Adults in Canada can now buy, carry, and share up to 30 grams (little more than an ounce) of dried cannabis at a time, which is roughly enough pot to roll 60 joints. However, the provinces and territories differ in terms of where you can use it and how it is sold. And don’t even think of attempting to cross the border with a joint.
If you’re planning a trip to Canada for mail order marijuana, here’s what you should know.
How old do I have to be to legally purchase something?
In much of Canada, including British Columbia, you must be 19 to buy, possess, or consume cannabis. In Alberta and Québec, the legal minimum age is 18, while Québec’s newly elected government has promised to raise it to 21. And everyone in your group must be of legal drinking age: sharing with minors is illegal.
What is the best place to get marijuana?
Despite the fact that the number of shops is likely to increase, the choices are still limited. In Ontario, where the government is pressing through with a tightly controlled private retail model set to begin April 1, no retail outlets have yet to operate.
So far, only one store has opened in British Columbia, in Kamloops.
A “province-by-province list of government-run, private, and online businesses where you may get your hands on some marijuana,” according to Global News, a Canadian television network. In Québec, about a dozen legal cannabis outlets have opened, including three in Montreal, the province’s largest city. According to Global News, at least three more are set to open later this month, including one in Montreal.
While marijuana can be purchased legally online and delivered to a Canadian home with a signature from someone of legal age, most purchases require a Canadian credit card. According to Heather Holmen, communications manager at Alberta Cannabis, the western province’s only legal, nonmedical online cannabis store, visitors from the United States must find “a physical brick and mortar store to make their purchase and most likely will have to pay cash, as most credit card clearing companies will not clear US cards for cannabis purchases.”
What should I budget for?
Cannabis sales are regulated by provinces and territories, and new internet shopping sites offer a vast variety of marijuana at a variety of costs.
The cost of a gram of Alberta Cannabis ranges from $9.24 to $14.95 Canadian dollars, or roughly $7 to $11.75, with pre-rolled joints starting at $6.64 Canadian dollars. Prices on Cannabis NB, New Brunswick’s legal online cannabis retailer, range from $8.99 per gram for loose buds of “Liiv Kinky Kush,” which have “an earthy, pine wood fragrance” matched by “a dash of pepper,” to $15.50 per gram for “Lemon Skunk,” according to the site.
Where can I get a cigarette?
Cannabis usage in public differs by jurisdiction. In Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon, where marijuana usage is prohibited in public, you can’t smoke it on the sidewalk.
You can smoke pot everywhere it’s allowed to smoke tobacco in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario, with the exception of autos and areas where minors are frequently present. In most cases, this means no smoking in parks, athletic fields, or near a school or playground.
Even if there are no children present, you must be at least 20 meters (66 feet) away from a school, playground, or day care center in Ontario. In addition, many Canadian hotels, like the Marriott and Omni hotel brands, are already smoke-free, which includes cannabis smoke.
Do not drive while smoking.
In Canada, driving while under the influence of cannabis — or any other narcotic — is still prohibited. If transported by car, cannabis must be kept sealed and out of reach of drivers and passengers, such as in the trunk. If you’re found driving while inebriated, you might face steep fines and even prison time.
Why not bring it back to the United States?
Maine, Washington, and Vermont, which share a border with Canada, are among the nine states and the District of Columbia that already allow recreational marijuana usage. But it doesn’t imply you may bring weed with you from one place to another.
Because the sale, possession, manufacturing, and distribution of marijuana are still illegal under federal law, travelers returning to the United States are prohibited from carrying cannabis with them. In an email, Stephanie Malin, a spokesperson for US Customs and Border Protection, wrote: “Individuals detected with marijuana may risk confiscation, penalties, arrest, or, in the case of aliens, rejection of admission into the United States.”
“Zero tolerance fines and penalties normally range from $500 to $5,000,” she said, noting that every inspection is different. Similarly, bringing cannabis into Canada is prohibited.
Last but not least
Do your study before crossing the border to smoke, as each Canadian province has its own webpage dedicated to its own individual cannabis laws and regulations.
Another alternative is to hire someone to help you arrange your trip. Canada High Tours, based in Toronto, offers two-hour packages that start at $50 Canadian and feature “a variety of unique options for respectful and safe cannabis usage.” Canna Tours, based in Victoria, British Columbia, helps travelers find “cannabis-friendly” lodging.