In October 2018, Canada made history by being the second country in the world to legalize Marijuana. This has resulted in a tourist boom for Canada, as many visitors take the opportunity to enjoy weed legally. However, traveling to Canada to use cannabis is not as straightforward as it may seem, and there are many rules that you need to be accustomed to first so you can avoid getting into trouble.
Canada’s Cannabis Rules
This is where things start to become complicated, as the Canadian government has set its own rules on cannabis use, but individual provinces retain the right to tighten these rules further. We would advise that you check the specific laws for the Province or area that you are traveling to by checking out Canada’s government website.
The government’s minimum legal age for buying, possessing or using cannabis has been set at 18 years old, similar to tobacco laws. However, many provinces have increased this minimum age to 19, with Quebec opting for a higher minimum age of 21. When smoking cannabis, everyone present must also be over the legal age, so it should never be used around kids.
Where can I buy Cannabis?
Again this will vary depending on where you are traveling to, but the options will usually include government licenced stores, private stores or online sites. If you are struggling to find the location of your local stores or want to make an online purchase with a trusted retailer, then this handy directory has all the information you will need and you can check it out here. They even have a quick delivery service for ultimate convenience.
Tourists should be aware that they may struggle to buy cannabis online, as many stores will request delivery to a Canadian address and require the purchase to be completed using a Canadian credit card. While in Canada, tourists might find buying cannabis from local stores the easiest option.
The maximum amount of weed that you can legally possess is 30 grams of dried cannabis or the equivalent amount of a different form. Again, Provinces have the rights to decrease this amount, though the government website shows that any Provinces are yet to change this.
If you prefer homemade weed then the laws do allow personal possession of up to 4 homegrown plants.
What else do I need to know?
Where you can smoke cannabis varies greatly area to area, so this is information that you need to check out. All areas prohibit the use of cannabis in any places where kids may be present, such as parks. Though many places go further, and ban cannabis use on sidewalks, or even in all public areas. This means that certain areas may only legally allow the use of cannabis in your own home, or within designated cannabis smoking areas.
The laws on driving also vary depending on which Province you are visiting but no matter where you are, you should never drive after smoking weed. Drug-driving associated accidents are high, so you can be expected to be punished if caught. Each area will have its own road-side testing rules, so never assume that you will not be stopped.
Tourists entering Canada
If you are planning on visiting Canada then there are additional rules that you need to follow to ensure that you will be allowed to enter. You might be surprised to learn that even though cannabis use is legal across Canada, you are still not allowed to bring any with you across international borders.
While traveling through Canada, you should also be aware that you cannot travel across borders within the country while possessing cannabis. If you are caught, expect to be arrested. The only exception is if you have a valid permit.
Tourists leaving Canada
When the time comes to leave Canada, as you would expect, you are not permitted to take any cannabis with you across international borders. If you are found to be in possession of cannabis then expect to be found out by border control, as this is considered a serious criminal activity. It may also surprise you to find out that border control can deny anyone entry if they have used cannabis while in Canada, and some border control workers will ask the question.
Traveling to Canada can be the perfect opportunity to enjoy weed legally but before you arrive you need to check out all of the local rules for each place you are planning to visit. This will allow you to have a safe and enjoyable trip while avoiding fines and a criminal record.