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Cannabis Legalization in Canada

The latest information and changes to the law

Cannabis will become legal on October 17, 2018. While legalization is a decision by the federal government, provinces and municipalities have areas of responsibilities where they can set their own legislation.

Current Law
Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, it is a criminal offence to possess, grow, distribute, sell or import cannabis.

The exception is for those aged 18 and over who have a prescription from a physician that authorizes them to purchase and possess up to 150 grams of dried cannabis from a licensed producer.


Proposed Law
The proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) would create a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada.
Learn More

To-date, the provincial government has made a number of decisions about what BC’s cannabis regulatory framework will look like, outlined in the table below.

BC's Regulatory Framework for Cannabis Legalization

Activity Framework
Minimum Age 19+ to possess, purchase and consume cannabis.
Personal Possession Limits Allowance of up to 30g non-medical cannabis in a public place.

If transported in a motor vehicle, it must be in a sealed package or inaccessible to vehicle occupants.
Places of Use Can be used in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted.

Banned in areas frequented by children including school properties, community beaches, parks, sports fields, skate parks and playgrounds.

Use of cannabis in any form is banned for all occupants in a motor vehicle.

Local governments can set additional restrictions.

Landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit non-medical cannabis smoking at tenanted and strata properties.
Home Cultivation Up to 4 cannabis plants.

Plants cannot be visible from public spaces off the property.

Non-medical cannabis cultivation banned in dwellings used as daycares.

Landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit home cultivation.
Wholesale Distribution The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis.
Impaired Driving Illegal to drive while under cannabis influence.

A 90-day administrative driving prohibition for any driver whom police reasonably believe operated a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs, based on analysis of a bodily substance or an evaluation by a specially trained police drug recognition expert (DRE).

Zero tolerance for drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP).
Retail Framework The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will run provincial cannabis retail and online stores and will be responsible for licensing private non-medical cannabis stores.