Things to know about cannabis legalization

With the legalization of cannabis occurring across Canada today, it is important for everyone to be clear on what the new rules are for people in Saskatchewan.

Under provincial cannabis legislation, the following rules apply:

  • The minimum age for non-medicinal cannabis consumption is 19.
  • Consuming all forms of non-medicinal cannabis in public spaces is prohibited.  The rules also apply to schools and daycares.  Individuals can only carry up to 30 grams of dried or equivalent cannabis in public.
  • Some of the province’s 51 permitted retailers will open for business today.  Customers must be 19 years of age to enter the establishment and/or purchase cannabis.  Proof of age must be shown to make a purchase.
  • There is zero tolerance for all drug-impaired driving in Saskatchewan.  It remains illegal to drive while impaired in Saskatchewan whether by alcohol or any drug, including cannabis.  Penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis may include immediate license suspension, vehicle seizure for up to 60 days, and licence suspension for up to five years upon conviction of drug-impaired driving.  These laws apply to everyone, including medicinal users of cannabis.
  • The sale of edible cannabis products remains illegal, pending additional federal legislation; however, homemade edibles produced from legally purchased or grown cannabis will be allowed for personal consumption.
  • Possession of any amount of non- medicinal cannabis by a minor is prohibited. Possession of smaller amounts by a minor will be addressed primarily through ticketing and seizure of the cannabis.  Possession of more than five grams will be a criminal offence subject to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  • There are a variety of fines in place for provincial cannabis offences that range from $200 to $2,250.  In more serious instances, individuals or corporations could be charged with a provincial offence and face fines ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 and imprisonment of up to six months.
  • Home production in Saskatchewan is limited to four plants per household for personal use only.
  • Renters and condo owners who wish to use or grow cannabis in their homes should make sure they understand the specifics of their rental agreements and condominium bylaws.  Some rental agreements and condominium bylaws may restrict or prohibit cannabis.
  • Possessing, consuming or distributing cannabis in a vehicle could result in a $300 fine.  Cannabis cannot be used in a vehicle and can only be transported from one lawful place (store, home) to another lawful place (home, another’s home).  This is consistent with the rules already in place for alcohol and vehicles.
  • Cannabis is allowed on campsites, except when the minister responsible issues an order prohibiting it.  This is similar to prohibitions on alcohol in campgrounds during the May long weekend.  You may only have cannabis within the individual campsite.

The Saskatchewan government said it will be monitoring the long-term effects of the legalization of cannabis and the effectiveness of the provincial cannabis legislation.