The 420 on Canada’s Marijuana Legalization

Cannibis Production

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on June 20 that Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting this fall, on Oct. 17, 2018.

“We will soon have a new system in place, one that keeps cannabis out of the hands of our kids, and keeps profits away from organized crime,” said Prime Minister Trudeau on Wednesday, June 20.

The Canadian government left the practical details of implementing legalization to the provinces and territories. Each province will be taking a different approach.

When the legalization comes into place, it will be legally allowed to purchase fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oil, plants, and seeds for cultivation from a regulated retailer or directly from a federally licensed producer in Canada. It will also be legal to carry up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis in public and share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis and legal cannabis products with other adults.

It will be legal to grow up to four plants total per household, not per adult, and it will be legal to prepare varying types of cannabis products at home for personal use provided that no dangerous organic solvents are used in the process.

In Alberta, you have to be 18+ to possess any cannabis and it is illegal to smoke in some public places, so it is important to know your local laws. Edibles are not yet legal to sell and driving high is illegal and it can’t be within reach of anyone in a vehicle. Also, anyone under the age of 18 cannot enter cannabis stores.

The closest cannabis licenced producers to Three Hills, Sundial Growers and Terra Life Sciences, are located in Olds. Both companies are partnered with Olds College’s new Cannabis Production program.

“Olds College has been providing training in horticulture for more than 50 years and in agriculture for more than 100 years,” said Tanya McDonald, Director, Center of Innovation at Olds College. “It’s certainly an area of strength for us and we recognize that there are a lot of aspects of the cannabis industry that are going to be covered off in some of the programs that we already offer.”

“We also recognize that there are some unique elements to the industry that we will want some specialized training for,” said McDonald.

The new program that is being launched is the Cannabis Production program, offered through Continuing Education. Registration opened on May 1 and the first course started on July 3.

The program will consist of four online courses followed by a two-week field study with the partnered companies, Sundial Growers and Terra Life Sciences, where students will be getting hands on experience.

“We are excited about the potential the growing industry has for our local economy,” said McDonald. “We’re really excited about the opportunity and excited to support it.”