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Weed Is Legal, Canada. Here's How It Affects Laws, Business And So Much More

A comprehensive look at how recreational marijuana could affect the country.

Well, the big day is finally here. After years in the weeds debating pot policy, as of Oct. 17, 2018, marijuana is legal in Canada.

Expectations for the law are high. Canada's budding cannabis industries are hoping it will be a windfall, while others are a bit more mellow about the move to legalize pot.

Now that we've got those puns out of the way (though if you want more, we're happy to oblige), we know you might have some questions about what exactly happens now. We've rounded up our pot coverage to clear up some of the haze.

Watch: Top marijuana consumption by province

So how do I get it?

Rules vary from province to province, but most Canadians can go into a government-run store or a private store licensed to sell marijuana.

Watch: Huge lineups to buy first legalized weed in Canada at store in St. John's

Where will I be allowed to smoke or consume marijuana products?

For the most part you'll be allowed to consume marijuana products in your own home or on your property.

If you live in a condo or apartment building, check the rules for your building before you smoke, vape or grow marijuana plants.

The rules around marijuana consumption in public will vary widely from community to community, so you'll have to check with your municipality.

Is marijuana dangerous? Does it have health benefits?

As a drug, weed is relatively safe. But like any substance it can be hazardous if consumed in large amounts.

Marijuana products reportedly have a number of health benefits and have been prescribed for medical use for a number of years. But because of its illegal status, research on marijuana and its effects is lacking.

Cannabis items for sale are seen on Oct. 16, 2018 in a Montreal store owned by the SQDC (Société québecoise du cannabis), a day before the marijuana legalization in Canada.
Martin Ouellet-Diotte via Getty Images
Cannabis items for sale are seen on Oct. 16, 2018 in a Montreal store owned by the SQDC (Société québecoise du cannabis), a day before the marijuana legalization in Canada.

What about kids and legal marijuana?

The legal age to buy and consume weed in Canada is 19 (except in Quebec and Alberta, where it's 18). The punishment for selling or providing marijuana to minors can be severe — including jail time.

And as for talking to your kids about weed? Make sure you do it. This is the world they'll be living in, and it's best to give them as much (age-appropriate) information as possible.

What does this mean for the Canadian economy?

According to experts, legal marijuana is likely to create a multi-billion dollar industry. Over the last few years we've seen dozens, if not hundreds, of companies pop up to claim a part of the industry.

What about crossing the U.S. border?

Marijuana isn't legal federally in the United States — though some states have some form of legal marijuana. So definitely don't try to enter the U.S. with marijuana products.

Those who work in the marijuana industry should also get extra guidance from their employer when travelling into the U.S.

More importantly, you should not leave Canadian borders with marijuana products. The punishment for drug possession in many countries can be severe.

Whether you're a weed expert or a marijuana newbie, enjoy your products responsibly. 🇨🇦💨

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