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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Here's what you need to know about consuming marijuana products in Prince Edward Island as of Oct. 17.
19 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.
The legal age to use, buy, grow, or possess cannabis in P.E.I. is 19. The federal government set the legal limit at 18 years old, but the province, following public consultation and advice from legal experts and public health advocates, found that 19 was appropriate.
Young people under 19 are not allowed to use or possess cannabis in P.E.I. Provincial legislation will allow police to confiscate and destroy cannabis products possessed by young people. The province says their focus will be on prevention, diversion and harm reduction, while attempting to minimize the involvement of the justice system where possible.
Where you can and can't smoke it
While the federal government made the decision to legalize the substance, it falls on provinces and municipalities to enforce many of the laws surrounding it.
In P.E.I., recreational cannabis use will be restricted to private residences, with some exceptions made for designated spaces. The government says this decision aims to protect the public from second-hand cannabis smoke.
Private residences include: a house, apartment, trailer, tent, guest room or hotel room. However, property and condo owners have the authority to restrict cannabis use on their rental or tourism properties.
Provincial legislation is expected to be updated to prohibit the smoking of recreational and medical cannabis in public places where tobacco smoking and electronic smoking devices (e.g. vaping) are already not permitted.
Consumption of cannabis is also prohibited in any vehicle, including cars, boats and off-off-road vehicles.
A law enforcement officer or inspector may exercise discretion in giving warnings with someone caught consuming cannabis in public. The general penalty for violating the provincial legislation is a fine of $200 to $400. The fine goes up to $400 to $700 for a second or subsequent offence.
Given the number of restrictions in place, the province is also allowing for designated consumption spaces to be put in place.
The Highway Traffic Act will be amended to ensure cannabis intoxication in a motor vehicle reflects alcohol impaired driving. A new summary offence will be created in cases of impaired driving with a minor.
The province is planning to train additional police officers to step up enforcement. More are also being trained as drug recognition experts.
Limited amount allowed
Adults over 19 will be allowed to have up to 30 grams of cannabis or its equivalent on their person. Those with more than 30 grams could be charged with a criminal offence.
There are currently no restrictions on how much you can keep in your home, but that could be revisited in the future. The cannabis does have to be secured in order to prevent children or youth from accessing it.
There is a limit to how much you can grow yourself. Each household will be limited to four cannabis plants at any stage of growth. Cultivation can only be managed by an adult, 19 years of age or older.
Provincial legislation requires prior approval from a landlord before a renter can cultivate their own cannabis.
Municipalities may pass additional bylaws that further restrict the cultivation of marijuana plants.
Where you can buy it
The Prince Edward Island Cannabis Management Corporation, which is government-run, will operate four cannabis retail locations in 2018 along with an online store. They are the only entity licensed to retail recreational cannabis in the province.
Products on offer will include dried cannabis, cannabis oil, seeds and seedlings.
The online store will deliver directly to home addresses, which the province says will mean everyone can access it, should they not have a retail store in their area.
Those locations are Charlottetown, Summerside, Montague and in the West Prince region. The province chose these four locations based on population. They may expand with more stores depending on demand.
Medical cannabis users can continue to access their product from licensed producers.
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