CANNABIS: Overview of local rules as it comes to fruition

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EAST HANTS: As the federal legalization of cannabis looms closer, provinces across the country have been working to ensure proper rules are in place to protect citizens.

Nova Scotia has passed its recreational cannabis legislation, the Cannabis Control Act. Two parts of the legislation are now in effect.

What does this mean for Nova Scotians and how does it affect you? Here is a break down of some of the bigger pieces of the puzzle.

In the home:

Landlords now have the authority to amend existing leases to put reasonable rules in place about recreational cannabis smoking and cultivation. Landlords must provide tenants four months’ written notice of a change before April 30, 2019. When the landlord provides notice, the tenant has one month to consider the change and either agree or terminate the lease. Tenants are required to give the landlord three months’ written notice to terminate using a new form from Service Nova Scotia.

Where can I buy it?

The other part that came into effect immediately ensures the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) has the ability to prepare for the legalization of cannabis in stores and online. The Cannabis Control Act gives the NSLC the authority to wholesale, store, distributes and sells cannabis and requires the corporation to comply with federal requirements and promote responsible consumption of cannabis.

Where will you be able to purchase cannabis? The following locations have been named as NSLC’s that will sell cannabis products

Amherst – 126 South Albion St.

— Dartmouth – 650 Portland St.

— Halifax – 5540 Clyde St.

— Halifax – 3601 Joseph Howe Dr.

— Lower Sackville – 752 Sackville Dr.

— New Glasgow – 610 East River Rd.

— Sydney River – 95 Keltic Dr.

— Truro – 6 Court St.

— Yarmouth – 104a Starrs Rd.

— Bridgewater – 274 Dufferin St.

— New Minas – 9256 Commercial St.

— Antigonish – 151 Church St.

Sales will also be available online, to reach Nova Scotians who will not have an NSLC location near them.

So what are the rules?

The legal age has been set at 19, same as alcohol. If you are a minor and caught with less than five grams of cannabis, the product will be seized and you will face a fine of upwards of $150.

Over five grams, it is a criminal offense and you will be prosecuted in the same way as a youth drug possession.

Where can you smoke? Cannabis in public will fall under the Some Free Places Act. If you can’t smoke a cigarette there, chances are you cannot consume cannabis.

If you rent your home, check any amendments to your lease.

Passengers or drivers cannot consume cannabis in a car. This is punishable by upwards of a $2,000 fine.

How much can you have?

You are allowed to have dried—or the equivalent of—30 grams in public. There is no limit in your home—however it is strongly encouraged to store it safely, away from children and pets.

Can I grow my own?

Absolutely. Each household is allowed to grow four plants.

Other portions of the province’s legislative framework for recreational cannabis legalization will come into effect upon proclamation of the federal legislation to legalize cannabis.

Until that federal cannabis legislation is proclaimed, it is still against the law to possess, use, cultivate or sell recreational cannabis in Nova Scotia.

For more information on cannabis legalization, visit this website by clicking here.