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Regulating Cannabis – Northwest Territories Framework Announcement


By Marie-Pier Leduc

The Government of the Northwest Territories (“GNWT”) has recently released their plan for the upcoming legalization of cannabis in July 2018.

The rules regarding possession and consumption of cannabis in the Northwest Territories will largely mirror those in place for alcohol. The GNWT has set the minimum age to buy cannabis at 19, and, unlike the rules in Alberta that we posted about on November 24, residents of the Northwest Territories will be able to buy cannabis at liquor stores. There is no plan to sell cannabis through cannabis-only stores or private retailers at this time.

Personal limits have been set at 30g per person, and 4 plants per household. Communities will however have the opportunity to prohibit or restrict access and possession of cannabis on their territory in a process similar to that in place for alcohol.

Consumption of cannabis will be permitted in private homes and some public spaces, such as trails, highways, roads, streets and parks (in the absence of a public event), but not in areas frequented by crowds or children, or in any space where tobacco smoke is not allowed.

The GNWT is also proposing to modify traffic laws to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for novice drivers, drivers under the age of 21, and commercial drivers.

Our lawyers in the Yellowknife office are already in the process of working with municipalities and employers in the Northwest Territories to plan for the legalization of cannabis. For more information on our services, please contact us at 867-766-7677.


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