Recreational weed use is now legal in Canada but entering or leaving Canada with marijuana in your possession remains prohibited.
Published by Paragon Legal on 23rd September, 2021.
You can possess and consume weed in Canada, subject to restrictions on the amount and how it was purchased. However, it is still strictly prohibited to transport cannabis across the Canadian border - either into Canada from another country or from Canada into another country.
The ban on bringing or taking weed across the border applies in the following situations:
• no matter how much cannabis you have with you
• to both cannabis products and products containing cannabis, such as edibles, extracts vaporizers, concentrates etc. and cannabis topicals
• even if you are authorized to use cannabis for medicinal purposes in any form, including cannabidiol CBD etc.
• even if you are travelling to or from a place where cannabis is decriminalized or legal
• the law against international transport applies even if cannabis is legal in both the source and destination countries
Canadian Border Service Agency officers are unlikely to interrogate a visitor about the visitor’s personal weed consumption outside of Canada. However, officers may ask the visitor whether that person is carrying a controlled or prohibited substance into the country. If you cannot come to Canada due to marijuana possession contact Paragon Legal for advise on how to overcome inadmissibility
If you do not properly declare your marijuana at the border or give inaccurate information, you may be issued a fine or denied entry to Canada by CBSA. You should be aware of the penalties for cannabis related offenses in Canada. The CBSA would more than likely keep record of your cannabis related border issue.
If you are travelling with weed within Canada you are responsible for respecting the cannabis legislation of wherever you are. Recreational marijuana, up to a certain amount, is legal throughout Canada. However, each province and territory sets the minimum age for purchase, possession, and use. Currently, it is 18 in Alberta, 21 in Quebec, and 19 in every other province or territory. It remains illegal for underage individuals to access cannabis - or for adults to facilitate such access.
The rule in Canada is that an individual is allowed to publicly possess 30 grams of dried cannabis. Canada sets the limits for other forms of cannabis, such as fresh, edibles or concentrates, using equivalencies Canada establishes. For example, 1 gram of dried cannabis is equivalent to 5 grams of the fresh version. Therefore, one is allowed to possess 30 grams of dried cannabis or 150 grams of fresh cannabis.
The Canadian government has created an online calculator that allows potential cannabis users to input the different amounts and types of cannabis they possess or plan to possess, to ensure they remain within the legal limits.
It is possible you can be inadmissible to Canada due to a marijuana conviction. Many people wishing to enter or immigrate to Canada are surprised to learn that a prior, foreign, criminal conviction involving weed can render them inadmissible to the country. At Canadian ports of entry, CBSA staff can easily access, for example, an FBI criminal history report which can show most marijuana-related convictions. It does not matter whether the offense is considered a misdemeanor or a felony in the United States; what matters is how the offence translates into the equivalent Canadian law.
The key to understanding foreign cannabis convictions is to verify whether they have an equivalent in Canadian law. Foreign convictions for actions that are no longer illegal in Canada, but that may be illegal somewhere else, such as simple possession of 30 grams of dry cannabis or equivalent, or possession of cannabis-paraphernalia such as bongs, joint rollers, etc., should not pose a problem.
However, several foreign cannabis charges/conviction(s) can still render a person inadmissible to Canada. The most common are:
• possession of more than 30 grams of dried cannabis or its equivalent in other forms
• driving under the influence of cannabis
• the illegal sale or distribution of cannabis is serious criminality punishable by up to 10 years in prison
Canada permits the possession of limited amounts of marijuana which cannabis must be legally produced and obtained. If a user obtains it from an unlicensed producer or seller, the user and producer or seller could be subject to criminal charges. This means that if one is convicted of a similar crime outside Canada, one may become inadmissible.
Do not get caught with weed while travelling to or from Canada. If you encounter this problem, contact our legal professional with expertise in overcoming inadmissibility at Paragon Legal today.