What is the Cannabis Act?
The Cannabis Act is legislation that made recreational cannabis use legal in Canada. The Cannabis Act creates a legal and regulatory framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis in Canada.
What is Legal Under the Cannabis Act?
The Cannabis Act permits an adult aged 19 or older to:
- Purchase cannabis products from an authorized retailer
- Possess up to 30 grams of legally purchased dried cannabis (or the equivalent amount of non-dried cannabis)
- Consume cannabis in authorized locations
- Grow up to four cannabis plants per household
- Share up to 30 grams of legally purchased cannabis with other adults
What is Illegal Under the Cannabis Act?
It remains illegal for anyone without the necessary authorization to:
- Possess illicit cannabis, or possess more than 30 grams of legal cannabis (or equivalent) in a public place
- Sell or promote the sale of cannabis
- Sell or supply cannabis products to minors
- Produce or grow cannabis, other than four cannabis plants per household
- Use cannabis while operating/in a vehicle or boat, or in other locations such as public places, schools and workplaces
- Import or export cannabis
What Penalties exist Under the Cannabis Act?
For minor offences, police officers have the option of issuing a ticket. This typically results in a fine which, if paid within the required time frame, will conclude the matter. You will not incur a criminal record.
More serious offences can, however, lead to an arrest and the laying of charges. This would bring your case to court. The Cannabis Act permits courts to impose a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.
How Can I Beat my Cannabis Act Charge?
If you are charged with an offence under the Cannabis Act, there are various defences available. It may be possible to rely on one of the following defences:
Unlawful search/seizure: Police officers must comply with the regulations regarding the search and seizure of evidence. If your property is unlawfully searched, the evidence is inadmissible in court.
Lack of possession: The Crown must prove that you had knowledge and control in order to prove possession. In many cases, you can argue lack of one or both elements. If you are successful in raising a reasonable doubt, you will be acquitted.
There may be several potential defences to your Cannabis Act charge. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Cannabis lawyers by calling 416-613-0416 to discuss your charge, the facts of your case, and potential defences.