Weed Is Now Legal In Canada – What Americans Need To Know To Buy Marijuana On A Canadian Cannabis Vacation

by 2 years ago
OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 5:  Marijuana activist Chris Lawson makes a speech on stage during a rally in support of legalizing marijuana on June 5, 2004 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada recently upheld a decision to keep marijuana as a banned substance.  (Photo by Donald Weber/Getty Images)

Getty Image / Donald Weber / Stringer


Last week, Canada legalized recreational marijuana becoming only the second country (Uruguay is the other) in the world to do so. So if you live in the U.S. but don’t live in one of the handful of states that have made weed legal, then maybe you’re planning on taking a Canadian cannabis vacation. Here’s what Americans need to know about taking a trip to Canada to get some of that legal ganja.

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On October 17th, Canada legalized weed allowing adults to purchase dried cannabis leaves, oils, pre-rolled joints, and homegrown plants from government-licensed retailers. Recreational cannabis edibles are prohibited now but could be legalized soon.

You need to be at least 18-years-old to purchase cannabis in Alberta and 19-years-old in all other Canadian provinces. But you do not need to be a Canadian citizen to purchase the legit pot because Canada is smart enough to understand that cannabis tourism will mean a mammoth influx of money from stoners. Bloomberg estimates that Canada could “eventually generate as much as $2 billion in annual tourism revenue related to the cannabis industry” from the legal weed business.

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First off, just because weed is legal in Canada does not mean that you can bring your own dope across the international border even if it is being used for medicinal reasons. That’s a big no-no so don’t even try it because you will face fines and possibly jail time if you do even if it is unintentional. This also goes for bringing weed back to the States from Canada. You can not bring marijuana back to the U.S. even if you live in one of the nine states where recreational cannabis is legal.

“Regardless of Canada’s legalization of marijuana today, nothing will be changing on the U.S. side or with CBP policies and procedures at the border,” Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, wrote in an email. “Marijuana remains a controlled substance under U.S. federal law and it remains illegal. Individuals found with marijuana may face seizure, fines, arrest, or in the case of aliens, denial of admission into the U.S..”

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Be careful about how much and where you consume cannabis because laws vary immensely from province to province and the penalties fluctuate greatly too. Some places you can smoke in public like it was a cigarette and in others, you need to do so in a private home. Every Canadian province has a website dedicated to providing each province’s regulations on cannabis as well as government-licensed stores.

It should be noted that there is not a weed store on every block and you may have to travel a bit to find one, even in major cities. Vancouver, British Columbia, does not have a pot shop in the city and you’ll have to make a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Kamloops to get your fix. So you should do some research when planning your cannabis vacation to know where is the best place for you. There is a listing of every government-licensed cannabis store HERE.

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Many of the sales of Canada’s legal pot will be available online and places like Ontario and Nunavut will only offer online-only sales. You will need to be staying at a place that accepts deliveries. You will have to wait one to three days for delivery. You’ll also want to make sure where you are staying permits smoking or you can book a room at a bud and breakfast.

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To legally purchase marijuana you will need a valid government-issued ID such as a passport or drivers license and it does not have to be issued by Canada. If you are under 25-years-old you will need two forms of identification.

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So how much does legal weed cost in Canada? It will depend on which jurisdiction you are buying it in. To give you an idea, Alberta Cannabis offers a gram of weed for about $7 to $11.75 and pre-rolled joints cost approximately $5. There is a limit to how much Devil’s lettuce you can have at one time. Canada allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis or up to four homegrown plants.

Definitely don’t toke and drive because driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal. Be careful with weed in a car because the law states that your chronic must be sealed and out of the reach of the driver and passengers. If you are caught driving while high you could face substantial fines as well as a prison sentence.

Now that you know everything you need to know about purchasing legal marijuana in Canada its time you start planning your exciting cannabis vacation.

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Paul Sacca has written on a myriad of topics ranging from breaking news to movies to technology to men's interests for nearly a decade. His articles have been cited in numerous media powerhouses such as USA Today, New York Daily News, New York Post, CNN, Sports Illustrated, Huffington Post, Deadspin, and The Big Lead.

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