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On October 17, 2018, cannabis will be legal in Canada. The federal government introduced legislation to legalize cannabis in November 2017 and since then, there has been extensive public and stakeholder engagement by all levels of government.

If your municipality hasn’t already adopted a framework for the impending cannabis legalization, it’s time to start looking at ways that you can adopt your federal or provincial ones. At this point, it is better to focus on extensive education for your public and stakeholders to inform them of any local bylaws. The purpose of the campaign will be to augment both federal and provincial campaigns.

Here are some quick facts about the Cannabis Act to help you get started with creating your education campaign:

  • To buy, possess or use cannabis, you must by of legal age (18 or 19 or older depending on your province or territory).
  • The Cannabis Act includes strict penalties for selling or providing cannabis to youth under the legal age
  • Legal cannabis has a excise stamp appearing in different colours for each province and territory on product labels
  • If you use cannabis, learn how to use it responsibly. Know the health effects. Like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis has risks, especially for youth and young adults.
  • Don’t drive high or work impaired. Cannabis can impair your ability to operate vehicles or equipment safely. Driving while impaired by cannabis or any other drug is a serious criminal offence.
  • If you possess cannabis, store it away from children, youth and pets.
  • It’s illegal to take cannabis across the Canadian border, whether you’re leaving or coming to Canada. This applies to all countries, whether cannabis is legal there or not.
  • Under the Cannabis Act, access to cannabis for medical purposes will continue to be provided to those who are authorized by their healthcare practitioner.

For your campaign(s) you’ll want to include:

  • Bylaw changes for businesses
  • Rules of use in public spaces including parks, school zones, etc.
  • Any new penalties in relation to possession, use, and distribution in your municipality

To learn more about developing an effective education campaign, contact us for a complimentary consultation. For more information visit www.canada.ca/cannabis or your local provincial resource.