Recreational cannabis became legal in Canada on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Amongst various other provisions, the law allows you to possess four plants at most per household – each being no higher than one meter. Owing to the scattershot regulations across the country to monitor the drug, our pot-permissive future has many questions left unanswered. If you are in need of legal counsel for a drug offence, contact John Erickson, an affordable criminal defense lawyer in Toronto with nearly two decades of experience defending individuals convicted of drug offences.
Canada became the second country in the world to pass a bill legalizing the recreational use of the drug nationwide after Uruguay did the same back in 2013. Since we’re charting relatively new territory, the true effects of and the regulations governing cannabis are still somewhat hazy. While no one is sure what will happen to unlicensed dispensaries that have cropped up over the nation in recent years, here’s what we do know about the current cannabis landscape.
Cannabis Has Completely Overhauled the Online World
E-commerce pot sales have experienced an unsurprising surge since the legalization. You can access the drug online, regardless of province or territory, and whether you choose to buy from a government-run site or through a private retailer.
Digital retail giant Shopify has entered into provincial contracts for online sales with four provinces – Ontario, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. The retailer has conducted mock checkouts and reinforced its software over the last couple of months to prepare for the volume of transactions when the site went live.
Much like other e-commerce portals, Shopify has all the usual components to aid in check out, including two new factors: educational data on the implications of marijuana usage and an age-verification procedure. Provinces have the freedom to set a minimum age limit to use the drug, with Ontario opting for 19 years. Similar to the process of selling alcohol online, cannabis delivery will require identification checking and a signature once delivered at the buyer’s doorstep. Unattended packages will not be left thereon.
Privacy laws are just as big a part of the online check out as ever. Buyers’ data will be kept confidential using encryption and following data storage requirements as stipulated by that particular province.
As age limits and retail models vary across the ten provinces, for the most part, each province will imitate its alcohol rules when it comes to dispensing the drug.
As more and more countries are warming up to the idea of using the drug for recreational purposes, Shopify will, perhaps, have a global opportunity to corner the digital cannabis market in the upcoming years.
Going International? The Legalities of Possessing Cannabis at the Border
While nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis within their jurisdictions, the drug is still illegal as per United States federal law. With this in mind, Ottawa issued a warning to travellers before legalization stating that the use of any illicit substance (as per U.S. laws) including cannabis before entering the U.S. may lead to a denial of entry.
It’s still unclear as to the extent of questions travellers will be subjected to regarding past marijuana use. A U.S. border official had this to say in regards to possessing the drug, “Nothing has changed in any regard. If you’ve been the subject of a violation of U.S. laws, that will still make you inadmissible to our country.”
Coming into Canada will also lead to a different set of protocol to be followed. A Canadian official confirmed that the Canada Border Services Agency guards will be required to question each traveller about cannabis possession. If you have the drug on you while coming in by air, you will have to mention as such on a declaration form.
Flying High – The Legalities of Taking Cannabis on a Plane
While boarding domestic flights, you will be allowed to carry no more than 30 grams of the drug on your person. As international regulations about the drug differ, you will not be able to do the same while boarding flights leaving the country.
Driving High – The Legalities of Using Cannabis and Getting Behind the Wheel
Statistics Canada revealed in August that about 5% of Canadians (around 1.4 million people) have admitted to being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a person who had consumed the drug within 2 hours of getting behind the wheel.
This has given rise to strict regulations surrounding consuming the drug prior to driving. Under a new legislation passed in the month of June, police officers reserve the right to conduct roadside saliva tests if they suspect you to be under the influence of cannabis. The legal repercussions will largely depend on how much THC drivers have in their blood. THC is the primary psychoactive component in marijuana.
– If you’re found to have between 2 to 5 nanograms of THC in your blood, the fine can go as high as $1000.
– If you’re found to have over 5 nanograms of THC in your blood, or if you have consumed alcohol and cannabis at the same time, fines will be much steeper with the possibility of jail time.
– Serious offences can be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Charged With a Drug Offense? Don’t Let it Affect Your Future!
A drug offence could negatively impact your personal and professional life. John Erickson is a senior criminal lawyer and Ex-Crown Prosecutor with nearly two decades of experience defending individuals convicted of drug offences. Call (416) 363 3612 today for affordable and reliable legal representation.