On Tuesday night, Canada’s Senate passed the federal government’s legal weed bill, effectively legalizing recreational cannabis. The law was the final obstacle on the country’s long road to legalization and will allow adults to purchase and consume small amounts of cannabis. Canada’s 13 provinces and territories are being given a grace period to adjust their retail systems accordingly, so cannabis sales probably won’t be underway for a few months. Each Canadian jurisdiction will have its own rules on cannabis regulation once sale begins later this year.
Ontario, for example, will have one of the strictest rules surrounding cannabis sale and consumption. Canada’s largest province will only allow cannabis to be purchased at one of 40 Ontario Cannabis Stores, a number which is expected to increase. Consumption must be confined to private residences, and public consumption will be illegal.
Manitoba, however, is taking a more hands-off approach, allowing a cluster of private companies to run their weed stores. Saskatchewan is similarly privatizing the sale of weed, taking applications from local business owners to operate the stores. “It’s like my birthday on steroids,” Cierra Sieben-Chuback told CBC, once she heard the news she was granted a permit.
Alberta is taking one of the most liberal approaches, allowing 18-year-olds to purchase weed from private stores, and even online stores. Also, unlike other provinces, Alberta will allow public consumption in certain areas.
Among the most remote jurisdictions, Yukon and Nunavut will have a slightly slower introduction to the new law. The Yukon territory will have a single government-run cannabis shop, while Nunavut won’t have any this year. That means that people way up north who are looking for their weed fix will probably have to wait until next year.
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