Canadian laws for recreational marijuana

As of October 2018, it is legal for adults to purchase and consume recreational marijuana (cannabis) throughout Canada. Legalization in Canada is not the same as legalization in the US, with Canadian laws and regulations differing in many important ways. For travelers to Canada, it is important to keep in mind that there are still important restrictions to consider.

What visitors to Canada should know
If you are entering the Canada for the purpose of legally purchasing or consuming marijuana, you should be aware of the following:

  • Marijuana availability and restrictions vary by location: Laws and restrictions vary by province or territory, so marijuana may not be available for purchase or even use in the area you are visiting.
  • Marijuana is not allowed to enter or leave Canada: Travelers are not allowed to leave Canada with any amount of marijuana, no matter how small, even if the traveler is going to a country that allows individuals to possess marijuana.
  • Passengers can fly with marijuana on domestic flights in Canada: Airline passengers may fly with legally purchased marijuana in Canada, but only on domestic flights (origin and destination are both in Canadian territory).
  • Laws in your home country may apply to activities in Canada: Depending on your home country, purchasing or using marijuana in Canada my get you in trouble back home.
  • You may not want to use your credit card or debit card: If you are using a credit card or ATM card to make purchases from a marijuana-related business, and your credit card issuer is based in a country (including the US) with strict banking laws and regulations related to marijuana, you may face penalties from your home government, your credit card company, or your bank.
  • Medical marijuana is treated the same: The same laws and restrictions associated with recreational marijuana allow apply to medical marijuana, even if you have a prescription or other medical authorization.

Differences between the US and Canada
The biggest difference between legal recreational marijuana in Canada and the United States is that in the US, marijuana is not legal at the federal level. This is why you are not allowed to fly with any kind of marijuana on an aircraft in the US, and why TSA does not allow marijuana into the secure area of airports.

Because banks and credit card companies in the US are regulated by the federal government, using a credit card or debit card (including an ATM card) to purchase marijuana or any other product or service from a company associated with the Canadian marijuana industry could put you at risk for fines or penalties.

Avoiding issues with your bank or credit card company
The easiest way to avoid problems with your credit card company or bank is to use cash purchase marijuana or any other product or service from a Canadian company that is associated with retail sales of recreational marijuana.

Other marijuana resources

Canadian laws for recreational marijuana -- Revised 1 December 2018