Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic April 18, 2017 - 7:00 am

The Liberal’s government’s cannabis package: what’s in it?

New legal cannabis regime filled with strict rules and restrictions

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Here's a 40-pound pile of marijuana that police seized from an Iqaluit man this past February. After cannabis is legalized in Canada, likely by July 2018, it will still be against the law for you to possess this much weed, and it will be against the law for you to sell weed without a licence. But you will be allowed to buy up to 30 grams of legal cannabis from a licenced retailer or distributor. Online mail orders will be legal too. (FILE PHOTO)
Here's a 40-pound pile of marijuana that police seized from an Iqaluit man this past February. After cannabis is legalized in Canada, likely by July 2018, it will still be against the law for you to possess this much weed, and it will be against the law for you to sell weed without a licence. But you will be allowed to buy up to 30 grams of legal cannabis from a licenced retailer or distributor. Online mail orders will be legal too. (FILE PHOTO)

Though their cabinet ministers are touting it as part of a hard-line law-and-order policy aimed at keeping weed away from teenagers, the Liberal government’s cannabis legalization package, introduced April 13, will still give all adult Canadians access to legal cannabis for the first time since 1923.

But it won’t be a free-for-all.

The legislation, contained in Bill C-45, creates strict rules for the production, distribution and possession of marijuana and other cannabis products and requires that territories, provinces and municipalities create more rules to control and licence retail sales.

This means that Ottawa will control how cannabis products are produced in Canada, through a federal licencing system.

And territorial and municipal governments will decide how and where individual consumers can buy it and smoke it.

Another proposed new law, Bill C-46, gives police officers the power to extract blood or saliva samples from people suspected of driving while stoned on cannabis.

Here are some highlights of what the federal government proposes:

How much pot will I be able to buy legally?

You will be allowed to possess no more than 30 grams of legal dried cannabis, or its equivalent, at any one time. That’s equal to about one ounce.

Under the proposed new law, one gram of dried marijuana is considered equal to five grams of fresh cannabis, 15 grams of an edible product, 70 grams of a liquid product, or one cannabis plant seed.

If the police catch you with more than 30 grams but less than 50 grams, they can give you a $200 ticket.

If they catch you with a significant amount of illegal weed, they can charge you with an indictable offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail.

You will also be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants anywhere in your residence, up to a maximum of one metre in height.

But territories, provinces and municipalities will be able to place more restrictions on the personal cultivation of marijuana, if they wish.

Where will you be able to buy legal cannabis?

You’ll be able to buy cannabis from a licenced retailer authorized by your territorial or provincial government.

But the Government of Nunavut, like most other provinces and territories, hasn’t decided how it will regulate the retail sale of cannabis and they haven’t yet decided where you will be able to legally buy it.

So for Nunavummiut, this is still an unanswered question.

But even if there are no authorized retailers in Nunavut, you will still be able to buy legal cannabis after Bill C-45 becomes law.

That’s because any adult in Canada aged 18 or over—living where there are no authorized dealers—will be allowed to order legal cannabis online from a federally regulated distributor for delivery by mail.

Also, it will be a serious criminal offence for any unlicenced or unauthorized person or organization to produce, distribute or sell cannabis.

How old will you have to be to buy legal cannabis?

The federal government’s proposed new law sets 18 as the minimum age for the purchase of legal cannabis.

But provinces and territories will have the power to raise the minimum age within their jurisdictions as they do with alcohol consumption.

What happens if you’re caught selling cannabis to a minor?

The new legislation creates a harsh new penalty for adults caught selling weed to youth aged 17 or younger: a maximum sentence of 14 years in jail if the Crown opts to prosecute you by indictment.

A prosecution by summary conviction for selling cannabis to a minor carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail or a $5,000 fine.

And an organization that sells to a minor would face a fine of up to $100,000.

Where will I be allowed to smoke dope?

Territories, provinces and municipalities will have the power to ban the consumption of cannabis at restaurants, bars, cafés and music festivals.

Municipalities will also be able to use zoning bylaws to control where cannabis may be sold or consumed and prevent public dope smoking from becoming a nuisance.

What if I need medical marijuana?

A separate system for supplying marijuana to people for health care purposes will continue to exist.

If you need marijuana for a medical purpose, you may continue you to do so under the authorization of a health care provider.

Can I buy or sell marijuana internationally?

No. You may not export marijuana to another country and you may not import marijuana from another country.

However, you will be allowed to carry legal quantities of cannabis across territorial or provincial boundaries, as long as you respect the minimum age in each jurisdiction.

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(13) Comments:

#1. Posted by not dopey on April 18, 2017

Who wrote this drivel? in one article, you refer to the same plant as cannabis, Marijuana and as dope. Please chose a name and stick to it for the entire article.  And using the word “dope”  has a negative connotation that should never be used.

