Legalizing Pot: Telling Fact from Fiction

In the News

It’s now official! Cannabis (pot) is legal in Canada. But people still have questions: Where can you smoke? How much can you possess, in public and at home?

How many grams can you possess?

In Quebec, cannabis is only legal for adults. People under 18 won’t be allowed to possess any amount of cannabis.

For adults, the maximum amount depends on where they are. They can possess

  • up to 30 grams in public places, and
  • up to 150 grams at home.

These maximum amounts apply only to legally-purchased, dried cannabis. The rules are different for cannabis sold in other forms, like fresh cannabis or cannabis oil. They’re also different for medical marijuana.

Only the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC, or the Quebec cannabis commission) can sell cannabis in Quebec. It is illegal to possess any amount of cannabis purchased on the black market in Quebec or in another Canadian province.

Note: The new provincial government plans to lower the legal limit to 15 grams in Quebec, both in public places and at home.

Where can you consume cannabis?  

Smoking cannabis is generally prohibited wherever smoking or vaping tobacco is already prohibited(enclosed public spaces, the 9 metre-rule, bar patios, etc.). Nor is smoking allowed in public transportation waiting areas, on bicycles or in cars.

Municipalities can also pass cannabis regulations. Several have already chosen to prohibit smoking cannabis in all public places, like streets, sidewalks and parks. This includes Sherbrooke, Lévis, Quebec City, and even Hampstead on the island of Montreal. Hampstead took the same step for tobacco earlier this year.

Smoking in certain types of housing or condo buildings may also be prohibited.

Note: The new provincial government plans to ban cannabis consumption in all public places in Quebec.

What is still prohibited

Some practices  remain illegal even though cannabis is legal. In Quebec, people still can’t do these things:

  • possess cannabis that was purchased illegally
  • sell cannabis (only the SQDC can do this)
  • give or sell cannabis to minors
  • drive while under the influence of cannabis
  • work while under the influence of cannabis, if this could be dangerous

People also can’t leave Canada with cannabis, even if they’re going to a country where cannabis is legal.