In October 2018, the Canadian Cannabis Act came into effect, legalizing the substance on a federal scale. The Act established a strict framework in which cannabis would be controlled across Canada. This includes rules for the sale, possession, production, and distribution of all marijuana products.
Why Was The Cannabis Act Established?
The legalization of cannabis was a highly debated subject for decades before October of 2018. Ultimately, the Cannabis Act was established in order to ensure that the legalization was implemented carefully and safely.
- First, the Cannabis Act ensured that adults receive quality-controlled products. The sale of products was determined on a provincial level, but would be held to certain standards across the country.
- Second, the Act ensured that it would be effectively regulated to prevent underage use. This included updating laws regarding substance use, as well as public use.
- Finally, and most importantly, the Act aimed to displace the illegal growth and sale of cannabis that existed.
The Limits of Legal Cannabis
To understand what constitutes illegal marijuana activities in Canada, one must first understand the limitations of the Cannabis Act. Note that these regulations may differ slightly depending on the province/territory you are located in.
- You may have a maximum of 30 grams of dried cannabis in public.
- Each residence, not person, may have 4 plants grown from seeds obtained legally.
- You must have a valid sales license from Health Canada to sell products.
Exceeding or violating these limits constitutes illegal activity and can result in fines or criminal charges. The most pressing issue, though, is when legal cannabis is brought into illegal domains.
Illegal Operations In Canada
Despite the legalization of cannabis, and the subsequent creation of a legal market, the illegal market is still present. Most notably, this includes illegal operations dealing between Canada and the United States.
Criminal organizations, or even smaller criminal “enterprises”, have been buying Canadian land and establishing illegal operations. These individuals purchase agricultural property and secure a license to grow medical-grade THC & CBD, but sell a portion illegally.
“Project Woolwich”, an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police, dismantled a Niagara region farm caught in this situation. Police seized shipments of marijuana headed for the US sent by this group. The OPP have also attributed large shipments sent from British Columbia to Ontario to this group.
In total, 15 individuals have been charged with 135 offenses.
Cannabis for Other Drugs or Valuables
Illegal trafficking of cannabis is not a one-sided crime, though. Though THC products are commonly sold for cash, criminal organizations frequently trade products for other valuable items, including other drugs. In “Project Woolwich”, the 15 individuals were found with cocaine, as well as firearms, vehicles, jewelry, and millions in cash.
Keep in mind, these illegal sales are not purely with the USA. In fact, some people may unknowingly purchase from the black market in Canada. To prevent this, Canadians are encouraged to verify that the store they are buying from is Health Canada licensed. Additionally, any package with a broken or tampered seal could be sourced illegally. Such products should be returned for safety and security.
If you believe you have been wrongly charged for a cannabis related offense, contact Canada Criminal Lawyer. Our network connects you with a lawyer near you who can provide either legal aid or guidance for your case. Call toll free at (855) 585-1777 today.