Nova Scotia puts safety in first place with recreational cannabis plan

Nova Scotia is deciding to follow Ontario and Quebec in its strict approach to regulating recreational marijuana. Pot will be sold through certain Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. outlets.

Residents of Nova Scotia have had a chance for a few months to express their opinion and feeling regarding the regulation of recreational cannabis.

The province used feedback from its residents, but not only that, as they’ve also used experiences of other jurisdictions to make key decisions about the legalization of cannabis.

Safety first

The provincial government has made it clear that safety comes first in their recent announcement.

While creating a regulated legal market, the government of Nova Scotia said that the first priority is the health and safety of its residents, especially children, and youth.

Three key things to government pointed out in their plan are:

  • keeping cannabis out of the hands of children
  • keeping impaired drivers off the roads
  • keeping profits out of the hands of organized crime

Seeing how safety comes first, the government decided to restrict access to legal cannabis to all those younger than 19 years of age.

Throughout its consultation, the province heard differing views on what the legal age should be. A legal age of 19 strikes a balance between keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth, protecting the health of young people, and restricting the illegal market.

Nineteen years of age aligns the legal age for cannabis with the legal age for alcohol and brings Nova Scotia in line with New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, its neighboring provinces.

Distribution, possession, and retail

Distribution and retail of recreational cannabis is to be done by the provincial government once legalization hits the streets on July 1st.

The distribution and sale of cannabis will be through the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, online and in existing NSLC stores, which means that this province will be less likely to have problems with setting up the retail network.

In the online survey done by the provincial government, 49% of respondents agree or somewhat agreed with this approach to the regulation.

Same as the federal limit, Nova Scotians will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, and will be allowed to grow up to 4 plants per household.

The government officials pointed out they plan on keeping the whole process of growing and distributing recreational cannabis localized to the province, meaning they will most likely be relying on NS based licensed producers.

Tough news are coming to the youngsters of Nova Scotia which plan on holding onto cannabis:

  • Young people – those under the legal age of 19 – will not be allowed to purchase or posses any cannabis
  • Youth found with less than 5 grams will be subject to seizure of the cannabis, notification of parents/guardians, and fines similar to underage possession of alcohol or tobacco
  • These offenses will be prosecuted under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, as is the current process for youth drug offenses

The provincial government has not yet announced which licensed producer will be supplying the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp with recreational cannabis.


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