Cannabis Act (S.C. 2018, c. 16)

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Act current to 2018-11-20 and last amended on 2018-10-17. Previous Versions

Interpretation (continued)

Marginal note:Interpretation

 Every power, duty or function imposed under this Act that may be exercised or performed in respect of an offence under this Act may be exercised or performed in respect of a conspiracy, or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence under this Act.

Marginal note:Designation of Minister

 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as the Minister for the purposes of this Act.

Application

Marginal note:Youth Criminal Justice Act

 The Youth Criminal Justice Act applies in respect of contraventions of provisions of this Act or of the regulations.

Marginal note:For greater certainty

 For greater certainty, nothing in this Act is to be construed as limiting the operation of the extrajudicial measures that are provided for under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Act binding on Her Majesty

 This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose

 The purpose of this Act is to protect public health and public safety and, in particular, to

  • (a) protect the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis;

  • (b) protect young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis;

  • (c) provide for the licit production of cannabis to reduce illicit activities in relation to cannabis;

  • (d) deter illicit activities in relation to cannabis through appropriate sanctions and enforcement measures;

  • (e) reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis;

  • (f) provide access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis; and

  • (g) enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use.

PART 1Prohibitions, Obligations and Offences

DIVISION 1Criminal Activities

Marginal note:Possession

  •  (1) Unless authorized under this Act, it is prohibited

    • (a) for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to possess, in a public place, cannabis of one or more classes of cannabis the total amount of which, as determined in accordance with Schedule 3, is equivalent to more than 30 g of dried cannabis;

    • (b) for an individual who is 18 years of age or older to possess any cannabis that they know is illicit cannabis;

    • (c) for a young person to possess cannabis of one or more classes of cannabis the total amount of which, as determined in accordance with Schedule 3, is equivalent to more than 5 g of dried cannabis;

    • (d) for an individual to possess, in a public place, one or more cannabis plants that are budding or flowering;

    • (e) for an individual to possess more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering; or

    • (f) for an organization to possess cannabis.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (2) Subject to section 51, every person that contravenes subsection (1)

    • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable

      • (i) in the case of an individual who is 18 years of age or older, to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years less a day,

      • (ii) in the case of a young person, to a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, or

      • (iii) in the case of an organization, to a fine in an amount that is in the discretion of the court; or

    • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable

      • (i) in the case of an individual who is 18 years of age or older, to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of a young person, to a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, or

      • (iii) in the case of an organization, to a fine of not more than $100,000.

Marginal note:Definition of medical emergency

  •  (1) For the purposes of this section, medical emergency means a physiological event induced by the introduction of a psychoactive substance into the body of a person that results in a life-threatening situation and in respect of which there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person requires emergency medical or law enforcement assistance.

  • Marginal note:Exemption — medical emergency

    (2) No person who seeks emergency medical or law enforcement assistance because that person, or another person, is suffering from a medical emergency is to be charged or convicted of an offence under subsection 8(1) if the evidence in support of that offence was obtained or discovered as a result of that person having sought assist­ance or having remained at the scene.

  • Marginal note:Exemption — persons at the scene

    (3) The exemption under subsection (2) also applies to any person, including the person suffering from the medical emergency, who is at the scene on the arrival of the emergency medical or law enforcement assistance.

  • Marginal note:Exemption — evidence

    (4) No person who seeks emergency medical or law enforcement assistance because that person, or another person, is suffering from a medical emergency, or who is at the scene on the arrival of the assistance, is to be charged with an offence concerning a violation of any condition of a pre-trial release or probation order relating to an offence under subsection 8(1) if the evidence in support of that offence was obtained or discovered as a result of that person having sought assistance or having remained at the scene.

  • Marginal note:Deeming

    (5) Any condition of a person’s pre-trial release, probation order, conditional sentence or parole relating to an offence under subsection 8(1) that may be violated as a result of the person seeking emergency medical or law enforcement assistance for their, or another person’s, medical emergency, or as a result of having been at the scene on the arrival of the assistance, is deemed not to be violated.

Marginal note:Distribution

  •  (1) Unless authorized under this Act, it is prohibited

    • (a) for an individual who is 18 years of age or older

      • (i) to distribute cannabis of one or more classes of cannabis the total amount of which is equivalent, as determined in accordance with Schedule 3, to more than 30 g of dried cannabis,

      • (ii) to distribute cannabis to an individual who is under 18 years of age,

      • (iii) to distribute cannabis to an organization, or

      • (iv) to distribute cannabis that they know is illicit cannabis;

    • (b) for a young person

      • (i) to distribute cannabis of one or more classes of cannabis the total amount of which is equivalent, as determined in accordance with Schedule 3, to more than 5 g of dried cannabis,

      • (ii) to distribute cannabis to an organization;

    • (c) for an individual

      • (i) to distribute one or more cannabis plants that are budding or flowering, or

      • (ii) to distribute more than four cannabis plants that are not budding or flowering; or

    • (d) for an organization to distribute cannabis.

  • Marginal note:Possession for purpose of distributing

    (2) Unless authorized under this Act, it is prohibited to possess cannabis for the purpose of distributing it contrary to subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Defence — subparagraph (1)(a)(ii)

    (3) It is not a defence to a charge arising out of the contravention of subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) that the accused believed that the individual referred to in that subparagraph was 18 years of age or older, unless the accused took reasonable steps to ascertain the individual’s age.

  • Marginal note:Defence — subsection (2)

    (4) It is not a defence to a charge arising out of the contravention of subsection (2) of possessing cannabis for the purpose of distributing it to an individual referred to in subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) that the accused believed that the individual was 18 years of age or older, unless the accused took reasonable steps to ascertain the individual’s age.

  • Marginal note:Punishment

    (5) Subject to section 51, every person that contravenes subsection (1) or (2)

    • (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable

      • (i) in the case of an individual who is 18 years of age or older, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years,

      • (ii) in the case of a young person, to a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, or

      • (iii) in the case of an organization, to a fine in an amount that is in the discretion of the court; or

    • (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable

      • (i) in the case of an individual who is 18 years of age or older who contravenes any of subparagraphs (1)(a)(i), (iii) and (iv) and (c)(i) and (ii) — or subsection (2) other than by possessing cannabis for the purpose of distributing it contrary to subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) — to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both,

      • (ii) in the case of an individual who is 18 years of age or older who contravenes subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) — or subsection (2) if the possession was for the purpose of distribution contrary to subparagraph (1)(a)(ii) — to a fine of not more than $15,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months, or to both,

      • (iii) in the case of a young person, to a youth sentence under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, or

      • (iv) in the case of an organization, to a fine of not more than $100,000.

 
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