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Cannabis Act (S.C. 2018, c. 16)

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Assented to 2018-06-21

Cannabis Act

S.C. 2018, c. 16

Assented to 2018-06-21

An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts


His Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled “An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts


This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.

The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

The Act

  • (a) establishes criminal prohibitions such as the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis, including its sale or distribution to young persons, and the unlawful possession, production, importation and exportation of cannabis;

  • (b) enables the Minister to authorize the possession, production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis, as well as to suspend, amend or revoke those authorizations when warranted;

  • (c) authorizes persons to possess, sell or distribute cannabis if they are authorized to sell cannabis under a provincial Act that contains certain legislative measures;

  • (d) prohibits any promotion, packaging and labelling of cannabis that could be appealing to young persons or encourage its consumption, while allowing consumers to have access to information with which they can make informed decisions about the consumption of cannabis;

  • (e) provides for inspection powers, the authority to impose administrative monetary penalties and the ability to commence proceedings for certain offences by means of a ticket;

  • (f) includes mechanisms to deal with seized cannabis and other property;

  • (g) authorizes the Minister to make orders in relation to matters such as product recalls, the provision of information, the conduct of tests or studies, and the taking of measures to prevent non-compliance with the Act;

  • (h) permits the establishment of a cannabis tracking system for the purposes of the enforcement and administration of the Act;

  • (i) authorizes the Minister to fix, by order, fees related to the administration of the Act; and

  • (j) authorizes the Governor in Council to make regulations respecting such matters as quality, testing, composition, packaging and labelling of cannabis, security clearances and the collection and disclosure of information in respect of cannabis as well as to make regulations exempting certain persons or classes of cannabis from the application of the Act.

This enactment also amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to, among other things, increase the maximum penalties for certain offences and to authorize the Minister to engage persons having technical or specialized knowledge to provide advice. It repeals item 1 of Schedule II and makes consequential amendments to that Act as the result of that repeal.

In addition, it repeals Part XII.1 of the Criminal Code, which deals with instruments and literature for illicit drug use, and makes consequential amendments to that Act.

It amends the Non-smokers’ Health Act to prohibit the smoking and vaping of cannabis in federally regulated places and conveyances.

Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Cannabis Act.


Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) The following definitions apply in this Act.


    analyst means an individual who is designated as an analyst under section 130. (analyste)

    Attorney General

    Attorney General means

    • (a) the Attorney General of Canada, and includes his or her lawful deputy; or

    • (b) with respect to proceedings commenced at the instance of the government of a province and conducted by or on behalf of that government, the Attorney General of that province, and includes his or her lawful deputy. (procureur général)

    brand element

    brand element includes a brand name, trademark, tradename, distinguishing guise, logo, graphic arrangement, design or slogan that is reasonably associated with, or that evokes,

    • (a) cannabis, a cannabis accessory or a service related to cannabis; or

    • (b) a brand of any cannabis, cannabis accessory or service related to cannabis. (élément de marque)

    brand-preference promotion

    brand-preference promotion means promotion of cannabis by means of its brand characteristics, promotion of a cannabis accessory by means of its brand characteristics or promotion of a service related to cannabis by means of the brand characteristics of the service. (promotion de marque)


    cannabis means a cannabis plant and anything referred to in Schedule 1 but does not include anything referred to in Schedule 2. (cannabis)

    cannabis accessory

    cannabis accessory means

    • (a) a thing, including rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, bongs and vaporizers, that is represented to be used in the consumption of cannabis; or

    • (b) a thing that is deemed under subsection (3) to be represented to be used in the consumption of cannabis. (accessoire)

    cannabis plant

    cannabis plant means a plant that belongs to the genus Cannabis. (plante de cannabis)

    chemical offence-related property

    chemical offence-related property means offence-related property that is a chemical and includes

    • (a) anything that contains any offence-related property that is a chemical; or

    • (b) anything that has any offence-related property on it that is a chemical. (bien infractionnel chimique)

    chemical property

    chemical property means

    • (a) any chemical offence-related property;

    • (b) a chemical that is not chemical offence-related property; or

    • (c) anything that contains a chemical referred to in paragraph (b) or anything that has such a chemical on it. (bien chimique)

    competent authority

    competent authority means a public authority of a foreign country that is authorized under the laws of that country to approve the importation or exportation of cannabis into or from that country. (autorité compétente)

    designated offence

    designated offence means

    • (a) an offence under subsection 9(1) or (2), 10(1) or (2), 11(1) or (2), 12(1), (4), (5), (6) or (7), 13(1) or 14(1); or

