On October 17th, recreational use of marijuana will be legal in Canada. But some people are worried that there won’t be enough federally licensed weed shops to meet demand on opening day. The government says not to worry. There will be plenty of weed to go around on October 17th.
When weed becomes legal in Canada there will be slight differences in regulation depending on the province where you live. Provinces in the east like Ontario and Quebec will only allow people to buy weed legally at province-run shops, similar to laws in Alabama and Utah where only states are allowed to sell alcohol in stores. But provinces in the west, like British Columbia, will allow entrepreneurs to open up their own weed shops.
The reason that people are concerned there might not be enough weed to go around is that federal licensing will be required for people to grow pot and, as of now, those licenses won’t be available until October 17th. The government is assuring people that there will be enough weed, but it’s still not clear how that will work.
The CBC spoke to Canadian health officials who said they’re confident about supply, without explaining how it will all pan out:
When asked about supply, officials speaking on background said they’re pretty confident there will be enough cannabis for opening day.
According to the regulations, license applications will be assessed on merit and a record of previous drug-related offenses, including trafficking, won’t automatically disqualify an applicant. So having a criminal background won’t necessarily prevent Canadians from getting into the industry.
As the CBC notes, weed legalization doesn’t mean that anything goes. The law states that people can buy fresh weed, dried weed, cannabis oils, as well as plants and seeds. But there’s a 30 gram limit for the amount you can carry in public. And any weed products that are supposed to be “administered orally, rectally, vaginally or topically” will be limited to 10 milligrams of THC.
Also, any cannabis “intended to be used in the human eye” is strictly banned. What a nanny state, eh?
Driving while stoned will also be illegal. Canadian public health officials have launched a “Don’t Drive High” campaign to deter impaired driving. You can face jail time and heavy fines if you’re caught driving under the influence.
It will also still be illegal to enter or exit Canada with weed. Even if you’re traveling from, say, Washington State (where recreational marijuana use is legal) to British Columbia after October 17th, you can’t take your weed with you. Canada is also warning its citizens that other countries might not let you visit if you’re involved in the legal marijuana business.
How will Canada meet demand on October 17th? That’s still unclear. But Canada is telling everyone to chill.
“Health Canada will [soon] be giving license and exemption holders detailed information and guidance on specific transition requirements, processes and procedures,” Health Canada’s website says.
The latest regulations and guidance will be published on July 11th, so just hold your horses. There should be enough weed for everyone. And if there aren’t enough legal dispensaries, something tells me you’ll still be able to find it somewhere.