Canada’s Recreational Marijuana Laws: Province by Province, Territory by by Territory

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Canada’s Recreational Marijuana Laws: Province by Province

As the summer gets ever closer, each province is defining the way they will deal with legal recreational marijuana. The official date of when the Cannabis Act will take affect is still up in the air, but official sources say “this summer” which could mean as early as June but as late as September.

The rules and regulations surround cannabis use differs in every province and territory, making it an absolute necessity to learn how your province will be laying down the law. For this reason, we have compiled a list of how each provincial and territorial government is selling and regulating recreational cannabis.

The Breakdown of Proposed Cannabis Law Across Provinces & Territories

Below is a list of the legal age of recreational marijuana use and any plans the provinces and territories have for distribution. Plus, we’ve included any extra notes available, such as where marijuana consumption is legal, if personal growing will be allowed, and how sales will be carried out.

British Columbia

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: Some sources say BC will use it’s government liquor stores for distribution, while other sources indicate there will be both private and public stores selling recreational marijuana.


Legal Age: 18

Distribution: The government will be responsible for online sales of marijuana, but the private sector can own retail locations which will be overseen by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission. It will not be allowed to be sold alongside alcohol, pharmaceuticals, or tobacco products.

Those choosing to smoke marijuana in Alberta will have to stay a certain distance from a number of locations such as schools, daycare, or hospitals.


Legal Age: Not set

Distribution: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will issue permits to private operators. Permits will first go to municipalities and communities with populations in excess of 2500.


Legal Age: 19 (a year older than the drinking age of 18)

Distribution: The Liquor and Gaming Authority will control purchase, storage, distribution and retail marijuana. The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation will secure and track the supply in the province.

Online sales would need to go through a retailer that has a storefront and that growing marijuana would remain illegal without a medical license.


Legal Age: 19

Distribution: The government intends to open cannabis-specific stores, run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The sales will be more similar to buying cigarettes, where the product will be behind the counter.

Marijuana will not be allowed in public places.


Legal Age: 18

Distribution: Cannabis will be available through online sales and in specific locations designated by the Société Québécoise du Cannabis, who will also control transportation and storage.

Use will be limited to current smoking areas and growing marijuana for personal use will be prohibited.

New Brunswick

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: The government will run retail stores, which must remain 300 metres from schools. ID will need to be presented for individuals to enter the premises. Similarly to Ontario, cannabis will be behind the counter.

Individuals will have a limit on how much they are allowed carry and smoking cannabis will not be allowed in public places. Marijuana at home will need to stay locked up.

Prince Edward Island

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: Retail stores will be run by the liquor commission and online.

Smoking cannabis products will only be allowed on private property.

Nova Scotia

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation outlets and online.

Carrying limit is 30 grams/person and growing privileges are limited to four plants.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: Private stores will be in charge of selling recreational cannabis as distributed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, which also has plans for retail spaces. Cannabis can be purchased online as well.

Smoking marijuana will only be allowed on private property.


Legal Age: 19

Distribution: There is plans for the government to run one retail store in the area and allow e-commerce purchases. With no concrete plans, they have suggested the retail sales might be a hybrid of government and private locations.

Northwest Territories

Legal Age: 19

Distribution: The N.W.T Liquor Commission will distribute legal marijuana in the Northwest Territories.

Growing cannabis plants at home will be limited to four plants and use in public will have limited locations, although the government has not stipulated those regulations yet.


Legal Age: Not yet

Distribution: No regulations yet

Nunavut has not yet made any decisions regarding recreational marijuana in the territory.

The Changing Law of Marijuana in Canada

While some provinces are more prepared than others, most of these laws are not set in stone. If you are planning to partake in legal marijuana in Canada it is important you check the latest regulations and laws surrounding cannabis in your province.

Stop by Herbal Relief Centre for up to the minute information on the current laws.