Key things to know about Canada’s marijuana legalization
Canada is legalizing adult use of marijuana on Oct. 17 and will be the second and largest country to do so. The federal government established the broad outline of the legalization law but left it up to provinces and territories to fill in some of the details – such as whether to allow home grows, to establish a legal purchase age of 18 or 19, and whether to sell through government-run pot shops or private outlets.
Here’s a look at how the industry will look, as well as some key differences between Canada’s approach and that of the nine U.S. states that have legalized so-called recreational marijuana:
Canada’s Cannabis Act allows people 18 and older to buy marijuana online or in retail stores. Most provinces have raised the minimum age to 19, however, to align with the drinking age. In the U.S., states with recreational legalization have an age limit of 21, which matches the drinking age.
Canadian law sets a 30-gram limit on how much people can buy at once or possess in public. That’s just over an ounce, which is the possession limit in all but one of the U.S. states with legal pot – Maine’s limit is 2.5 ounces (71 grams). However, there’s no limit on how much Canadians can possess in their homes.
The Canadian law also allows for residents to grow up to four plants at home, though two provinces – Quebec and Manitoba – opted to forbid home-growing. U.S. states including California, Nevada, Alaska and Colorado allow home-growing of up to six plants.