At the stroke of midnight the use of recreational cannabis became legal in Canada.
The nation’s provinces and territories have each taken different approaches to legalization. Here’s what you need to know before you light up in Nova Scotia.
Where and how
Nova Scotia has set the legal age of consumption at 19 and the only licensed retailer able to sell cannabis in the province will be the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC).
Nova Scotia has decided to incorporate their sales in a hybrid Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation store in all but one of their 12 locations.
The only NSLC outlet that will solely retail in cannabis is located at 5540 Clyde St., in Halifax.
You’ll also be able to purchase cannabis online at the NSLC’s online retailer.
An online access code will be required to explore the website and purchase cannabis products and accessories. The codes will be available free of charge at all NSLC stores on Oct. 17.
Nova Scotians will need to present valid ID at an NSLC to get the access card and it will need to be entered every time someone visits the retail website. The NSLC says there will be no personal information connected to the access code.
If you choose to grow your own cannabis you’ll be permitted to grow up to four plants per household.
What you can buy
You’ll be able to buy 52 strains of cannabis at the NSLC, although don’t expect for them to have everything you want on Wednesday.
The Crown corporation says that on Oct. 17, they will have less than 40 per cent of the cannabis ordered because of “a variety of challenges experienced by cannabis licensed producers.”
They currently have 97 products representing 52 strains in their inventory.
“Based on estimated sale projections, we expect to have a three-week supply of inventory on hand this week. The supply challenges are being experienced nationwide and are not exclusive to Nova Scotia,” the NSLC said in a news release earlier this week.
Pre-rolled joints and loose-leaf cannabis will be for sale. They’ll come pre-packed in a plastic container and will be handed to customers a sealed bag as ederal law dictates that customers cannot touch the product.
There’s a 30-gram limit on the amount of cannabis you can purchase and possess at one time.
How much will it cost you
There will be three categories of cannabis pricing: value, core, and premium. According to the NSLC, the price of cannabis will follow the same “pricing strategy, structure and principles” that they use to manage alcohol categories.
The prices, which include taxes, will be adjusted as required based on market conditions.
For now, one gram of flower is priced at $6.33 to $8.49 for value cannabis, $9.00 to $10.98 for core cannabis, and $10.99 and above for premium cannabis.
Specific prices will be determined by brand and package sizes, with the price per gram decreasing as the product package size increases.
The NSLC said it plans to sell seeds and cannabis oil at a later date.
Where you can use it
Nova Scotia has amended its Smoke Free Places Act to address cannabis legalization.
Although the province already prohibited smoking in all indoor public areas and workplaces, the new rules are set to target public areas close to schools and public venues.
Violation of any of the new rules carries a fine of up to $2,000.
The province has determined there will be no smoking or vaping of cannabis or tobacco:
- On or within 20 metres of playgrounds located in outdoor public spaces
- On or within 20 metres of publicly owned sport and recreation venues, located in outdoor public spaces
- On or within nine metres of public trails
- In provincial parks and on provincial beaches, except within the boundaries of a rented campsite
The province says it will also prohibit the use of cannabis in vehicles. The province says any cannabis will have to be stored in a closed, fastened package and out of reach to anyone in the vehicle.
With a file from Rebecca Lau