Is Marijuana Legal in Mexico – Part 2

The Significance of October 17, 2018

In our last article, we talked about Mexico being one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana as well as how the legislation stands now for medical marijuana. In this article we are going to talk about Canada.

As most of us know, October 17, 2018 is a very significant date in Canada. It is the date that recreational cannabis finally became legal (Bill C45), and we know that other countries, including Mexico, are watching closely. What you may not know is that the legalization of recreational has had an impact on medical cannabis which has been legal since 2001, and changes and improvements have resulted. More on this later.

What is now in place with regards to recreational are very structured legal guidelines that controls not only the possession but the production, sale and distribution of marijuana.

The act that controls this is the Cannabis Act and its mandate is:

  • Keeping cannabis out of the hands of youth;
  • Keeping profits away from criminals;
  • Protecting public health safety for adults.

Note: These rules are for adults 18 years of age and older and subject to the guidelines of each province or territory.

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

Let’s look at what the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada means.

What is Legal

The following touches on what is now considered legal (legal is defined as dried or equivalent in non -dried form, in public):

  • Possession of a maximum of 30 grams. Note here that it has to be legal cannabis (as defined above);
  • Can share up to a maximum of 30 grams of legal with other adults;
  • Must buy from a provincially-licensed retailer – if not available then can buy online from federally-licensed producers;
  • Grow from licensed seed (or seedlings) with a maximum of 4 plants per household for personal use;
  • Can make products such as food and drinks, at home, as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products.

Organic solvent as defined in the Cannabis Act

Note: Edible products and concentrates will not be legal for sale until one-year after the Act came into force (October 17, 2018).

Legal Possession Limits

According to the Cannabis Act, these limits are based on dried cannabis; one gram (one ounce) is equal to the following

  • Fresh cannabis – five grams
  • Edible product – fifteen grams
  • Liquid product – seventy grams
  • Solid or liquid concentrates – one-quarter gram
  • Cannabis plant seed – one

In other words anyone over the legal age can legally possess 150 grams of fresh cannabis. That sounds like quite a lot, doesn’t it?

Protecting our Youth

Strict guidelines have been put in place to ensure our youth are denied access which includes age restrictions and promotion. No one may sell to anyone under the age of 18 and if this happens there are penalties in place – a maximum of 14 years in jail. This could occur if someone is found to be giving or selling cannabis to those under 18 and using a youth to carry out a cannabis-related offence.

Note: some  lawyers consider this harsh treatment and right up there with penalties for terrorists.

This protection of our youth goes even further. For instance, packaging must not be appealing to youth, sold in vending machines nor should promotions be readily seen.

Again, we are looking at severe penalties to the tune of $5 million or 3 years in jail!

Public Health Safety

Education is ongoing and targeting awareness with regard to safety and any public health risks.

Who is Responsible for What

Responsibility to see that regulations are carried out is split between the provinces, territories and federal government.

Provinces and territories have their own set of responsibilities with regard to developing, implementing, maintaining and enforcing systems with regard to sale and distribution and can also add safety measures; for example, raising the legal minimum age requirement, consuming in public, lowering possession limit and even lowering number of plants per household.

The Federal government is responsible for overseeing the requirements for producers and manufactures of cannabis as well as industry-wide rules. Examples of this would be types of products for sale, packaging and labeling, serving sizes and strength, control over ingredients, production standards, promotional activities and tracking requirements.

Educating the Public

$46 million on cannabis awareness

Criminal Activity

The government feels that the Act will keep Canadians out of prison by allowing them to consume cannabis legally. Penalties will range from warnings to tickets to jail time depending on the severity of the criminal activity. It’s early days yet to see if these penalties will actually be enforced.

Here is a short interview with Jodie Emery who has been an activist for years and her views on the legalization of marijuana, as well as her thoughts on people who have been incarcerated in the past and hopefully will be given full pardons.

Criminal penalties

With regards to penalties the following is taken into consideration:

  • Activities arising from outside the law such as organized crime;
  • Penalties for the seriousness of the crime which can range from warnings and tickets to prosecution and imprisonment;
  • Specific targeting of crimes involving youth.

For more in-depth information, go here.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

As you know, in Canada, our rules regarding Medical Marijuana are clearly defined.

As someone who already has a medical license, I did not think about the impact or any changes that would take place due to the Cannabis Act coming into effect in October of this year.

New regulations have been implemented to replace the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations). As long as the patients are authorized by their health care provider they can:

  • Purchase directly from federally licensed vendors;
  • Produce a set amount of marijuana for their own medicinal use as long as they register with Health Canada;
  • Choose someone to produce it for them;
  • Purchase marijuana at authorized provincial or territorial outlets or authorized online sales as long as the legal age limit is met that is set for their province or territory.

Accessing Marijuana from a Federally Licensed Vendor

Certain improvements have been made:

  • Allowed to request from a federally licensed vendor the return or transfer of their medical documents;
  • The effective date will not be when the document was signed by the health care provider but the day it was issued;
  • The 30-day limitation for buying marijuana will be lifted so that patients won’t have any interruption in their supply;
  • More allowed products;
  • An opportunity to purchase from more producers and sellers thus providing competitive pricing, more supply and increased availability.

Producing Your Own Medical Marijuana

Patients are still able to register with Health Canada to produce their own medical marijuana or have someone do it for them. Under the new regulations:

  • As stated above, the effective date will not be when the document was signed by the health care provider but when it was issued;
  • If no renewal application is received by Health Canada before the expiration of the certificate, the registration will remain valid until such time a decision is made.

