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Cannabis & Me

Congratulations, you and millions of people across Canada get to experience this life changing event towards legalization of Cannabis in Canada. We are now the second country after Uruguay to legalize cannabis. What most people know is that cannabis will be legalized for recreational purposes. However, it is NOT decriminalized. You can still be fined or even face possible jail time if you don’t follow the guidelines set by the government for this movement. In this article, you will find some key points and tips to stay safe, smoke and grow according to the Government of Canada. All of these facts can be found online by visiting (www.Canada.ca/Cannabis) or (www.GetCannabisClarity.ca) If you’d rather talk to someone, you can call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

BUYING CANNABIS

Buying cannabis may seem difficult at first. Currently, as of the legalization date October 17th, 2018, there will be one Government operated store located in Kamloops selling cannabis via their selected Licensed Producers. Most dispensaries that have been running before that are located around Canada will be shut down until the municipal government allows them to re-open. To help keep young people safe and help prevent crime in your community, cannabis will ONLY be sold exclusively at government-run stores, licensed private retailers, and the B.C. government’s online store. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) operates public retail stores and the online store. The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch is responsible for licensing and monitoring private retail stores. Cannabis cannot be sold in the same stores as liquor or tobacco.

POSSESSION AND USE OF CANNABIS

An adult of legal age (19+ as stated by the Government) can carry up to 30 grams of dried (non-medical) cannabis, or it’s equivalent in a public place. Concentrates, like Shatter, Budder, Wax, Hash and Live Resin will remain banned until further research and studies are completed. The government has concluded that more evidence is needed of their risks and harms.  The government is concerned about high potency, and the chemicals and solvents that are used to extract the concentrated form of cannabis.

Home owners are now allowed to grow up to 4 plants in their homes or have to up 1,000 grams at a maximum household possession. These plants must NOT be visible to the public eye from inside your house. Smoking inside your house is also allowed. HOWEVER, if you live in a Strata, or Apartment Building, it is up to the owners building rules. Most buildings will remain unchanged and not allow renters and apartment owners to smoke inside their buildings. If you are ever unsure, just ask your landlord or strata council about it. They are there to help you get the answers you need about your residence.

If you have read about public smoking places for tobacco, you will know where you can and cannot smoke cannabis. All private parks and school grounds (K-12 School Properties) are banned. You cannot smoke cannabis in front of store entrances, private properties and transit areas. Please be mindful when smoking in public places that have lots of children present. Second-hand smoke can be irritating and harmful to some. The new regulations clarify that people with medical certificates for cannabis use are in some cases exempted from those bans. For example, a person could consume cannabis oils, food, pills, or apply cannabis creams, on school grounds with the proper medical documentation and permission from the school district.

It is also illegal for you to sit in your vehicle and smoke. You cannot smoke on boats or inside public buildings. The government can, for example, issue a $230 ticket for smoking in a prohibited place (the fine is only $58 for vaping) and $109 for smoking in a vehicle near a minor. (Via The Province Article) Smoking and driving will be treated as it always has been as a DWI related offence. Don’t drive high. Take the bus, ride your bike, call a cab but do not put your keys into the ignition. Cannabis DOES affect your reaction timing and alertness. Don’t risk your life and someone else’s.

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