Canadian Cannabis Regulations – A Tale of Two Canadas
Now that the Canadian Cannabis Regulations have been nailed down by most of the provinces, Canadians can take some comfort that we won’t be thrust into the abyss of reefer madness come July 1, or any other date when they all finally get up and running. The focus is absolutely on control and harm reduction as opposed to access and market development. You won’t see many operations like the one shown below outside of the Western provinces.
Some of the provinces are still accepting retail applications as of writing this, so there’s no way we will have a fully functioning distribution system when the switch gets turned on. Nunavut doesn’t have a plan and won’t until 2019 which makes my earlier predictions not that far off.
Here are the regulations broken down by province. The one thing that must be pointed out is that the government has set up a system where they will both control supply and prices, and reap the majority of the profits. By establishing monopoly distribution entities who will rest between the Licensed Producers and the cannabis retailers, they ensure they can drive their supply price down (due to their monopoly buying power; LP’s won’t have anywhere else to sell their weed) and given that the retailers can only buy from them, they get to set the floor price at retail indirectly.
Canadian Cannabis Regulations by Province (Adult Use; Non-medicinal)
|Prov||Legal Age||Limits||Retail Approach||Distributor||Home Grow||Consumption Restrictions||Online Sales?|
|BC||19||30 g||Gov’t + Private (won’t limit how many)||Government||4 plants. Landlords may prohibit||Same as tobacco||Gov’t Only|
|SK||19||30 g||Private||None. LPs sell direct to retail||“||No motor vehicles or public places||Retailer Websites|
|MB||19||30 g||4 Private entities||Government||Prohibited||No motor vehicles||Retailer Websites|
|ON||19||30 g||Government (40 stores at start)||Government||4 plants.||No vehicles, enclosed public spaces, or workplaces.||Government|
|PQ||18||30 g||Government||Government||Prohibited||No workplaces, post-secondary institutions, enclosed public spaces.||Government|
|NB||18||30 g||Government||Government||4 plants. Must be in locked enclosure||Private homes (consent of occupant required).||Government|
|PEI||19||30 g||Government||Government||4 plants||Private homes only.||Government|
|NS||19||30 g||Government||Government||4 plants||No indoor public places or most outdoor public places.||Government|
|NL||19||30 g||Private||Government||4 plants||Private homes only.||Government|
|NU||19||30 g||Online Only until 2019||Government||4 plants||No vehicles, schools, hospitals, playgrounds, or where tobacco smoking is prohibited.||Government|
|NT||19||30 g||Government||Government||4 plants||No vehicles or where smoking is prohibited||Government|
|YT||19||30 g||Government first. Private Later.||Government||4 plants||Private Residences and their grounds||Government|
Of course the medical cannabis regime is, for now at least, quite separate. That system currently allows for Licensed Producers to ship directly to customers, bypassing the government. It remains to be seen whether patients – who won’t have any access to medical cannabis through brick and mortar stores – will move over the the adult use system. Given that there are taxes on medical cannabis, and the lack of any retail access, this is quite likely. Eliminating taxation of cannabis for medical purposes, and more ubiquitous insurance coverage for it, will be required to keep a vibrant, patient-focused medical system in place.