Cannabis is now legal in Canada, here’s what that means for you…

legalized weed in vancouver

Photo by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

It’s official! After years of protests, false promises, thousands of illegal pot shops, and the notorious 420 festival, cannabis is officially legal today – October 17, 2018.

Whether you plan on smoking up or not, this will have a pretty major impact on life in Canada as we know it.  If you have questions about what legalization may mean for you, whether you’re a local, visitor, or just curious, read on to discover some quick facts for legal weed in Vancouver.

cannabis legalization in vancouver

Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

Each province has a different set of regulations surrounding the consumption and purchase of cannabis. We’re going to focus on the legalization in British Columbia, where “BC Bud” has been a household name for years.

Who can purchase cannabis?

BC’s minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis will be set at 19 years old. This is the same minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and with the age of majority in B.C.

Where can you purchase it?

If you are of legal age, you can purchase non-medical cannabis through privately run retail stores or government-operated retail stores and online sales.

For now, you can purchase legal cannabis online or in Kamloops at the only government-run BC Cannabis Store that will be open on time for legalization day. B.C. residents will be able to order legal pot through the provincial government’s online portal at

More than 100 private store applications have been submitted to the province, which must then be vetted by local governments, who are also creating special licences for the stores.

Is it legal to purchase cannabis if you are a visitor to Canada?

Yes, anyone (above the age of 19) can purchase recreational weed in Canada. However, you can definitely NOT take cannabis across the border, whether you are entering or leaving. This includes any amount, even if it’s for medical purposes. If you are a visitor, it is important to read up on your local laws prior to consuming any marijuana in Canada.

How much can I purchase?

You are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of recreational marijuana in a public place – that’s approximately the amount of what you could fit in a beer can.

Where can I smoke it?

Similar to tobacco laws, you can’t smoke in many public places around Vancouver. That includes any indoor public place, playground, schoolyard, vehicle, hospital, bus shelter and patio is off limits, but you still have some options; sidewalks (as long as they’re not adjacent to a school), balconies, designated hotel rooms and private property are among them.

Certain locations have made “designated smoking areas”, including YVR airport, campsites in National Parks, and the University of British Columbia.

Have more questions about legalization in Canada? Take a look through the BC Government’s official website for further details.

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