Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/10/2018 (327 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Greetings, readers! Herb here, with our first cannabis advice column of the new legal era.
The Leaf News had lots of new visitors during the past week, and those visitors had lots of queries about cannabis legalization. In today's column, I'll do my best to answer as many of them as I can.
An anonymous submission form is also available at the bottom of this page. Please include an email address if you'd like to be notified when I answer your question.
Dear Herb: Do I need a licence for when I grow four cannabis plants in my house for personal use? — Good to Grow
Dear Good to Grow: Nope! As long as you live in a jurisdiction where home cultivation is allowed (not Manitoba and not Quebec) the Cannabis Act allows you to grow four cannabis plants in your home without requiring any kind of special licence.
Dear Herb: Can I grow four cannabis plants in my backyard garden in Lethbridge, Alberta? — Rocky Mountain HighAdvertisement
Dear Rocky: Yes, Alberta law permits you to grow four cannabis plants on your property (although I suspect you won't be growing anything outdoors until spring). Here's some relevant information on home cannabis cultivation from the government of Alberta.
Dear Herb: Can I ship weed to my friend that lives on the other side of Canada as a gift? — Pot in a Package
Dear Package: As long as the weed in question was legally obtained, there's nothing to prevent you from sharing up to 30 grams with a friend. Canada Post says you can mail cannabis as long as it's in odour-proof, tamper-proof and leak-proof inner and outer packaging, adn that outer packaging can't hint what's in the package. See also this previous edition of Dear Herb.
Dear Herb: Who do we talk to in the government of Alberta regarding the possible set up of an online cannabis store? — Aspiring Shopkeep
Dear Shopkeep: Hit up your pals at the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission. The information you'll need to get started, including applications forms and manuals, is all available on their website.
Dear Herb: In Ontario, can I possess weed that was not bought from the Ontario Cannabis Store? — Uncertain in Upper Canada
Dear Uncertain: Good question. You've probably heard that the Cannabis Act makes it illegal to possess "illicit cannabis," which is cannabis that didn't come from a legal source, such as government-licensed stores or a legally-compliant personal home garden.
Since the online Ontario Cannabis Store is currently the only way to legally purchase non-medical cannabis in Ontario, and since growing cannabis at home has only been legal for one week — not nearly enough time to complete a crop — it seems reasonable to infer that any non-medical cannabis in Ontario that didn't come from the OCS would likely be illegal to possess at this point.
That said, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Right now, it seems to me like police in Ontario are far more concerned with shutting down unlicensed dispensaries than with checking individual citizens' weed to see if it's legal or illegal.
Dear Herb: What companies or people are available to grow your own four plants for you? — Seeking Garden Assistant
Dear Seeking: None that I know of, at least not legally. See this previous edition of Dear Herb for an explanation. Basically, home growing has to be done at home — I suppose you could hire someone to come to your house and help you out.
Dear Herb: If I buy weed in Newfoundland while on vacation, can I bring it back with me to Ontario? — Coastal Cannabis
Dear Coastal: Yes. As long as you're carrying no more than 30 grams of legally purchased cannabis, and as long as your route back to Ontario doesn't cross any international borders, you're absolutely allowed to travel with it within Canada. I'd recommend you keep it in the original store packaging as you travel.
Dear Herb: Can I sell cannabis from my home? — Make Money from Home
Dear Make Money: Not without breaking the law, you can't. Under the Cannabis Act, only licensed retailers may sell cannabis. Selling cannabis without government authorization is a federal offence that could result in a range of penalties, including prison time.
Dear Herb: I would like to grow four cannabis plants in my house. I either want to buy my own genetics from Holland, or get clones from friends. What I'm trying to figure out is, what is the punishment for being caught with four unlicensed clones? — Weighing the Risks
Dear Weighing: The answer you seek lies in Part 1 of the Cannabis Act. See "Production" under "Criminal Activities."
That section prohibits growing "a cannabis plant that is from a seed or plant material that (you) know is illicit cannabis." (Illegal clones, or genetics illegally imported from Holland, would both count as illicit cannabis in this case.)
The penalty for doing so would be the same as many other penalties in the Cannabis Act — a fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months imprisonment, or imprisonment of up to 14 years. (I believe the harsher penalty would likely be reserved for a much more serious offence than growing four illegally-sourced clones.)
If you want to grow cannabis at home with absolutely no fear of legal consequences, you'll have to source your seeds or clones from a government-licensed retailer.
Dear Herb: Why would anyone want to pay $9 plus for a gram when you can buy it on line for as little as $60 an ounce with a minimum order of $300, shipped to your post office? — I Don't Get It
Dear Don't Get It: Maybe they're afraid of breaking the law by ordering illegally online. Maybe they like the idea of government-regulated cannabis. Maybe they're not aware of illegal online dispensaries. Maybe they rarely use cannabis, and only need a small amount. Why don't you ask them?
Got a question about cannabis? Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he'll look into it.
First, please check this list of questions already answered by Herb. Then, email email@example.com, or to submit anonymously, fill out the form below. Please include an email address if you'd like to be notified when Herb answers your question: