Saskatchewan announces fines for improper cannabis use

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan announces up to $1K fines for improper cannabis consumption' Saskatchewan announces up to $1K fines for improper cannabis consumption
Fines for improper use of cannabis in Saskatchewan will range from $200 to $2,250 once legalized in October – Jul 4, 2018

Fines for improper use of recreational cannabis in Saskatchewan will range from $200 to $2,250 once it is legalized in October.

“The goal was to have fines that would be an appropriate disincentive for certain kinds of conduct, but were also publicly acceptable,” Justice Minister Don Morgan said.

There are three offences that would land users a $200 ticket. This includes smoking cannabis in a public place, possessing or consuming cannabis in a campground where it is prohibited, and possessing or distributing more than 30 grams of dried cannabis in a public place.

Cannabis users could face a $1000 fine for consuming on school grounds, or at a daycare centre. Global News

Under the federal law, people are not allowed to possess more than 30 grams of dried cannabis at a time.

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Possessing, consuming or distributing marijuana in a vehicle will result in a $300 ticket. This does not apply in cases where someone is transporting it from a legal point of purchase to a legal point of consumption.

READ MORE: Marijuana to be legal in Canada starting October 17, Trudeau confirms

If you decide to sell pot to a minor, that can result in a $750 ticket. Another part of the plan to keep marijuana away from minors is a heavy fine for using at a school or childcare facility; a $1,000 fine.

“One of the major considerations when we went into this was trying to keep marijuana out of schools and out of the hands of children. Bringing marijuana into a school area we knew would be a significant issue so we wanted to have a large disincentive there,” Morgan noted.

The heaviest potential fine is for permitted retailers. They can receive a $2,250 penalty for failing to demand proof of age or selling to a minor.

Cannabis retailers face the stiffest penalties, particularly when it comes to minors. Global News

“Cannabis is new. We’re worried about what the effect might be, so we’re starting with a higher penalty structure,” Morgan explained.

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“Alcohol is something that’s been around for as long as the province has been in existence, and it’s something where people have a greater understanding and acceptance, so we want to have a greater disincentive, at least at the beginning.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan selects retailers for cannabis stores

These new rules will only come into effect once recreational cannabis is legalized, and The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act is proclaimed. Morgan expects the policing of these procedures to be similar to the way alcohol penalties are imposed.

“We think it’s like alcohol, they don’t go out looking for offences, but when they come across them we expect them to lay the charges and it enforce them in the ordinary course,” he said.]

Illegal dispensaries will be hit with the highest fines in an effort to deter illicit organizations. Global News
In a statement, the Regina Police Service said the new penalties “[help] with enforcement in that it provides the authority for our officers’ actions and the circumstances under which someone may be issued a ticket under the Act.”
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The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act is expected to be implemented on October 17, 2018.

Until then, recreational marijuana use is illegal, and current penalties apply.


With files from Colton Praill

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