#2. Posted by King Kush on April 18, 2017

I can just hear all the religious hooligans wailing and gnashing their teeth over this one.

Raise your hand if you expect the territorial government to put on a spectacular display of ignorance and obstruction in allowing this new legal regime to even operate in Nunavut.

#3. Posted by earth3rd on April 18, 2017

Isn’t Nunavut part of Canada? If its legal in Canada it should be legal in Nunavut.

#4. Posted by Bummer on April 18, 2017

I sure hope the GN has a plan for this new legislation. My guess is that they will wait until way too late rather than get it front of this and make sure the proper structures, regulations and processes are in place.

#5. Posted by Inuit friend on April 18, 2017

To all the stoners that voted this idiot as prime minister your kids and grandkids will be paying dearly for Justin’s mess both from a mental health perspective and a debt perspective. For what…so that you could get high on marijuana…this s not going to turn out well for Nunavut who has addiction problems and a high population of mental health issues without the availability of proper care. You think attendance at work and school drop outs are a problem now wait til you see what what happens with the legalization of marijuana

#6. Posted by Atheist Cannabis Skeptic on April 18, 2017

@#2 and #4 The GN has an election smack in the middle of this process, and as a government has the least capacity of any Canadian jurisdiction. I’m sure none of that will stop the paranoid zealots from seeing some kind of alt-right conspiracy to keep them from their blessed herb.

@#5 Good points, but good luck trying to make that connection. Only the most stubborn and deluded alcoholic won’t acknowledge, at least candidly, the damage caused by alcohol. Cannabis enthusiasts have no such capacity for introspection - they have swallowed a full blown ideology and are convinced that the substance can do no harm.

#7. Posted by Bill Nye on April 18, 2017

#5 and #6

Please, let’s move this discussion out the realm of pure hysteria.

I invite you to support your position that cannabis poses a significant mental health threat scientifically.

From a harm reduction perspective cannabis is a great alternative to alcohol. In fact it is estimated that cannabis is 100x less harmful than alcohol, and less harmful than tobacco.

Annual deaths attributable to alcohol in the US per year are around 30,000

Those attributable to cannabis = 0 (zip, zero, zilch).

See Lachenmeier and Rehm: Comparative risk assessment of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and other illicit drugs using the margin of exposure approach

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311234/

#8. Posted by Unik on April 18, 2017

#5
Maybe, but smart parents will still teach their children on the responsible use of alcohol and marihuana. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you have to do it.

#9. Posted by Qaujimavee on April 18, 2017

# 5 get your facts first until you start assuming, Since Colorado legalized cannabis they have blown away propaganda learning less children are using cannabis, traffic fatalities are in all time low, fewer people take dangerous medications, and violent crimes dropped and more tax money then alcohol also has produced jobs

#10. Posted by The Old Trapper on April 18, 2017

About time that the federal government faced reality and legalized marijuana. Yes it will be an issue for some in Nunavut and only time will tell whether legalizing marijuana is good or bad. Hopefully the GN does not try to devolve responsibility to individual communities as it does with alcohol. In fact as it appears that as the legislation seems to allow mail order it may be legally difficult for the GN to prohibit marijuana on a community by community basis, thus making it difficult for any community to continue alcohol prohibition or regulation.

One question though, what is this silliness about growing plants up to one meter in height? Don’t plants normally grow to between 2 and 3 meters high?

#11. Posted by Inuit friend on April 18, 2017

For your I for at ion things in Colorado are not working out. Your obviously a druggy that voted for Justin. It will not curb alcoholism like you state it will just add to another dependency and addiction such as alcoholism and gambling. Just to add to your comment I have been a pot smoker for 30 plus years therefore it’s not like I am not aware of effects of pot

#12. Posted by Invest in Grow Ops on April 18, 2017

There’s money to be had. Millions of dollars are sent to drug lords in the South every year. Monies our communities desperately need. If Nunavut or the municipalities or even individuals don’t act fast, marijuana producers from the South will come to Nunavut. We need to be proactive for once and invest in grow ops or medical marijuana. Perhaps partner with those producers.

Several First Nations are investing in cannabis ventures. They know the economic opportunities are there and are therefore being very proactive. It will be legal. Will the Inuit benefit in any other way than getting a cheap high? (Pun intended).

#13. Posted by I see dumb people on April 18, 2017

#12 Is right, Nunavut is in a unique position to capitalize on marijuana, in the same way it is in a position to capitalize on a microbrewery, if and when the tiny minds that make decisions here open their eyes to what’s going on outside the territory and beyond the largesse they inherent simply for being ‘beneficiaries.’

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