May 22, 2024

Canada is the first Group of Seven or G7 country to legalize recreational marijuana. Photo by City of Vancouver.

The Cannabis Act, also known as Bill C45, will come into effect across Canada on October 17. The Act allows the use of recreational cannabis under a legal framework that controls the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in the country subject to provincial or territorial restrictions.

 Under the federal Act, minimum conditions for possession of marijuana include a minimum age of 18 years old, a maximum of 30 grams at any one time, growing up to four cannabis plants per residence for personal use, purchase of cannabis and cannabis oil from a provincially-licensed retailer and production of cannabis products at home such as food and drinks. The commercial sale of edible products and concentrates from cannabis will be made legal about one year after the implementation of the Act.

The federal legal framework allows each province and territory to further restrict the use of cannabis and to develop, implement, maintain and enforce systems to oversee the distribution and sale of cannabis. For example, provinces and territories can raise the minimum wage from 18 years old (but not lower it), lower the personal possession limit, create additional rules for growing cannabis at home (a maximum lower than four plants) and restrict areas where cannabis can be consumed.

Below is a comparison table between the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario on rules on cannabis use. Maximum possession amount for these provinces based on dried cannabis is 30 grams.


Province Minimum age Distribution/purchase Growing plants at home per household Where consumption is not allowed
BC 19 Liquor Distribution Branch is wholesale distributor; Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch regulates licensing of and monitors non-medical cannabis retailers Maximum of four Where tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited including school properties, playgrounds, sports fields, skate parks and other places where children commonly gather; includes vehicles
Alberta 18 Licensed retail locations or online at Maximum of four Public places as determined by local government and municipalities
Manitoba 19 Delta 9 Cannabis, Canopy Growth Corp.; National Access Cannabis, Tokyo Smoke and a consortium led by Avana Canada of Ontario Prohibited (also in Quebec and Nunavut) Illegal in public places like parks, school grounds, streets and sidewalks, health care facilities
Saskatchewan 19 Online and retails stores regulated by the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority Maximum of four Prohibited in all public places
Ontario 19 Online through the Ontario Cannabis Store Maximum of four Illegal in the workplace, schools, playgrounds and spaces where children commonly gather, hospitals and health care facilities, publicly owned spaces


Managing Editor
Rachel Ramos-Reid started writing for magazines and newspapers when she was still a junior at the University of the Philippines’ Communication degree program majoring in Journalism. She continued to write in a public relations/corporate communications capacity in various private and government offices until moving out of the country in 1997 to work as Programme Officer for the arts and culture branch of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO-SPAFA) in Bangkok, Thailand. At the end of her term, Rachel found herself immigrating to Canada in the year 2000 and again searching for new beginnings. Currently she is the Executive Assistant to the North Island College’s Board of Governors in a part-time capacity.

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