This article was published 31/10/2018 (1085 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Dear Herb: I have a prescription for medical cannabis, which allows me to possess up to 40 grams (my prescription for a month).
Now that non-medical cannabis is legal, does that mean I can carry my 40 grams of medical cannabis plus the maximum 30 grams for recreational use in public?
I am curious if this has been addressed in the Cannabis Act at all. I don't actually use cannabis for recreational purposes at all, but I'd still like to know. — Possession with Discretion
Dear Possession with Discretion: Thanks for writing in.
You're correct that possession limits for medical cannabis users aren't addressed in the Cannabis Act. Instead, the matter is dealt with in the medical cannabis section of the federal government's new cannabis regulations, specifically in section 320 (2) (a), entitled "Cumulative quantities":
"(The) quantities of cannabis that a registered person is authorized to obtain by cultivation, propagation and harvesting, or to send, deliver, transport or possess, by virtue of a registration under this Division are in addition to any other quantities that they are permitted to obtain by cultivation, propagation and harvesting, or to send, deliver, transport or possess, under the Act." (Emphasis mine.)
Let's parse that out.
The phrase, "a registration under this Division" refers to a registration to use medical cannabis under this particular division of the cannabis regulations. (The Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations were the previous set of government regulations that allowed you to use cannabis for medical purposes in the first place. As of legalization on Oct. 17, the ACMPR got blended into all the other cannabis regulations.)
According to this section of the regulations, whatever quantity of cannabis you're allowed to possess as a medical cannabis registree (your 40 gram medical possession limit) is now in addition to any other quantities you are permitted to possess under the Cannabis Act (the 30 gram non-medical possession limit).
Therefore, the answer to your question is yes, as a registered cannabis user, you're now authorized to possess your medical cannabis limit on top of the 30 gram non-medical cannabis possession limit in public, but the specific possession limits for each kind of cannabis still apply. (I would recommend keeping your medical cannabis separate from the recreational cannabis, just to be safe.)
The same logic applies to home cannabis cultivation, as we explored in a previous edition of Dear Herb. If you're a registered medical cannabis user who's authorized to grow your own cannabis for medical purposes, the number of medical plants you're allowed to grow is in addition to the four recreational cannabis plants per household permitted under federal law. (Remember, not all provinces allow home cultivation!)
Finally, keep in mind that the above advice applies to cannabis possession limits in a public place. If you want to learn about possession limits in a private place like your home, see this Dear Herb column.
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