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Legalization is here: how to buy cannabis in Canada

Legalization is Here: Cannabis Regulations in Canada, by Province

Now that legalization is here, learn how it works in your region.

Cannabis legalization in Canada has been one of the biggest stories of the year, so this probably isn’t news to you. What you might not know, however, is that, in add every province and territory in the country has its own regulations around buying, possession, consumption, growing, and more.

Read on to find out about where to buy cannabis in your region. Also be sure to check out our illustrated map outlining the history and culture of cannabis across Canada.

Jump to: BC | AB | SK | MB | ON | QC | NB | NS | PEI | NL | YK | NT | NU

Where can I buy cannabis?

The Cannabis Act gives provinces and territories the authority to determine how to retail cannabis. The most fundamental distinction is that some have (or will have) privately owned retail storefronts, including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Yukon. Others, like Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories, have public, government-run stores. Further, B.C., Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador have a hybrid system, which uses both. Despite their differences, most storefronts look similar and offer a similar selection of products. Both private and public retailers sell products from Licensed Producers like Emerald Health, whose production is regulated by the federal government.

Can I buy cannabis in liquor stores?

Depending on your province, you might see cannabis sold alongside alcohol. The practice of selling cannabis and alcohol within the same retail space is called “co-location.” British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Yukon prohibit co-location. In others, like Newfoundland and Labrador, cannabis cannot be sold in an area with shared access to a pharmacy, or where there’s an adjacent lounge where alcohol is served. In Nova Scotia, co-location is permitted, but alcohol and cannabis must be in separate areas of the store. The Northwest Territories will distribute cannabis through liquor stores, but operate a government-run online sale system in areas where there are no liquor stores.

Can I buy cannabis online?

Online sales will vary by province. Some provincial governments, including Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut, will operate their own online sales. The private sector will handle them in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and Prince Edward Island, they’re managed by the e-commerce platform Shopify in partnership with the provincial government.

CANNABIS REGULATIONS IN CANADA, BY PROVINCE AND TERRITORY

British Columbia

In British Columbia, the minimum legal age for possession is 19. You can have up to 30 grams in public and grow four plants per household. You cannot consume cannabis anywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited, or at playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks and other places where children gather. Cannabis is distributed by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, and sold in government-run and private retail stores and through government-run online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in British Columbia.

Alberta

The minimum legal age for possession in Alberta is 18. You can possess up to 30 grams in public and grow up to four plants per household. You can consume cannabis in public spaces where smoking tobacco is allowed. Cannabis is distributed by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission and sold through private retail stores and government-operated online sales.

DID YOU KNOW? Without a cap on permits, Alberta is expected to lead the retail cannabis sector in Canada.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Alberta.

Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, the minimum legal age for possession is 19. You can have up to 30 grams in public and grow up to four plants per household. You are not allowed to consume cannabis in any public places. Cannabis is distributed by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and sold through private retail stores and privately operated online sales.

DID YOU KNOW? Saskatchewan leads the country in hemp production.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Saskatchewan.

Manitoba

The minimum legal age for possession is 19 in Manitoba. You can possess up to 30 grams in public. The Safe and Responsible Retailing of Cannabis Act outlaws growing cannabis at home in Manitoba. You can only consume cannabis in private residences. Cannabis is distributed by Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority and retailed in privately run stores and online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Manitoba.

Ontario

In Ontario, the minimum legal age for possession is 19. You can possess up to 30 grams in public and can grow up to four plants per household. You can only consume cannabis in a private residence; it is currently prohibited in public places, though the provincial government has indicated that may change. Cannabis is distributed by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, and currently the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis is the Ontario Cannabis Store website. The government will introduce legislation to open up a private retail model that would launch by April 2019.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Ontario.

Quebec

In Quebec the minimum legal age for possession is 18, although the provincial government has said it intends to raise it to 21. You can possess up to 30 grams in public, and the possession limit for private residences is 150 grams. Growing your own cannabis is prohibited. You cannot consume cannabis anywhere smoking is prohibited, and it’s also prohibited on the grounds of college and university institutions, the land of health and social services institutions, transit waiting areas and bike paths. Cannabis is distributed by the Société des alcools du Québec and sold through Quebec Cannabis Society retail stores and online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Quebec.

New Brunswick

The minimum legal age for possession in New Brunswick is 19. You can possess up to 30 grams in public. You can grow up to four plants per household, but landlords can restrict cultivation on their properties, and any plants grown outdoors must be located behind a locked enclosure at least 1.52 metres tall. You can consume cannabis only on private property and in private residences. Cannabis is distributed by the Cannabis Management Corporation and 20 government-run retail stores will initially sell cannabis. Online sales will be operated by the New Brunswick government.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, the minimum legal age for possession of cannabis is 19. You can possess up to 30 grams in public and grow up to four plants per household. Consumption is prohibited in public places. It is distributed by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp., and cannabis is sold in government-run storefronts. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. will manage online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Nova Scotia.

Prince Edward Island

The minimum legal age for possession in Prince Edward Island is 19, and you can possess up to 30 grams in public. You can grow up to four plants per household, but the plants cannot be accessible to minors. Consumption will be restricted to private dwellings. The PEI Cannabis Management Corporation will distribute cannabis, and you will be able to purchase it in the four government-run retail locations or through a direct-to-home e-commerce platform, which is also run by the Prince Edward Island government.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in PEI.

Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the minimum legal age for possession is 19. You can possess up to 30 grams in public and grow up to four plants per household. Consumption is permitted in private residences only. Cannabis is distributed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation and is sold through privately run storefronts and government-operated online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Newfoundland & Labrador.

Yukon

In Yukon, the minimum age for legal possession is 19. You can have up to 30 grams in public and can grow up to four plants per household. You can consume cannabis only in privately owned residences and adjoining property where permitted by the owner. Cannabis is distributed by the Yukon Liquor Corporation. There is only one storefront that retails cannabis, located in Whitehorse. The licensing of private businesses will follow. The Yukon government runs online sales of cannabis.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Yukon.

Northwest Territories

The minimum legal age for possession in the Northwest Territories is 19. You can have up to 30 grams in public and grow up to four plants per household. You can consume cannabis on private property and, unless municipal governments introduce bylaws to increase or expand on areas where smoking cannabis is prohibited, residents will also be permitted to smoke cannabis on trails, roadways (when not operating or riding in a motor vehicle) and parks when not in use for a public event. Cannabis is distributed through the Northwest Territories Liquor Commission. Initially, cannabis will only be available for purchase through liquor stores and government-run online sales. However, online sales will only serve areas where there are no liquor stores.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in the Northwest Territories.

Nunavut

In Nunavut, the minimum legal age for possession is 19. You can have up to 30 grams in public and can grow up to four plants per household. Consumption is not permitted in public places, other than a designated cannabis lounge or permitted event. Cannabis distribution is regulated by the Nunavut Liquor Commission. There will be no physical retail stores in Nunavut in 2018; you can buy cannabis online via government-run online sales.

Learn more about cannabis regulations in Nunavut.

Emerald Health Therapeutics is a Health Canada Licensed Producer of medical cannabis.


Emerald Health Therapeutics

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