Term: Cannabis in Canada
Cannabis in Canada is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Medicinal use of cannabis was legalized nationwide under conditions outlined in the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, later superseded by the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, issued by Health Canada and seed, grain, and fibre production was permitted under licence by Health Canada. The federal Cannabis Act came into effect on 17 October 2018 and made Canada the second country in the world, after Uruguay, to formally legalize the cultivation, possession, acquisition and consumption of cannabis and its by-products. Canada is the first G7 and G20 nation to do so.
Cannabis was originally prohibited in 1923 until regulated medical cannabis became legal on 30 July 2001. In response to popular opinion, the legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use (Cannabis Act, Bill C-45) was passed by the House of Commons of Canada on 27 November 2017; it passed second reading in the Senate of Canada on 22 March 2018. On 18 June 2018, the House passed the bill with most, but not all, of the Senate's amendments. The Senate accepted this version of the Act the following day.
The federal government announced that recreational use of cannabis would no longer violate criminal law as of 17 October 2018. This legalization comes with regulation similar to that of alcohol in Canada, limiting home production, distribution, consumption areas and sale times. The process removed cannabis possession for personal consumption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act; while implementing taxation and stronger punishments for those convicted of either supplying cannabis to minors, or of impairment while driving a motor vehicle.
As of January 2019, online sales of cannabis for recreational use were well underway across Canada, via the provincial or territorial governments. Most provinces also had storefront operations selling cannabis, either operated by the government or private enterprise.