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Cannabis and Cannabis products were banned in Canada starting from the early 1920s until July 30, 2001 when it could only be consumed medicinally for health reasons. Then the federal Cannabis Act came into effect on October 17, 2018 and made it legal to possess, consume and even grow.

It was on this day that the federal government announced that the use of recreational marijuana would no longer be in violation of criminal laws. This legalization comes with a regulation similar to that of alcohol in Canada, in which it limits the amount of home production, distribution, consumption and sale.

This legalization removed cannabis possession for private, personal use from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. There are stiff penalties and punishment for those selling and distributing marijuana to minors or for driving a motor vehicle while under marijuana intoxication impairment.

With the legalization of marijuana, as of January 2019, on-line sales of cannabis for recreational use were well underway all across Canada in the federal as well as provincial governments. These days, stores selling Cannabis products are offered in most provinces, that are operated either by private companies or by the provincial governement.

And while it is currently legal, marijuana still remains controlled, meaning it is only sold at a government licensed retail store outlet and produced by growers as licensed producers.

The government defines the legislation pertaining “Persons aged 18 or older can possess up to 30 grams of dried or equivalent non-dried form” in public. Adults are also allowed to make cannabis-infused food and drinks “as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products”. Every household may grow no more than 4 Cannabis plants. Currently, Quebec and Manitoba have not implemented this limitation aspect.

Every province sets its provincieal policies and methodologies for retail stores. Canadians travelling to other provinces may carry up to 30 grams of Cananbis with them, although not internationally. Of course, as is the case with alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs remains illegal. It was announced on May 1, 2019, that Canada would introduce an excise tax on all THC products (the chemical responsible for most of Cannabis’ psychological “stoner” effects), and introduce three new product classes for recreational sale: cannabis extracts, cannabis topicals and cannabis edibles.

More recently, as of August 2019, the federal government still prohibited the sale of edibles, such as brownies or cookies. It was anticipated that by October of 2019, such products would become legal but with imposed restrictions. The goal and objective of this was to not authorize any variety of such products that would be “appealing to young persons”, like candy such as the popular sweet, gelatin THC infused “gummies”.

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I sure hope that more places will consider the legalization of weed so that I can smoke it when I travel around.

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