There’s been a lot of buzz in the cannabis community around July 1, 2018. Ever since bill C-45 was put forward, Canadian cannabis consumers have looked forward to July 1 as the start of a new era of legal recreational marijuana, to be celebrated in tandem with Canada’s birthday. And with the passage of the Cannabis Act by the Senate, and royal assent granted, which was the final stage in the legislative process, legal recreational weed is tantalizingly close.
So, what is happening on July 1st for cannabis consumers? Long story short: nothing.
Due to the parliamentary debate and proposed amendments by the Senate, lifting of the century-old ban on recreational marijuana has been pushed to October 17, 2018. Recently, the Senate proposed over 40 amendments to bill C-45, mainly with the view of keeping marijuana out of the hands of youth, setting stricter standards around advertising and product promotion, and creating laws and legislation around cannabis-related offenses. The debate around these amendments understandably took time, and ultimately, the government rejected 13 of the proposed amendments. Although the course of bill C-45 was relatively smooth after that, having passed on June 19, 2018 with a vote of 52 to 29, the back and forth left little time for provincial governments to implement the necessary changes by July 1. This new Cannabis Day rollout allows for proper training of law enforcement officials, and the establishment of proper supply chains for legal weed. This includes licensed producers and distributors.
Here’s a quick look at a few of the rules that will come into effect in BC. As of October 17, 2018:
- Adults 19 years of age or older will be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place
- Home cultivation of up to four marijuana plants per household will be allowed, with a maximum plant height of 100 centimeters. However, the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property
- Home-growing is prohibited in residences that are also used as a daycare
- Cannabis may not be smoked or vaped in any areas where tobacco is currently banned
- Cannabis may not be smoked or vaped in vehicles, or any areas where youth commonly gather, such as parks and sports fields
Want to know more? The BC provincial government has a fantastic rule write-up here.
It’s important to remember that legal weed is still a budding industry in BC, and Cannabis Day is just the kickoff. Some visible signs of legalization will come into effect immediately, like the updated Motor Vehicle Act to help deter driving while high, in addition to the free and open celebration of BC’s weed-positive culture. Others, like physical provincially-run weed stores, changes to advertising and promotion, and the legal entanglements involved in pardoning people for pot-related crimes, may take a little longer to filter in and settle. One thing’s for sure, though, the future of legal marijuana in BC is blazingly bright! Although Canadians won’t be celebrating Cannabis Day on Canada Day, October 17 will be a historic day nonetheless.