Impact to Registered Patients

Note: Those patients already registered with ACMPR need not do anything at this time as your registration has automatically transitioned to the new Act and new regulations and your expiry date will remain the same unless your registration has been cancelled under other circumstances.

A renewal application should be completed at least 8 weeks before expiry.

Limits and Possession of Personal Medical Marijuana

You can now store as much cannabis at home as you want as long as you are of legal age. For those registered with Health Canada or a federally licensed vendor, the limits remain the same for public possession:

  • This would be your 30-day supply (or the lesser of 150 grams) of cannabis product in addition to the 30 grams permitted for recreational purposes.

Proof of legal access to more than 30 grams in addition to authorized medical marijuana must be shown if requested by law enforcement personnel. You can show this proof by being in possession of:

  • A registration document issued by a federally licensed vendor;
  • A Health Canada registration certificate for designated or personal production;
  • A Health Canada registration certificate for possession only (for those who choose to obtain their supply of medical marijuana exclusively from provincial or territorial authorized retail or online outlets).

More Improvements and Benefits

  • Health Canada will evaluate the review and approval process allowing Canadians to obtain a wider range of medicinal options;
  • The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are investing in more research on cannabis and cannabinoids;
  • Health Canada will also be involved in procuring and studying data from cannabis surveys;
  • Health Canada will continue to conduct scientific reports with regard to therapeutic benefits as well as adverse effects.

Final Thoughts

This video was done in March just before the legalization but it addresses the government’s mandate to do further studies on marijuana.

It would appear that the government, Health Canada and the CIHR are prepared to invest heavily and are committed to doing all they can to learn – and be proactive – about the benefits as well as any adverse effects of medical marijuana.

It was announced by the CIHR in January 2018 that funding in the amount of 1.4 million dollars was allocated to fourteen projects on a wide variety of issues relating to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.

The CIHR also partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction in July of this year launching a 3 million dollar Catalyst Grant for Cannabis Research in Urgent Priority Areas.

For their part, Health Canada has provided an information document on the benefits and adverse effects of marijuana for medical uses.

What are your thoughts about these changes and improvements that have been made with regard to medical marijuana as a result of the October 17th decision to legalize recreational marijuana?

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Is Marijuana Legal in Mexico – Part 2”

  1. Hello and thank you for this informative and thorough artice Mary Ann. It was a such a quality read. I enjoyed it. I am so glad for Canada and for finally legalizing the recreational marijuana use. This is only a wishful thinking, here where I am from.

    Many governments do not see the opportuity legalizing of marijana will bring to the table. CBD oil is one of the best alternative medicines out there. It is proved that CBD oil can treat even the worst patients.

    I get really mad why this is not used in everyday medical care instead of battiling with should marijuana should be legal or not when it is clear that it should, under controled enironvment of course.

    Strahinja

    • Hello Strahinja. 

      I am glad you enjoyed the article.  May I ask, where are you from?

      I agree that there have been many documented cases about CBD and how it has helped so many people.  Many places are coming on board but unfortunately, the government is getting their hands into the money ‘pot.’

      I recently wrote an article titled “Recreational Marijuana & The Gravy Train – who sands to gain? You might enjoy reading it;.

  2. Thank you very much for this article, Mary Ann. It always amazes me how this type of regulations can be so different from one country to the next. I am French living in Belgium and my husband is Dutch. I was reading parts of your article to him. Like me, he did not know that recreational cannabis became legal in Canada last October. Funnily, I thought that recreational cannabis was already legal in the Netherlands but he explained to me that it is not. It is just tolerated and available in what they call “coffee shops”… all that is so confusing to me… I do not consume cannabis nor alcohol, but personally, I just don’t see why alcohol should be legal and not cannabis… 

    Nathalie 

    • Hi Nathalie. Thanks for stopping by.

      Canada has been very progressive in terms of marijuana – first approving it for medical back in 2001 and now for recreational.  It is interesting that you say In the Netherlands authorities choose to look the other way in the coffee shops. I do remember reading a little bit about this.

      I do not consume cannabis with THC but I do have a medical marijuana license and choose to use CBD oils which contains little to no THC. It eases my hip pain and allows me to sleep at night.

  3. This article gives a very detailed description of the regulations.However, there is one area that is not clear to me.It prohibits the use of marijuana by anybody below 18 years of age.However are there regulations for medical use of marijuana for persons younger than 18 years? I wonder if this could possible be a loophole that could undermine these important regulations.

    • Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for stopping by. With regards to your interesting question I was able to find this information (in Canada):

      The new regulations continue to enable individuals who have the support of their health care practitioner (including those under 18 years of age) to access cannabis for medical purposes by purchasing from a federally-licensed seller of cannabis for medical purposes; by cultivating their own cannabis, if they are over the age of 18; or by designating someone to grow cannabis on their behalf.

  4. Thanks for this post Mary  Ann. I never knew the implications of legalising marijuana. It does have a lot of health advantages when use in the  right way. It was really amazing to find out that the quantity an individual could have in their possession is limited. How it is planted also has its own rules. I really hope those using marijuana will stick to all the regulations so it will be of benefit to them and to their health.

    • Hi Juliet.

      I also didn’t realize that the legalization of recreational marijuana would also have an impact on medical marijuana but I guess it just makes sense that it would.

      I think it is early days yet to see what will be enforced to those who break the laws or deviate from the guidelines but it will definitely be interesting.

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