Weed the People

As of October 17th, the Liberal government has promised nation-wide legal bud, and many Canadians are counting down to experience this new cannabis reality. But the passing of Bill C-45 is really just phase one on our road to legalization.

Although the feds have provided a general framework for what legalization will look like, it’s really up to the provinces to give shape to what the consumer experience will be. Federally, the minimum age of access is set to 18, and adults are allowed to carry and share up to 30 with other adults; cultivation is restricted to four plants per closet, however, each province can decide to change these figures as it sees fit.

Because each province is able to decide for itself how to proceed in the legalization process, we’ll be able to collect data from a variety of models and address key questions and concerns.

Based on the information we have to date, there is a healthy amount of variation across the country that will allow us to observe, study and develop the foundation upon which to make decisions going forward.

Let’s take a look at what we’re starting with in October, province by province:

Alberta

  • The regulatory body is the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) who are responsible for the distribution of wholesale cannabis to private retailers
  • Minimum age is set to 18
  • You are allowed to grow up to four plants for personal cultivation
  • Private retail model with 250 brick-and-mortar stores said to open in the first year
  • The province will limit the number of licenses issued to mitigate the risk of market monopoly
  • There will be a limited public use allowed, cannabis will be prohibited in places frequented by children (schools and hospitals), as well as where smoking or vaping tobacco is already prohibited

British Columbia

  • The regulatory body is the B.C Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) who will run wholesale of cannabis
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • You are allowed to grow up to four plants for personal cultivation as long as they are not visible from public spaces
  • Both public and private retail options for consumers
  • More than 100 currently illegal dispensaries can apply for a retail license in the new system

Manitoba

  • The regulatory body is The Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba, who will regulate sales and distribution of cannabis
  • Personal cultivation is prohibited
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • There will be private sales only

Newfoundland & Labrador

  • The regulatory body is the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLLQ) who will regulate all private both in-store and online
  • You are allowed to grow up to four plants per household
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Public storefronts may eventually open, only in areas where there are no private retailers

New Brunswick

  • The governing body is a subsidiary of New Brunswick Liquor called the Cannabis Management Corporation that will manage Online and brick-and-mortar retail
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • There will be a maximum of 20 brick-and-mortar locations
  • You will not be allowed to consume in public

Northwest Territories

  • The governing body will be the provincial Liquor Commission who will run the wholesale of cannabis
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Cannabis can be bought through provincial liquor stores or via online sales through the Liquor Commission
  • Cannabis and alcohol can be purchased in the same store
  • You cannot consume in public

Nova Scotia

  • The governing body will be the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, who will be in charge of distribution
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Cannabis will be sold alongside alcohol by the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation
  • There will be a total of 9 public sale storefronts and there will be no private sales

Nunavut

  • The governing body will be the Liquor and Cannabis Commission
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • There will be both private and public sales, private will be in the form of an agency acting on behalf of the government
  • Public consumption is limited, consumption is prohibited in the workplace or public places where smoking tobacco is prohibited

Ontario

  • The governing body is a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario called Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS)
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Brick-and-mortar and online sales of cannabis will be governed by the OCS
  • 40 stores will open in the first year, with plans to increase the number of outlets to 80 by 2019 and 150 by 2020

Prince Edward Island

  • The governing body is PEI Cannabis Management Corporation
  • You are allowed to grow four plants per household out of sight from children
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Cannabis will be sold at four government-run stores with no private sales

Quebec

  • The governing body is the Societe Quebecoise du Cannabis
  • Residents will not be allowed to grow plants in their homes
  • Minimum age is set to 18
  • There will be only public government-run storefronts and online purchasing
  • 15 retail stores will be operational at the time of legalization with a potential for growth up to a maximum of 150 stores over a period of two years

Saskatchewan

  • The governing body is the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) in charge of the private wholesale of cannabis
  • Residents will buy cannabis from a private storefront and online vendors
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • More than 50 retail permits in up to 40 municipalities will be issued
  • Municipalities and First Nations communities can opt out of cannabis sales in their jurisdiction

Yukon

  • The governing body is the Cannabis Licensing Board
  • Minimum age is set to 19
  • Residents will be able to purchase cannabis through at least one government-owned and operated a location in Whitehorse upon legalization as well as online
  • Private licensed businesses will also have the opportunity to open storefronts six months following legalization

As you can see, adult-use legalization in Canada will look differently across the country, at least at the start. Luckily, we will eventually have enough data to pull from, as we continuously assess our efforts, and hopefully move forward with the end of prohibition in a way that works for everyone.

Story by Ljubica Kostovic
Graphic by Andrew Cooper

The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to condone the use or consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer

X
cross search menu