Quebec

Provincial legislation: The Cannabis Regulation Act

Cannabis distributor: The Quebec Alcohol Corporation

Retail sales: Government-supplied cannabis will be sold in government-run stores, with no alcohol co-habitation permitted

Minimum age for purchase: 18

Possession restrictions: Youth who possess even a small amount of cannabis will be liable to a fine.

Consumption restrictions: Cannabis is prohibited in a number of enclosed spaces, including workplaces, post-secondary educational institutions, enclosed spaces where sports, recreational, judicial, cultural or artistic activities or conferences are held, as well as common areas of residential buildings comprising two or more dwellings.

Home-grow policy: Not permitted

Online sales: TBD

Points of interests: So far Quebec is the first province to limit possession in a private place to 150 grams, on top of the federal 30-gram public limit. Other provinces do not have a limit on private possession.

Population: 8.215 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: 15 stores by mid-2018, with more than 150 within two years.

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Saskatchewan

Provincial legislation: TBD

Cannabis distributor: Licensed cannabis producers will sell directly to private retailers, with the market regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority.

Retail sales: Cannabis from Canadian LPs will be sold in private-owned stores, with no alcohol co-habitation permitted

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: TBD

Consumption restrictions: TBD

Home-grow: Yes, although landlords and condo boards may be able to restrict the growing of cannabis.

Online sales: Yes, through retailers’ websites.

Points of interest: Provincial legislation will require cannabis being transported in a motor vehicle to be either in an unopened package, or secured in an inaccessible space (AKA the trunk)

Population: 1.13 million

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: 60

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Yukon

Provincial legislation: The Cannabis Control and Regulation Act

Cannabis distributor: The Yukon Liquor Corporation.

Retail sales: Government-supplied cannabis will be sold first in government-run stores and later in privately-owned stores. Neither will allow cohabitation with alcohol.

Minimum age for purchase: 19

Possession restrictions: A person possessing cannabis must take reasonable measures to ensure that a young person cannot access the cannabis.

Consumption restrictions: Consumption to privately-owned residences and adjoining properties where permitted by the owner.

Home-grow: Yes, with the mandate that plants must be out of public view

Online sales: Yes, through a government-run website.

Points of interests: Private retailers must be approved by the province’s Cannabis Licensing Board

Population: 35,874.

Number of brick-and-mortar cannabis stores: 1 to start

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