    • (b) a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a). (infraction désignée)


    distribute includes administering, giving, transferring, transporting, sending, delivering, providing or otherwise making available in any manner, whether directly or indirectly, and offering to distribute. (distribuer)

    dried cannabis

    dried cannabis means any part of a cannabis plant that has been subjected to a drying process, other than seeds. (cannabis séché)


    dwelling-house has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Criminal Code. (maison d’habitation)


    government means any of the following or their institutions:

    • (a) the federal government;

    • (b) a corporation named in Schedule III to the Financial Administration Act;

    • (c) the government of a province or a public body established under an Act of the legislature of a province;

    • (d) an aboriginal government as defined in subsection 13(3) of the Access to Information Act;

    • (e) the government of a foreign state or of a subdivision of a foreign state; and

    • (f) an international organization of states. (administration)

    illicit cannabis

    illicit cannabis means cannabis that is or was sold, produced or distributed by a person prohibited from doing so under this Act or any provincial Act or that was imported by a person prohibited from doing so under this Act. (cannabis illicite)

    informational promotion

    informational promotion means a promotion by which factual information is provided to the consumer about

    • (a) cannabis or its characteristics;

    • (b) a cannabis accessory or its characteristics;

    • (c) a service related to cannabis; or

    • (d) the availability or price of cannabis, a cannabis accessory or a service related to cannabis. (promotion informative)


    inspector means an individual who is designated as an inspector under section 84. (inspecteur)


    judge means a judge as defined in section 552 of the Criminal Code or a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction. (juge)


    justice has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Criminal Code. (juge de paix)


    label includes a legend, word or mark that is, or is to be, applied or attached to or included in, or that accompanies or is to accompany, cannabis or a cannabis accessory or a package. (étiquette)


    Minister means the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada who is designated as the Minister under section 4. (ministre)

    non-chemical offence-related property

    non-chemical offence-related property means offence-related property that is not chemical offence-related property. (bien infractionnel non chimique)

    offence-related property

    offence-related property means, with the exception of cannabis, any property within or outside Canada

    • (a) by means of or in respect of which a designated offence is committed;

    • (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of a designated offence; or

    • (c) that is intended for use for the purpose of committing a designated offence. (bien infractionnel)


    organization has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Criminal Code. (organisation)


    package means any inner or outer container or covering. (emballage)


    person means an individual or organization. (personne)


    possession has the same meaning as in subsection 4(3) of the Criminal Code. (possession)


    prescribed means prescribed by the regulations. (Version anglaise seulement)


    produce, in respect of cannabis, means to obtain it by any method or process, including by

    • (a) manufacturing;

    • (b) synthesis;

    • (c) altering its chemical or physical properties by any means; or

    • (d) cultivating, propagating or harvesting it or any living thing from which it may be extracted or otherwise obtained. (production)


    promote, in respect of a thing or service, means to make, for the purpose of selling the thing or service, a representation — other than a representation on a package or label — about the thing or service by any means, whether directly or indirectly, that is likely to influence and shape attitudes, beliefs and behaviours about the thing or service. (promotion)

    public place

    public place includes any place to which the public has access as of right or by invitation, express or implied, and any motor vehicle located in a public place or in any place open to public view. (lieu public)


    sell includes offer for sale, expose for sale and have in possession for sale. (vente)

    young person

    young person means

    • (a) for the purposes of sections 8, 9 and 12, an individual who is 12 years of age or older but under 18 years of age; and

    • (b) for the purposes of any other provision of this Act, an individual who is under 18 years of age. (jeune)

  • Marginal note:Dried cannabis

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, dried cannabis is a class of cannabis.

  • Marginal note:Deeming — cannabis accessory

    (3) For the purposes of the definition cannabis accessory, a thing that is commonly used in the consumption of cannabis is deemed to be represented to be used in the consumption of cannabis if the thing is sold at the same point of sale as cannabis.

  • Marginal note:Equivalency

    (4) For the purposes of this Act, a quantity referred to in column 2 of Schedule 3 in respect of any class of cannabis referred to in column 1 of that Schedule is deemed to be equivalent to 1 g of dried cannabis.


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