Canadians can now add marijuana to their legal shopping lists as of today. October 17 marks the opening day of being able to legally buy marijuana in Canada.
Recent news stories indicate that supplies may not keep up with demand in the first year, and that is without edibles being legal. You might have heard about the possibility of drinkables but those won't be allowed right away either.
Canadians will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams on domestic flights only, as noted in the video (above). On rare occasions, Canadian domestic flights are diverted to the United States.
Bloomberg ran an update last month on where you can purchase recreational marijuana in provinces and territories. CBC News has a guide to how you can access marijuana in the provinces and territories.
As a reminder, people in Canada can possess up to 30 grams. An ounce is 28 grams. The video (above) gives you an idea of what 30 grams looks like. The minimum age is 19 except for Quebec and Alberta, where the age is 18.
October 17 also marks the start of monitoring border crossings. Seeds were planted in Politico about banning Canadians who work in the marijuana industry and/or people who invest in pot companies.
If you are a Canadian with a credit card and that data is stored in the United States, the border patrol could monitor credit card history to see whether you have bought marijuana.
Some of this samples could be real or paranoia; some new ones can easily come along. The rules won't be clear until you find yourself crossing into the United States and they may be randomly observed.
You can get waivers for a lifetime ban but they are costly in terms of money and time and involve a lot of hassle. We wish our Canadian friends a lot of luck in border crossings over the next few weeks.
One adjustment for our friends in Ontario: You will be able to smoke pot in areas where tobacco smoking is allowed. Premier Doug Ford contradicted his own policy by saying you couldn't smoke in playgrounds because of children but could smoke in parks, even though children might be in parks. You still won't be able to buy marijuana in a store until at least April 2019. If you are an American pursuing marijuana tourism, you have better options than Ontario.
One adjustment for our friends in Quebec: Premier-designate François Legault campaigned on a promise to increase the legal age for marijuana to 21 if the CAQ came to power. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is concerned about the potential increase in the minimum age leading to an increase in the black market. Those in Quebec between 18-20 and visitors to La Belle Province will likely have a limited window to indulge legally.
4 of the 9 states with legal recreational marijuana border Canada: Alaska (Yukon); Maine (New Brunswick, Quebec); Vermont (Quebec); and Washington (British Columbia). We will know on November 6 as to whether Michigan (Ontario) and North Dakota (Manitoba) will be on that list.
The states will vote on Election Day whether to have legal recreational marijuana.
Legal recreational marijuana in Canada is an experiment in progress. Respect the process as this unfolds. As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (Michael Conrad) would say on Hill Street Blues, "let's be careful out there."
video credit: CBC News
photo credit: me