Cannabis: The Whole Picture

Cannabis regulation is a big topic and hot topic for local governments. October 17, 2018 saw Canada’s Parliament legalize possession of recreational cannabis, moving the country even further away from cannabis prohibition that lasted from criminalization in 1923 to the Ontario Court of Appeal decision of R. v. Parker in 2000, if not later. Legalization of recreational cannabis is likely the biggest change to cannabis law in the past tumultuous two decades and this paper seeks to provide a big picture overview of the new federal and provincial rules as they apply to production, possession and distribution and consumption of cannabis and the scope for local government regulation under this framework.

For brevity, this paper will only provide general descriptions of the new enactments, and readers should consult the acts, regulations and their legal advisers to determine their precise application.

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