Cannabis rules: what to expect in Nova Scotia
Here’s what you need to know about consuming marijuana products in Nova Scotia.
Nineteen 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.
Where you can and can’t smoke it
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.
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.