Article by Drew Brown, The Guardian
When can I buy it?
We’re not sure. Probably late summer or early autumn.
The government had intended for recreational marijuana use to be legalized by 1 July 2018. Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, passed its third reading in the House of Commons last fall, and Trudeau has emphasised that it will be implemented without delay.
But the bill is still under scrutiny in the Senate, which has repeatedly threatened to send it back to the House for amendment. Some indigenous leaders have also expressed concern that the act does not allow them to regulate or ban the sale of pot on their land as they can with alcohol, and that – in violation of section 35 of the constitution – they were never consulted about these legislative changes. Both challenges could delay legalization until parliament’s fall sitting.
But whenever legalization does occur, don’t expect to rush out and buy anything that day. The government anticipates a two or three-month transition period before cannabis may be legally bought or sold.
Where can I buy it?
Because the details of legalization have fallen to the provinces, that depends on where you are in Canada. In Alberta, recreational cannabis will be widely available at more than 200 private retailers across the province, while in Ontario it will be carefully curated at only 40 state-run shops. Most of the other provinces are a blend of these two approaches; in Newfoundland and Labrador, you will be able to buy weed at Loblaws grocery stores. Few of the country’s suddenly ubiquitous (and illegal) marijuana dispensaries are likely to survive the transition to licensed retailing.
How will I know what I’m buying?
Health Canada guidelines stipulate that packaging has to list all the information a consumer needs to make an informed decision, including the name of the producer, the name of the marijuana strain, and its THC/CBD content. This includes a large disclaimer about the health risks associated with pot. For maximum safety, product packaging is designed to be so terrifyingly bland that no one would ever accidentally mistake its contents for something fun.