All your questions about legal recreational cannabis in N.L. answered
What you can, and can't, do when it comes to cannabis as of Oct. 17
On Wednesday, Canadians enter the era of legalized marijuana. But that isn't licence to light up just anywhere. Many of the laws around its use vary from province to province.
CBC Newfoundland and Labrador asked for your questions around the rules, regulations, dos and don'ts around all things cannabis in this province, and here are the answers.
Where can I buy it?
There will be 22 retail stores ready to sell marijuana Oct. 17.
The stores are run privately — for example, 10 of them will be run by Loblaw, which operates under the Dominion banner in Newfoundland and Labrador — but their products are controlled and regulated by the NLC.
On Oct. 12, the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation released a comprehensive list of the retail outlets expected to open as of legalization, provided they pass final approval. But more stores are in the works: for example, Canopy Growth's Happy Valley-Goose Bay Tweed store plans to open mid-December.
The NLC will also be selling it online.
You need to be 19 in order to buy, consume or possess any cannabis product.
When can I buy it?
Sooner than you might realize. The NLC has set operating hours for all stores, ruling that retailers can sell between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 a.m., seven days a week. Stores can pick what hours they want to be open, as long as it's within those confines.
Several stores are taking advantage of that ruling to open as of 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 17, although they will have to close again by 2 a.m.
What products will I be able to buy?
Cannabis will be sold in dried flower, oil, and capsule form, in three basic grades: economy, midstream and premium. The exact products available will depend on what store you go to.
Tweed, the retail arm of Ontario-based Canopy Growth, advertises various strains of cannabis on its website — with names ranging from Boaty McBoatface to Balmoral — that will be sold in the three different forms, but what exactly will be in its stores on Wednesday is still unknown.
Ten retail outlets, like Tweed, will be standalone stores with displays of cannabis and its accessories. Other outlets will operate within larger retail stores, akin to smoke shops that keep products in locked, plain cabinets, inaccessible to minors.
Edible products, like pot brownies or gummies, will not be legal as of Oct. 17, and therefore not sold in stores. The federal government has pledged to legalize edibles within a year.
However, you are allowed to make and consume your own edibles.
How much will it cost?
The price per gram will be between $6 and $13.
Those prices are set by the NLC and will remain the same, whether you buy it in store or online.
How much can I buy?
You can buy up to 30 grams at a time.
Could stores run out of marijuana?
It's possible. The NLC expects demand to be high and availability of various products to be fairly limited at the beginning, a problem that's expected to be encountered across Canada.
Where is all this cannabis coming from?
The provincial government signed a deal back in 2017 with Canopy Growth to provide Newfoundland and Labrador with product and build a production plant.
That plant is currently under construction in St. John's and on track to open in 2019. In the meantime, Canopy is supplying the province with cannabis grown in Ontario.
But the Canopy deal has recently come under fire from the Opposition Progressive Conservatives. The deal was made without going through any public tendering or request for proposals, and as part of it Canopy won't have to pay up to $40 million in taxes.
The Liberals say that money will come back to the province via income tax in the jobs the plant will create, but the PCs say the province shouldn't have been so quick to offer a subsidy for such a potentially lucrative industry.
Weed, in the wider world
Can I smoke cannabis outside like a cigarette?
If you think you can light up a joint on the sidewalk like a cigarette, think again. In Newfoundland and Labrador, cannabis will be allowed to be consumed only inside private dwellings, or in yards attached to those dwellings. Using marijuana in a public place is not allowed.
Medical marijuana users may continue to consume cannabis outdoors in public, in places where smoking and vaping are permitted.
Can I smoke in my car?
No, even if that car is parked. That rule also applies to medical marijuana users as well.
The only exception is if the vehicle is being used as a dwelling — like an RV —and that vehicle is parked and being used as a dwelling at the time. But if the RV is in a campground, it must abide by rules set by the campground's owner, who has the authority to allow or prohibit cannabis use on their property.
How much can I transport?
Thirty grams per person is the maximum amount allowed out in public.
In cars and other motorized vehicles, cannabis must be stored in a sealed container and placed somewhere that neither the driver nor any passengers can access it.
Remember, it's illegal to take marijuana with you across the border.
Cannabis at home
Can you smoke cannabis outside your house, like you can a cigarette?
Yes, but only if you're in your own yard, porch or outside property attached to your home.
Can a person use cannabis, for medical or recreational reasons, in a residence with children present?
Yes. While marijuana's effects are particularly harmful to children and youth and should be kept away from them at all times, the new legislation does not make it illegal for an adult to consume cannabis in the same private residence as children.
Health Canada also warns people not to smoke or vape marijuana around children.
The Cannabis Act includes new criminal offences in regard to giving or selling cannabis to youth that are accompanied by punishments of up to 14 years in jail.
How many plants can I grow at home?
How much cannabis am I allowed to have at home?
As much as you want. If you've got a great green thumb, you're in luck. The 30-gram limit only applies once you are outside a private dwelling.
Can a landlord say whether you can use cannabis in your apartment or not?
Yes. Landlords can decide to restrict the use and growth of cannabis in their rental units if they choose. The province's rental agreement form has already been amended to include that as an option, similar to tobacco.
The landlord can also dictate what's allowed in the common areas of rental buildings, which includes its external property. So while you may be able to step onto the porch of a non-smoking apartment to have a cigarette, you might not be able to do the same with a joint. You'll have to check with your landlord.
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