What You Need to Know about the Legalization of Cannabis in Canada
Now that cannabis has been officially made legal in Canada, there are a few things that citizens should know before they make their purchase. The legalization of recreational cannabis started as a national experiment, which has had a large impact on the country in several aspects — culturally, socially, and economically. It is, however, still in its development stages and although the recreational use of cannabis is legal from coast to coast, all of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories have set their own rules.
These rules dictate include specific areas and/or establishments where cannabis can be sold legally, where it can be consumed, age limitations, as well as cost. While not all rules have been announced yet, here are several important things to know about this historic milestone in Canada:
● Where can I buy marijuana?
There will be a limited supply of recreational marijuana sold at least early on, in some stores. It will not be sold in stores selling alcohol and tobacco. The drug can only be purchased from retailers regulated by provinces and territories or from federally licensed cannabis producers.
– Ontario: Cannabis is sold in government-run online stores.
– British Columbia: Marijuana can be purchased in government-regulated store in Kamloops and online stores.
– Quebec: Customers can buy cannabis in 12 government-run dispensaries.
– Saskatchewan: Marijuana can be bought from 51 privately-run stores.
● How much will it cost?
The cost of recreational marijuana will greatly depend on the quality of the plant. In Quebec, various strains will be priced at around $7 or less per gram to stay competitive with the ones sold in the black market. However, a special cannabis excise tax is included in the price, as well as the sales tax. In some areas in Montreal, illegal drug dealers are selling two joints for the price of one.
● What is the legal smoking age of marijuana?
In most Canadian provinces, people who are at least 19 years old are allowed to smoke marijuana. In Quebec, the legal smoking age for marijuana users is 18, but the newly-elected government has planned to increase the minimum age to 21. Stores selling marijuana to minors will be charged with a federal crime punishable with up to 14 years imprisonment.
● What are the health effects of smoking marijuana?
Marijuana has several proven health benefits for its users, including long-term pain relief. Additionally, studies have shown that oral cannabinoids help in control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. There are also studies on cancer cells that suggesting that cannabinoids can either effectively kill or slow down the rate of cancer cell growth. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recommended the use of marijuana as safe or dangerous in the treatment of any medical conditions.
Cannabis for recreational purposes may be gaining ground in the market; but it is not the only use of this versatile plant. Cannabis has been legal for medical purposes for some time now, and that has not changed. This market, however, has its own rules whether its for medical cannabis packaging, growing, or purchasing. If you need marijuana to treat medical issues, like chronic pain, make sure to consult your healthcare provider and only purchase from a government-regulated store.