The Cannabis Act: Here’s what you need to know

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Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2019-06-14

This page has new facts on:

  • edible cannabis
  • cannabis extracts
  • cannabis topicals

The final regulations for these new cannabis products will come into force on October 17, 2019.

Updated translations to the alternative languages below will be available soon.

The Cannabis Act is designed to better protect the health and safety of Canadians, to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, and to keep profits out of the hands of criminals and organized crime.

  • To buy, possess or use cannabis and cannabis products, you must be of legal age (18 or 19 or older, depending on your province or territory).
  • The Cannabis Act includes strict penalties for selling or providing cannabis and cannabis products to youth under the legal age.
  • You can possess up to 30 grams of legal dried cannabis, or equivalent in non-dried form, in public.
  • Legal cannabis products (except products with less than 0.3% THC or no THC) have an excise stamp on the package in different colours for each province and territory.
  • It's illegal to take cannabis and cannabis products, including those with CBD, across the Canadian border, whether you're leaving or coming to Canada. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not.
  • In late 2019, edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals will begin to be available for legal purchase. These products will be in addition to cannabis products already available for purchase, such as dried cannabis and cannabis oil.
  • If you choose to use cannabis, know the health effects and how to lower the risks to your health and safety. Like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis has risks, especially for youth and young adults.
  • It can take up to two hours to begin to feel the effects of cannabis that you eat or drink, and up to four hours to feel the full effects, unlike the effects of smoking or vaping cannabis, which can be felt within minutes. Cannabis affects everyone differently. Even if its effects are delayed, you can still be impaired.
  • Don't drive high or work impaired. Cannabis can impair your ability to operate vehicles or equipment safely. Driving while impaired by cannabis or any other drug is a serious criminal offence.
  • If you possess cannabis, store it away from children, youth and pets. Be especially careful with edible cannabis, which can be mistaken for regular food or drink.
  • Under the Cannabis Act, access to cannabis for medical purposes continues to be provided to those who are authorized by their healthcare practitioner.

To learn more about the Cannabis Act and the health effects of cannabis, visit Canada.ca/Cannabis or call 1 800 O-Canada.

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