Here is a little trivia that might shock you. Did you know that more than half of the drug offenses reported by the Canadian police are marijuana related?
According to government statistics, in 2016 alone, there were close to 55,000 cannabis-related offenses reported to the police. More than eight out of every 10 of these are for simple possession. To us, these are just statistics, but to the person who had the misfortune of being caught with a gram of weed in his pocket, it has some serious, life-changing implications.
He or she would now have a criminal record, and that could mean that it would be more difficult for the person to find a job or housing. They may even be prevented from leaving the country.
With the new Cannabis Act, will this change? Here is what you could expect.
1. While there is no limit to the amount of alcohol and tobacco you can carry around in public, there is a limit of up to 30 grams when it comes to dried cannabis. This is what the government deems fair for an adult to carry in public and in between private dwelling. There are also areas in the country where there is no limit on cannabis stored in private homes.
2. If you go over that limit or its equivalent, then you could face a range of penalties depending on the severity of the offense. For carrying up to 50 grams of dried cannabis, you could be given a fine of $200, depending on the officer who apprehended you. If it is more than that, law enforcers may decide to prosecute you summarily or on indictment.
3. The good news is that if you are given a ticket, it does not mean that you will have a criminal record if you pay the fine within the time period required. Think of it as having a traffic violation.
4. Does this mean that there is no longer any jail time for marijuana related offenses? Not really. Many of the current prohibitions as enumerated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act about the production, sale, import, and export of cannabis will be in the new law. There are also new provisions on selling and providing cannabis to the youth. If you distribute or sell cannabis to teenagers who are not legally allowed to smoke or use cannabis, you can be imprisoned for a maximum of 14 years.
There are also talks on strengthening the anti-impaired driving law, and imposing some stringer penalties and sentences. Life imprisonment is being considered for the most severe offenses of driving while under the influence.
5. If you have more than enough, or if you grow your own plant, you must consume it all or dispose of the extra stuff that you cannot use. Under no circumstances should you try to sell it to a neighbor or anybody else.
Earlier on, we talked about equivalencies. This is because the Cannabis Act prohibits an individual from carrying more than 30 grams of dried cannabis. However, what if you are carrying fresh marijuana leaves? Or perhaps edibles? Does the 30-gram limit still apply?
The short answer is yes, but that does not mean that the 30 grams would apply to all forms of cannabis and cannabis products. Because different cannabis products have different weights, the possession limits are as follows:
- 150 grams of fresh cannabis
- 450 grams of edibles
- 2100 grams of liquid cannabis
- 7.5 grams of solid or liquid concentrates
- 30 cannabis plant seeds
If you plan to carry your stash with you, then be sure to be mindful of these limits!
Implications of mislabeled online CBD products
What do all these mean for consumers? There are two notable caveats:
1. Your conditions might worsen. CBD is often suggested as a cure for epilepsy. But the dose needs to be constant. If you take more CBD than what you need, you might inadvertently change the serum anti-epileptic levels.
2. THC has psychoactive effects. THC is the compound known to cause psychoactive affects among users. It is said that THC is the compound responsible for getting you high. CBD is perfectly safe to use if you do not want to get high. Because of the high number of products that has THC content in them, you might want to avoid online CBD products if you are using it to treat children.
With federal prohibition still in place in a majority of places in the United States, access to medical pot is severely limited. Congratulations to those who live in Colorado, California, and other states where marijuana is legal, they can just step into a dispensary or cannabis retail store and stop ordering online.
For those who are living in prohibition states, however, this is more like a pipe dream. They would need to blindly trust the manufacturers when they do order online. Trust that they have good quality control. Trust that they are not mislabeling their products. Because, honestly for them, they do not have much of a choice.
Canada to the rescue?
With the United States continuing its hands off approach to regulating cannabis products, is Canada our only hope to have better quality cannabis products with accurate labels? The Canadian government will be making even the recreational marijuana use legal by the time the Cannabis Act comes into full force in October 2018. Part of the changes is that licensed retailers and manufacturers would be required to come up with accurate labels for their products before they are allowed to sell. And the good news is that even retailers that are operated by the Canadian government would be selling online.
That would have been great news. That means people from the United States and other countries could just go to these Canadian online retailers and be sure of the levels of CBD that they are getting. However, the Cannabis Act also prohibits exporting cannabis out of the country, which could be misinterpreted and limit Canadian weed sales only within the country.