Cannabis Policy and Legislation

Bill C-45, an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other acts (the Cannabis Act) was introduced in the House of Commons on April 13, 2017. To learn more about the federal government’s cannabis legislation, visit canada.ca

Cannabis Policy on Prince Edward Island

Through cannabis policy, legislation and regulation, the provincial government is working to:

  • protect the health and safety of Islanders, particularly youth
  • combat the illegal market for cannabis
  • clarify the rights and responsibilities of Islanders with respect to how and where cannabis may be purchased, consumed and cultivated.

How was cannabis policy developed in PEI?

To help us develop a responsible approach to regulate cannabis, we have:

  • worked with our partners across the province, including public health experts, law enforcement, community agencies and businesses
  • heard from municipalities and other jurisdictions that have legalized cannabis
  • engaged the public through an online survey to get input and feedback

What were the results of the public survey on cannabis?

The province launched a public survey in 2017 to gather Islander’s input on areas related to legalizing cannabis on PEI, and better understand if Islanders were familiar with the federal government’s efforts to legalize cannabis in Canada. Over 2,900 surveys were completed, representing about 2% of the province’s population.

Download summary of the PEI cannabis survey

Cannabis Legislation and Regulation

What subject-areas are covered by provincial cannabis legislation?

Minimum Age

The minimum age to purchase, possess and use recreational cannabis will be set at 19 years of age.

Youth Possession

Provincial legislation will prohibit youth from possessing or consuming cannabis and will allow police to confiscate and destroy cannabis small amounts from young people. 

Consumption of Cannabis

Cannabis use will be restricted to private residences, with some exceptions for certain designated spaces, to limit impacts on communities and public health.

Purchasing Cannabis Products

PEI will have four dedicated government-owned retail locations for cannabis sales in 2018, as well as an e-commerce platform with direct-to-home delivery. Products will include dried cannabis, cannabis oil, seeds and seedlings. The retail sites will be in Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague and West Prince.

Education and Awareness Activities

PEI is committed to a long-term financial investment in harm reduction, education and awareness, research and surveillance.

Impaired Driving

PEI will ensure the Highway Traffic Act mirrors alcohol impaired driving roadside suspension penalties and incorporate changes to align with the federal legislation. In addition, a new summary offence will be created in cases of impaired driving with a minor.

Adult Possession Limit

It will be legal for a person over 19 years of age to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis (or its equivalent).

Household Cultivation

A household will be permitted to have four (4) cannabis plants, inaccessible to minors.

Cannabis Production, Processing and Business

The production and processing of cannabis products will continue to be regulated through federal licensing.

What laws restrict smoking of cannabis?

The provincial legislation restricts where cannabis may be consumed (including smoking). The Smoke-free Places Act restricts where a person can smoke any product.

What laws will be in place to protect against drug impaired driving?

Federal impaired driving provisions will continue to be used by police to combat drug impaired driving. Additionally, the Highway Traffic Act will be amended to strengthen the administrative driver’s license suspension program with respect to drug impaired drivers.

What laws will be in place with respect to retail sales?

The provincial legislation restricts retail sales to the Cannabis Management Corporation. The Cannabis Management Corporation Act regulates all other aspects of retail sales.

When will cannabis possession and use be legal in PEI?

Cannabis possession and use will be legal in PEI on the date the federal government proclaims legislation will be in effect across Canada. Provincial cannabis legislation will be brought into effect on that same date.

When will I be able to purchase cannabis at a store in PEI?

Islanders will be able to purchase cannabis at a store in PEI, or online, once federal and provincial legislation comes into effect.

What additional regulations are planned for cannabis?

In addition to legislation, there will be regulations on cannabis related to personal cultivation, enforcement and other factors.

What are the jurisdictional responsibilities for legalization of cannabis?

The following table outlines the initial divisions of responsibility expected as the federal and provincial acts come into force. Municipalities will have shared authority in some of the areas outlined below:

Activity
Federal responsibility?
Provincial responsibility?
Possession limits**
Yes
No
Trafficking
Yes
No
Advertisement and packaging**
Yes
No
Impaired driving
Yes
Yes
Medical cannabis
Yes
No
Seed-to-sale tracking system
Yes
No
Production (cultivation and processing)
Yes
No
Age limit (federal minimum)**
Yes
No
Public health
Yes
Yes
Education
Yes
Yes
Taxation
Yes
Yes
Home cultivation (growing plants at home)**
Yes
No
Distribution and wholesaling
No
Yes
Retail model
No
Yes
Retail locations and rules No Yes
Regulatory compliance Yes Yes
Public consumption No Yes
Land use and/or zoning No Yes
** Provinces will have the ability to strengthen legislation for these areas under federal jurisdiction

Cannabis legalization timeline

June 2017: Provincial cannabis committee formed, co-led by the departments of Justice and Public Safety and Health and Wellness.

September 2017: Public survey conducted

Fall 2017: Gathered research, worked with stakeholders, and reviewed options. Consultation results released.

Winter 2017: Provincial cannabis policy decisions will be released, followed by continued consultation with partners on legislation and enforcement.

Winter to spring 2018: Draft and present provincial legislative changes related to cannabis to the PEI Legislative Assembly and launch a public education campaign.

Summer 2018: Implement requirements to enable cannabis legislation

July 2019: Implement legislation for edibles

Contact:

Provincial cannabis committee
Email: cannabis@gov.pe.ca

The Government of Canada is working to legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis. Until the new system is in place, it is illegal to buy, sell or produce cannabis for non-medical purposes.
Published date: 
August 6, 2018
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