Just the facts: Cannabis in Canada

What you need to know about cannabis in Canada between now and October 17, 2018

When it will be legal

The Cannabis Act has received Royal Assent. Until October 17, 2018, it remains illegal to buy, possess or use cannabis for anything other than authorized medical or research purposes.

Between now and coming into force, there will be a transition period for:

  • the federal government
  • provinces and territories
  • the regulated industry and
  • law enforcement

Law enforcement will continue to enforce existing laws.

What is legal now

Cannabis for medical purposes is legal if you are:

  • authorized by a health professional and
  • registered with a licensed producer or Health Canada.

Access to cannabis for medical purposes will continue to be permitted after the Cannabis Act comes into force.

Health Canada remains committed to maintaining a distinct system to provide patients with reasonable access to cannabis for medical purposes. Under the new Cannabis Act, individuals will still be able to:

  • purchase cannabis directly from a federally licensed producer
  • register to produce a limited amount of cannabis for their own medical purposes
  • designate someone to produce it for them

Laws in your area

Each province and territory will have the ability to set its own rules for cannabis, including:

  • legal minimum age
  • where you can buy it
  • where you can use it
  • how much you can possess

You must respect the laws of the province, territory or Indigenous community you are in, whether you are a visitor or live there.

Individual municipalities may also pass bylaws to regulate the use of cannabis locally. Check your municipality for local information.

It is illegal now and will remain illegal to take any amount of cannabis across Canada’s international borders.

Growing cannabis

The Cannabis Act will permit adults to cultivate up to 4 cannabis plants per household (not per person). Provinces and territories have the flexibility to apply added restrictions on personal cultivation. There are recommended safety and security measures for growing plants that should be considered, such as safe storage and proper ventilation.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder with cannabis or other drugs, help is available.

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