Cannabis rules: what to ex­pect in Nova Sco­tia

The Casket - - Health & Wellness - COLIN CHISHOLM SALTWIRE NET­WORK com­mu­ni­ties@her­ald.ca

Here's what you need to know about con­sum­ing mar­i­juana prod­ucts in Nova Sco­tia.

19 is the min­i­mum age

Much like al­co­hol, if you want to con­sume, you'll have to wait un­til you're of age to do so.

And 19 is the le­gal age to use, buy, grow or pos­sess cannabis in Nova Sco­tia. Those un­der 19 who are caught with the sub­stance, could face fines up to $150 and/or crim­i­nal charges. Restora­tive jus­tice pro­grams could come into play, de­pend­ing on the per­son's age and cir­cum­stances.

If you're un­der 18 and in pos­ses­sion of more than five grams, you'll be charged with a crim­i­nal of­fence, and will be pros­e­cuted in the same way as with youth drug pos­ses­sion.

Those over 18 in pos­ses­sion of more than 30 grams of mar­i­juana could face charges un­der the fed­eral Cannabis Act.

If you sell or pro­vide some­one un­der the age of 19 with cannabis, you could face fines of up to $10,000.

The Smoke-free Places Act will ap­ply to all smok­ing of mar­i­juana in pub­lic. Ba­si­cally, any­where you can't smoke a cig­a­rette, you can't smoke a joint.

That means you can't smoke cannabis in any in­door work­place or pub­lic place, out­door li­censed area or pa­tio, res­tau­rants, lounges or cabarets.

There’s no smok­ing within four me­tres of win­dows, air in­take vents or en­trances to places of em­ploy­ment.

If you smoke within one of th­ese re­stricted ar­eas, you could face fines of $2,000. Many mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties are pass­ing their own by-laws with stricter rules, such as no smok­ing on side­walks or in pub­lic parks. Some mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties have also promised to in­crease en­force­ment of ex­ist­ing by­laws.

You will be able to con­sume mar­i­juana in your own home, but, if you're a renter, your land­lord is legally al­lowed to amend your lease and re­strict the con­sump­tion or grow­ing of cannabis.

Cannabis, in any form, is banned from be­ing used in ve­hi­cles by pas­sen­gers or drivers. Fines of up to $2,000 could ap­ply for con­sump­tion in a ve­hi­cle.

Lim­ited amount al­lowed

Adults over 19 will be al­lowed to have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in pub­lic.

There are no re­stric­tions on how much you can keep in your home, as long as it's for per­sonal use.

There is a limit to how much you can grow: adults age 19 and older will be able to grow up to four cannabis plants per house­hold.

Each apart­ment in a house or build­ing is con­sid­ered a separate house­hold.

Again, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties may pass ad­di­tional by­laws that fur­ther re­strict the cul­ti­va­tion of mar­i­juana plants.

Where you can buy it

This is pretty easy. Ba­si­cally, it's just the Nova Sco­tia Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion (NSLC), the only provin­cially-au­tho­rized re­tailer of cannabis in the prov­ince.

Some stores will be branded to in­di­cate that mar­i­juana prod­ucts are avail­able in­side. Ini­tially, th­ese lo­ca­tions will be few and far be­tween, but the prov­ince is plan­ning to roll out cannabis ac­cess all over the prov­ince.

So far, in Nova Sco­tia those lo­ca­tions in­clude: Amherst, Dart­mouth, two in Hal­i­fax, Lower Sackville, New Glas­gow, Syd­ney River, Truro, Yar­mouth, New Mi­nas, Bridge­wa­ter and Antigo­nish.

Cannabis can also be pur­chased on­line through the Nova Sco­tia Liquor Cor­po­ra­tion.

It will re­main il­le­gal to sell edi­ble cannabis prod­ucts at res­tau­rants and mar­kets.

Trans­port­ing it

Sim­i­lar to trans­port­ing al­co­hol from the store to your home, cannabis must re­main in a closed, sealed pack­age and out of reach of any­one in a ve­hi­cle.

Fines of up to $2,000 can ap­ply for im­proper tran­spor­ta­tion.

Med­i­cal mar­i­juana will con­tinue to be reg­u­lated and li­censed in its cur­rent form.

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