Whether you’re visiting Canada soon or just becoming of legal age, there are some things to know about Canadian cannabis laws. Canada has created a functioning, safe cannabis market for novice users and enthusiasts alike. Here, you can legally purchase cannabis products for medicinal or recreational use.
Canada legalized cannabis for medicinal use in 2001. But Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use in 2018 fully. The Canadian Cannabis Survey 2020 found that 54 percent of cannabis users chose to purchase it from a legal source (41 percent legal storefront and 13 percent online). This was an increase from the 2019 figure of 24 percent.
Is Marijuana Really Legal?
Yes, cannabis is legal in Canada. You can use it for recreational or medicinal purposes. You can also grow, cultivate, buy, and share it. Although it is a legal drug, cannabis still has some heavy restrictions. If you are on the wrong side of the law, you will face penalties and possible jail time.
The Cannabis act sought to legalize cannabis and create a safe, responsible environment for citizens. Its other big objectives are to keep the cannabis trade out of criminals’ hands and keep the products out of reach for children.
It is important to understand that Canada’s federal government legalized cannabis throughout the nation, but it left the regulation of cannabis to the provincial government. So, each province has its rules on the cannabis market that you must follow. It is important to know the province’s regulations in which you are so that you don’t get caught on the wrong side of them. Although most regulations are similar, there are some notable differences.
The age restriction for most provinces is 19 years. The only exceptions are Alberta at 18 years and Quebec with a 21 year age restriction. Retail operations can only be in the form of private licensed in-person, government-operated in-person, private licensed online, or government-operated online stores. Each province only allows specific operations to retail cannabis. Only the Nunavut province allows cannabis to be sold by phone.
You can only buy, share and possess 30 grams of dried cannabis or the equivalent. You can consume cannabis in various ways, such as flower, concentrate, tincture, oil, baked good, sweets, etc. So the government uses equivalents to measure how much cannabis you have using dried cannabis as a base. So, by law, one gram of dried cannabis is equal to:
- 5 grams of fresh cannabis
- 15 grams of edible product
- 70 grams of liquid product
- 0.25 grams of concentrates (solid or liquid)
- one cannabis plant seed
It is important to understand equivalency because it regulates how much you can possess or share. Retailers use equivalency to determine the maximum amount of cannabis products they can sell you.
What Types Of Marijuana Can I Buy Online?
Cannabis is available in several forms; each can give you a unique experience. You can find all the forms of marijuana for sale online.
Flower, or bud, is the most common type of cannabis known and consumed. The flower is the smokeable part of the cannabis plant; after it is harvested, it is dried, cured, and made available at your dispensary. You can smoke it in a pipe or bong or roll it up into a joint. It produces one of the most immediate highs, has diverse strains, is budget-friendly, and rich in cannabinoids. Flowers need some form of apparatus to consume, like rolling paper or a pipe. They also have short effects, so the high can be gone in a few hours.
As the name suggests, concentrates are made by removing plant material, and other impurities to only leave cannabinoids and terpenes. For this reason, they have a higher level of cannabis terpenes and cannabinoids than cannabis flowers.
You can consume it in various ways, including adding it to cannabis flower with a vaporizer or a dab rig. You can feel the effects quicker with concentrates, and you don’t need to use it as much. But they need equipment like a rig or portable vaporizer to consume; they are also very potent, so not good for novices.
Edibles are food and drinks infused with cannabis like brownies, gummies, beer, or chocolates. They are easy to carry and consume. For those who don’t have an affinity towards smoking, they are a simpler way to consume cannabis. Edibles also come with clear labels and dosages. Edibles take longer to take effect, and they get more potent with each bite, so it’s easy to overdose.
How To Find A Good Retailer
Normally, when you want to buy cannabis, you can walk up to it, look at it, and even smell it. While in the store, you can view the retailer’s condition and how they store their product. While shopping online, you may find these methods of evaluating a store and its products impossible to do. But you can use other smart methods to discern a good online cannabis retailer.
You can look through their product lines. A good retailer will have a wide variety of products available. Pricing will also be an indicator of the authenticity of the products and store. If the prices are too low, then that is a red flag; the store could be illegal. Check with other websites to get a sense of pricing.
Ask other cannabis users which websites they buy from. At least you will come up with a list of retailers with a known track record. You can also look through online reviews of websites, especially on community forums.
Feel free to ask the retailer where they source their product from. If they can’t give a clear answer, then that could be problematic. Also, ask the retailer other questions about the product. Their knowledge can help you determine which strains to try out or how to handle dosages.
When you decide to order, start with a small amount as a test run. When it arrives, look at the packaging quality and shipping process. Is it professional, is the product stored well, did it arrive on time and in good condition? All of this will help you choose and build a relationship with a retailer.
When in Canada…
Cannabis is legal no matter what you need it for. Just be aware of the laws in the province in which you are buying. Some provinces let you buy cannabis online, so you can order at any time and choose from various options. Be discerning about the products you buy and the retailer you choose to enjoy cannabis fully.