Canada’s New Cannabis Laws and Regulations

Cannabis Laws in Canada

Cannabis Regulations regarding cannabis, process of legalization, cannabis in provinces and territories, and driving laws.

As set out in the Cannabis Regulations:

  • licences will be required for:
    • cultivating and processing cannabis
    • sale of cannabis for medical purposes
    • analytical testing of and research with cannabis
  • permits will be required to import or export cannabis for:
    • scientific or medical purposes, or
    • industrial hemp
  • licence holders will be subject to strict physical and personnel security requirements
  • plain packaging will be required for cannabis products:
    • the Regulations set out strict requirements for:
      • logos
      • colours
      • branding
    • cannabis products must also be labelled with:
      • mandatory health warnings
      • standardized cannabis symbol
      • specific information about the product
  • access to cannabis for medical purposes will continue to be provided for patients who need it:
    • the Regulations will substantively incorporate the current rules for access to cannabis for medical purposes, as set out in the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations
    • certain changes have been made to create consistency with rules for non-medical use of cannabis, to improve patient access and to reduce the risk of abuse of the system
  • manufacturers of prescription drugs containing cannabis, while primarily subject to the Food and Drugs Act and its Regulations, will also be subject to certain regulatory requirements set out in the Cannabis Regulations.


Compromise of UN treaties helps legitimize 420 industry

As Canada moves forward with Bill C-45, federal legislation grapples with  questions concerning Canada’s position relative to the UN drug control conventions.  Legalization would make Canada the first G7 country to adopt legal adult recreational cannabis use.   This compromise allows for the majority of public opposition to prohibition while balancing federal non compliance to UN treaties, as Canada moves forward with federal legalization of non-medicinal cannabis in 2018.

International political factors historically impose ‘suppression conventions’ that underpin a range of prohibition regimes in international law, thereby limiting market growth and development in fringe industry.  These conventions may become questionable in time and therefore ought to be open to review and re-interpretation.

Policy Report 7 by the joint committees of GDPO, WOLA and TNI advocate Inter se  modification of the UN drug control conventions to facilitate cannabis regulation. This policy procedure would help to study, shape and characterize future drug control system shifts within the legal boundaries of international law, a modification facilitating a solid legal basis from which to learn how different models of the industry operate within acceptable international policy, rather than those that oppose or oppress.

Within new federal policy and legislation, Canadian banks such as TD Bank, have announced they would consider participating in the cannabis sector once recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada later this year.  This marks a major step towards legitimacy and the acceptability criteria used to determine a tolerable level of risk for financing a market; one example of how government regulation helps affect and promote new industry and economic development.