September 21, 2019

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How Canada will regulate legal cannabis: A flowchart

Comparing the medical and recreational marijuana regimes


After Canada legalizes recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018, consumers will have two legal routes to access marijuana: an existing medical cannabis regime, plus a new recreational cannabis regime.

Within those parallel systems, people will be able to buy cannabis or grow their own.

In both cases, commercial cannabis production will be subject to federal regulation via Health Canada — but recreational cannabis will be sold and distributed differently across the provinces and territories, while the sale and distribution of medical cannabis will remain under federal jurisdiction.

Trying to visualize how it all fits together? Check out our legal cannabis flowchart:

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After Canada legalizes recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018, consumers will have two legal routes to access marijuana: an existing medical cannabis regime, plus a new recreational cannabis regime.

Within those parallel systems, people will be able to buy cannabis or grow their own.

In both cases, commercial cannabis production will be subject to federal regulation via Health Canada — but recreational cannabis will be sold and distributed differently across the provinces and territories, while the sale and distribution of medical cannabis will remain under federal jurisdiction.

Trying to visualize how it all fits together? Check out our legal cannabis flowchart:

Medical

Government of Canada

Health

Canada

Regulates

Regulates

Personal production or designated grower

Licenced

cannabis

producer

Sells to

Physician

Authorizes

registration for

Medical user

Recreational

Government of Canada

Provincial and territorial governments

Health

Canada

Regulates

Regulates

Personal

production

Licenced cannabis producer

Sells to

Provincial and territorial wholesale cannabis distributor

Sells to

Retailer

Sells to

Recreational user

Medical

Recreational

Government of Canada

Government of Canada

Provincial and territorial governments

Health

Canada

Health

Canada

Regulates

Regulates

Regulates

Regulates

Personal production or designated grower

Licenced

cannabis

producer

Personal

production

Licenced cannabis producer

Sells to

Sells to

Provincial and territorial wholesale cannabis distributor

Physician

Authorizes

registration for

Sells to

Medical user

Retailer

Sells to

Recreational user

Medical

Government of Canada

Health

Canada

Regulates

Regulates

Personal production or designated grower

Licenced

cannabis

producer

Sells to

Physician

Authorizes

registration for

Medical user

Recreational

Government of Canada

Provincial and territorial governments

Health

Canada

Regulates

Regulates

Personal

production

Licenced cannabis producer

Sells to

Provincial and territorial wholesale cannabis distributor

Sells to

Retailer

Sells to

Recreational user

Solomon Israel

Solomon Israel
Cannabis reporter

Solomon Israel is the full-time cannabis reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and its national cannabis news website, TheLeafNews.com. He covers the social, legal, medical and scientific aspects of marijuana legalization in Manitoba and the rest of Canada.

Read full biography

Graeme Bruce

Graeme Bruce
Multimedia producer

Graeme Bruce is a multimedia producer for the Winnipeg Free Press with a focus on data and graphics.

Read full biography

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