Have your say on cannabis legislation

The Government of Canada introduced legislation that will make cannabis, or marijuana, legal in Prince Edward Island and the rest of Canada by July 2018. Before that time, Prince Edward Island must decide how to adapt to this legislation.

Programs, policies, laws and public education will be required to determine where and when cannabis can be sold, tax implications, the legal age to purchase and how communities will be protected from potential negative consequences like drug-impaired driving.

Proposed federal legislation

The Government of Canada has introduced legislation to legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis – Bill C-45 Cannabis Act and Bill C-46 An Act to amend the Criminal Code. This legislation is expected to come into effect by July 2018. 

The federal legislation, along with strict regulations, would:

  • allow adults to possess up to 30 grams of legally-produced cannabis;
  • allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household;
  • set the minimum age for purchase and use at 18 years of age, with the option for provinces to increase the age limit;
  • enable a regulatory regime for the licensed production of cannabis, which would be controlled by the federal government;
  • enable a regulatory regime for the distribution and sale of cannabis, which would be controlled by the provincial government; and
  • establish new provisions to address drug-impaired driving, as well as making several changes to the overall legal framework to address alcohol impaired driving.

Learn more about the legalization and regulation of cannabis in Canada

Role of the provinces

While legalization is a federal decision, provinces and municipalities have been given areas of responsibility, as outlined in the table below:

Jurisdictional responsibilities for the legalization of cannabis

** Provinces will have the ability to strengthen legislation for these areas under federal jurisdiction

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

A Prince Edward Island approach

The Government of Prince Edward Island has an obligation and an opportunity to shape how the province will adapt to cannabis legalization in a way that best suits Islanders’ needs, circumstances and values.

Provincially, the focus is on:

  • limiting the illegal market for cannabis
  • keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and youth
  • protecting public health
  • promoting safety on roads, in workplaces and in public spaces

To do this, government will continue to assess the implications of legalization, engage with Islanders to hear a diversity of views and determine needs, explore regional opportunities and respond in a way that makes the most sense for Prince Edward Island.

How can I get involved?

Share your thoughts on what cannabis legislation should look like for Prince Edward Island. Links at the bottom of the page give you the option to submit input in one of two ways:

  • complete the online survey (about 10 minutes) or
  • send a written submission or drop off your submission to any Access PEI

Stakeholders will be invited to take part in meetings and/or make a written submission.

What is the deadline for input?

You can make a submission any time before September 30, 2017.

What is the timeline for the legalization of cannabis legislation?

April 13, 2017: Introduction of federal cannabis legislation

August to October 2017: Receive public and stakeholder input to PEI’s approach to cannabis legalization

October to December 2017: Review public engagement findings

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

July 2018: Implement cannabis legislation

Contact:

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

Download backgrounder as PDF