Last year in the month of October, Canada (the 2nd largest country in the world in terms of land area) has finally legalized the use and possession of recreational marijuana. Canada is the second and the largest country, thus far, with a legal national marketplace for marijuana. The country is even promoting the benefits of the drug to the body to the extent that you can now buy cannabis online in Canada.
The illegal use and possession of cannabis or marijuana have been considered a crime in Canada since 1923. Medical use of marijuana has only been legal since 2001. Today, Canadian adults are now able to buy cannabis seeds, pants, oil, and dried cannabis from any licensed producers and retailers in the country under the Cannabis Act.
The legalization of cannabis in the country is one of the campaign promises made by the current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in 2015. The prime minister believes that the new law will aim to keep illegal drugs out of the minors and to erase the profits that criminals earn from them.
Legalizing marijuana in the country is create a new industry for Canada that can worth more than $4 billion. However, there are some experts and analysts say that there will be a shortage of recreational marijuana within the first year after it is legalized. Legalizing cannabis is expected to create an industry worth more than $4 billion for Canada.
Canada though is not the first country to legalized the use, sale, and consumption of marijuana. Uruguay did it in 2013. But that doesn’t stop the Canadian citizens to celebrate and cheer for this historic event. Millions of people from across the country endured long lines and honking their cars to show their appreciation for the new law.
But even though recreational marijuana is fully legalized in the country, there are still a couple of new rules that Canadian citizens will have to adjust. With that said, here is everything you need to know about recreational marijuana in Canada.
Who Are Allowed To Buy Marijuana in Canada?
Adults who are 19 years old and above are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana in most provinces. There are some provinces though such as Alberta and Quebec that allows 18 years old to purchase marijuana. Those who are caught selling marijuana to minors will be sentenced to jail for up to 14 years.
The provinces were also given authority by the government to decide for themselves on how much they will be asking for marijuana or if they will go beyond the $1 per gram imposed by the law. The provinces can also decide if they will allow their residents to cultivate up to four plants in their homes and create edible products out of marijuana for their personal use.
Where Can You Buy Marijuana in Canada?
Some analysts reported that there will be a possible shortage of recreational marijuana in at least a couple of months after the legalization.
The supply of recreational marijuana was not particularly great on the first day of its legalization. Nova Scotia and Manitoba, for instance, said that they won’t have a large selection available for the first day. But today, recreational marijuana supply has always been efficient/
Recreational marijuana is not sold in the same stores where you can buy alcohol and tobacco. Consumers can buy marijuana from authorized producers and retailers which are regulated by province and territories in the country.
You can also purchase cannabis online in Canada. There are now numerous online stores that readily sell recreational marijuana to adults and deliver it to you anywhere within the country.
How Much Will It Cost You?
Provinces and territories are given authority by the federal government to regulate the sale of cannabis. Marijuana, particularly on online stores, are sold in a variety of options with a range of prices.
In Alberta, cannabis is sold between 9.24 – 14.95 Canadian dollars per gram. Pre-rolled joints are sold for 6.64 apiece. Cannabis price often varies from province to province.
What If I Have Previous Charges?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also announced a new law that pardons all Canadians who were previously convicted with simple possession of marijuana (30 grams or less).
The law states that there will be no fee or waiting period required for Canadians to apply for a pardon for their previous past convictions. This means that previously convicted citizens will still be able to purchase recreational marijuana once they received their pardon.
Where Can You Smoke Marijuana in Canada?
Even though the use and possession of marijuana in Canada are legal, public consumption is still not promoted in most provinces. Public consumption usually varies to the local jurisdiction. Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan or the Yukon bans public consumption of marijuana. While Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario allow you to smoke marijuana in all legal places except in cars and in places where there are children around. This includes parks, schools, playgrounds, and sporting fields.
In Ontario, you must be at least 20 meters away from a daycare center, playground, or school even if there are no children around to smoke. Most hotels in Canada bans smokings too, which means smoking marijuana there is also not allowed.
Why Canada Legalized Marijuana?
The Cannabis Act is a campaign promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which aims to keep drugs away from minors and to suppress marijuana-related crimes in the country.
The legalization of marijuana was not welcomed by all Canadian citizens, though. Some health care professionals were concerned about the consequences of legalizing cannabis in the country.
Canada’s government also implemented new rules and regulations for the use and purchase of marijuana in the country. They even introduced a couple of new changes to their impaired driving laws to address the consequences of driving under the influence of marijuana.
Where Else is Marijuana Legal?
Marijuana is still not legal in most parts of the world. Canada is only second to Uruguay to legalize the said drug. Uruguay was the first country to legalize the sale, production, and consumption, marijuana. Canada is also the first G7 country to allow nationwide use and possession of marijuana.
So far, the United States now allows the use of recreational marijuana in nine states. While thirty-three states have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Portugal and the Netherlands have started to decriminalized marijuana in their respective countries.
How Much Profit Can Canada Earn From Marijuana?
Before marijuana was legalized in Canada last year, financial analysts expected it to create an industry that’s worth more than $4 billion. That number, however, is expected to increase to $5.5 billion in 2022 as more and more citizens will buy marijuana. The more people buy, the more the Canadian government earns through tax revenue.
In the United States, the pot industry posted nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017 according to a report. That’s equivalent to what the entire snack bar industry earns in a year. The pot industry in the US is also expected to increase to $23.4 billion come 2022. This means that the pot industry is booming and is expected to yield more profit once marijuana is fully legalized in the country.
Should Other Countries Follow Canada or Not?
Canada has indeed ushered a new era of legalizing the use, sale, production, and consumption of legal marijuana. You can call the country as a pioneer and a leader in this growing industry.
As millions of Canadian citizens flock to stores across the country, the rest of the world is keeping a close eye on the country especially on how the pot business will pan out. It’s true that there are still a lot of consequences that may arise due to legalizing marijuana but Canada has done a good job in managing the outcomes both positive and negative.
But if there’s a really good and big reason why others should follow Canada in legalizing marijuana – it is the multi-billion dollar industry that the country has tapped into. The statistics show a lot of promise and these could be enough to convince other countries to follow what Canada did.
It’s good to see Canada is doing so well when they legalized marijuana. We now have more reasonable evidence on whether or not marijuana should be legalized. The stigma around marijuana should not be considered as a barrier to legalizing marijuana. If other countries will follow the blueprint Canada has laid on, they too will see their economy grow significantly in a couple of years.
Legalizing marijuana can light up any country’s economy as long as the industry is fully managed and regulated by the government. The potential of legalizing marijuana in lighting up a country’s economy can no longer be ignored. This is why other countries should take a close look at Canada so maybe they too can legalize marijuana in the next couple of years.