The Long History of Cannabis Legalization in Canada


The 1908 Opium Act was established to limit certain drugs from being obtainable in Canada. “The Black Candle,” a book by Emily Murphy, discussed her thoughts on additional drugs that should be banned in Canada, including cannabis.

In a House of Commons session in 1932, cannabis was added under the Narcotics Drug Act. While the drug was immediately illegal, police didn’t start cracking down on the drug until the 1930s. It was 1937 when police in Canada seized cannabis for the first time.

From there, cannabis arrest and seizure rates remained very low until the 1960s. The cannabis arrest rates seemed to hit their peak in 1972, recording 12,000 cases. To combat this issue, Canada created a Royal Commission that could look into marijuana legalization. It was recommended that Canada decriminalize the drug, not necessarily make it legal. However, Canada never changed anything for decades.


After years of work from activists, Canada decided to make cannabis legal in 2001 through a program run by Health Canada. This program allowed the sale of medical marijuana only through commercial and residential sales offered by the company.

Once Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister in 2015, he decided to create a task force to further efforts on the complete legalization of cannabis in Canada. In December 2016, a report was released to the public with various recommendations on what the country could do to make Cannabis legal.

In 2018, cannabis finally became legal for recreational use in Canada. This legal process made it so that adults could purchase cannabis from government-approved retailers and producers.

Retailers & Limits

Today, consumers in Canada can purchase cannabis from many different locations. This includes an online dispensary in Canada that will ship their products directly to your home.

It’s been noted strongly by the Canadian government that residents must understand all of the limits to cannabis possession. First, only adults over the age of 18 are allowed to purchase and control cannabis products.

Adults in Canada are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in any for their like, dried or not. They are also allowed to share any of this with other legal adults.

Anyone purchasing cannabis must be making sure that they are purchasing from a licensed retailer. Not doing so can lead to trouble for both the buyer and the seller. Lastly, consumers are allowed to make their cannabis food products with the expectation of not being able to use any organic solvents in concentrated products. Consumers are also allowed to purchase any of these food products from a licensed retailer.






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