Hi friends :)
Disclaimer: This is not a political post. Nor is it a rant. I am also still not high as I write it (if you are finding yourself wondering).
Also, please don’t take what I am about to write as ultimate truth. That is correct, I am hoping you will google the heck out of everything I put forth in this little blog series on Cannabis in Canada.
I am NOT an expert, just someone speaking about Canadian Cannabis issues.
PLEASE for the love of all things holy (including the plant) question everything I say. And EVERYTHING you hear in the news and EVERYTHING the big companies with hoards of cash are about to lay on you (be aware, really really really really conscious of how and what is being SOLD to you).
This particular blog post is for those interested in cannabis legalization and how we got here. It is a VERY Brief History of Cannabis legalization in Canada:
It may come as a surprise to some people that Cannabis has been “legal” in Canada for about 17years....YES! That is true. BUT this legalization was for cannabis for medical purposes AND it pertained to plants patients grew FOR THEMSELVES.
These beginnings stages of legalization did not happen over night. It took the lobbying of many patients and advocates many years to bring and end to Cannabis prohibition in Canada (if you are interested the world wide web has many detailed accounts all about the history of Cannabis in Canada I encourage you to read more about it :)
Some major highlights that have happened since I have been a grown up are:
2001: The Canadian government enacted the first rendition of the country’s medical marijuana law, the Marihuana for Medical Access Regulations(MMAR), allowing licensed patients to grow their own cannabis or access it from licensed growers. Note that this legislation only allowed patients to consume cannabis that they grew themselves. They were definitely not allowed to buy, sell or trade with any other patients (side bar: a lot of the Master Growers you will find in the industry today started this way, and it really is astonishing how they become so well versed in growing by only growing for themselves wink wink). If you want to learn more about the MMAR here is a helpful link: http://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-2001-227/page-1.html
2013: Enter the commercial production of Cannabis for Medical purposes. The government implemented the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), which created a commercially licensed industry for the production and distribution of medicinal cannabis. This is when the licensed producers (LPs) were born. BUT they kinda messed up and made it so patients could no long grow their own plants BOOO.
TWO VERY IMPORTANT COURT CASES WERE:
2015: Owen Smith, a cannabis baker, was charged with the possession of cannabis-infused cookies. He appealed the charge, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that restricting legal access to only dried cannabis flower violated the constitutional rights of medical patients. Licensed producers were now allowed to produce cannabis oils and patients were allowed to possess and alter different forms of cannabis.
2016: Neil Allard challenged the MMPR for suspending personal production licenses from patients, requiring patients to access cannabis solely through licensed producers. The Federal Court of Canada ruled in Allard’s favor, and revised the law yet again with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).
This was a really big deal. Now patients could grow AND buy from licensed producers. Yipee. It also really started to highlight that giant ball rolling toward the legalization of recreational cannabis.
2017: The Government of Canada proposed the Cannabis Act, which would legalize the possession, use, cultivation, and purchase of limited amounts of cannabis by adults 18 years of age and older. On June 19, 2018 the Senate passed that bill and it went for Royal assent on June 21, 2018. It will come into affect on October 17, 2019.
Here are two very helpful links if you to see what will be coming at you this fall:
SO now what?
Well, you can still get a prescription at one of the many clinics and sign up with a Licensed producer, here is that list of LPs again:
Or you can wait a couple months and buy some recreational weed at a Cannabis store in your neighborhood. Last time I checked Alberta would have the most amount of stores per capita at a whopping 220 stores to service our cannabis needs (Albertans love their weed I guess?)
Here is what you will be allowed to buy/have (in case you skipped reading those links I provided above):
Upon coming into force of the Cannabis Act, adults in Canada will be allowed to legally engage in the following activities:
- Purchase fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants and seeds for cultivation from either a provincially or territorially regulated retailer, or where this option is not available, directly from a federally licensed producer;
- Possess up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis or equivalent in public;
- Share up to 30 grams or equivalent of legal cannabis and legal cannabis products with other adults;
- Cultivate up to 4 plants in their own residence (4 plants total per household); and
- Alter cannabis at home in order to prepare varying types of cannabis products (e.g., edibles) for personal use provided that no dangerous organic solvents are used in the process.
And to conclude here is link to a VERY funny video that about sums up the new situation, have a good laugh:
Make sure to stay tuned to the next blog in the series about the INDUSTRY, yes that is right...I will talk a bit about the money makers in this big cannabis scene.
*As always: if you spot a typo in this blog please email it to me and I will send you a promocode ha!