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#MarijuanaFiles: all things cannabis

Last Updated Oct 17, 2018 at 11:29 am EST

FILE - In this April 20, 2015 file photo, a Canadian flag with a cannabis leaf flies on Parliament Hill during a 4/20 protest in Ottawa, Ontario. Canada is following the lead of Uruguay in allowing a nationwide, legal marijuana market, although each Canadian province is working up its own rules for pot sales. The federal government and the provinces also still need to publish regulations that will govern the cannabis trade. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Cannabis is now legal in Canada and celebrations commenced overnight with parties ringing in legalization and “wake ‘n’ bake” breakfast events kicking off the day on a high note.

In the lead up to legalization, CityNews explored every angle of marijuana legalization in our special series the Marijuana Files.

Below is a selection of articles and videos covering all things pot from official rules to personal experiences.

Regulations

A homegrown mess: Canada ushering in legal marijuana with a patchwork of rules

With billions of dollars invested, millions of grams cultivated and thousands of people employed, the grand premiere of Canada’s legal cannabis system is upon us. But as the curtain lifts, it will debut as a ragged production. Parts of the set may be unpainted. Not everyone will know their lines. The theatre may be variously oversold and partly empty. And whole sections of the stage will remain in darkness. READ MORE.

Why are the cannabis regulations so different from province to province?

On a national level, marijuana is now legal. But the rules are not a one-size-fits-all format across the country. The rules governing all things pot differ from province to province and while that may seem haphazard, it was done intentionally. READ MORE.

When it comes to marketing marijuana, selling the sizzle is off limits

No TV, no radio, no magazines or billboards — unlike flashy beer ads, marijuana is being treated more like a “sin product” similar to cigarettes and gambling, putting cannabis companies under very strict guidelines on how they can brand their bud. Packaging can have colour but it has to be muted. No florescents, metallics, sparkles or shiny finishes are permitted. READ MORE.

Ontario to allow pot smoking wherever tobacco smoking allowed

Ontario residents will be able to smoke recreational cannabis wherever the smoking of tobacco is permitted. Under previous consumption rules, those over 19 would have only been able to smoke cannabis in a private Ontario residence, but the Progressive Conservative government has now moved to align pot consumption rules around the laws that already apply to tobacco consumption. READ MORE.

Will you be able to smoke pot in your condo?

An increasing number of Toronto condo boards are banning tenants from smoking cannabis on balconies and inside condo units. But is that legal? WATCH.

Purchasing

How to buy recreational pot online in Ontario 

The only legal cannabis retailer in Ontario is the government-run Ontario Cannabis Store website OCS.ca. Consumers can access the site from computers and mobile devices.
The products offered for sale include dried flower, oils, capsules, pre-rolled joints and accessories, but no seeds for the time being. Here’s a primer on how to purchase marijuana online. READ MORE and WATCH

A brief look at provincial approaches to recreational marijuana sales

The rules surrounding selling of marijuana will differ from province to province. Here’s a look at provincial and territorial plans to date. READ MORE

Won’t it be cheaper to buy pot from my regular dealer?

With the legalization of recreational cannabis, what is going to happen to the black market for marijuana? The price for illegal pot already dropped in anticipation of legalization, but the government has indicated that it intends to come close to matching those illicit market prices in order to provide a legitimate, feasable alternative. READ MORE.

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational pot online should be able to rely on existing laws to protect their privacy, but the issue needs to be watched closely to ensure regulations are obeyed and mistakes are avoided, experts say. READ MORE.

Pot on planes: What to know about travelling with marijuana in Canada

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) told CityNews it doesn’t expect “any significant impacts” on its operations with the arrival of legalization, but it has updated its screening procedures to align with the Cannabis Act. READ MORE.

Policing

Will Canada’s first approved roadside pot test actually work?

Canadian government has approved the first roadside test aimed at stopping drivers who are under the influence of cannabis. But some experts are questioning whether the Drager DrugTest 5000 will actually be effective in detecting drivers who are impaired by THC — the main psychoactive agent in cannabis. READ MORE.

Streamlined pardon process for marijuana possession convictions on the way

The federal government promises it will soon be quicker — and less expensive — to obtain a criminal pardon for previous convictions of simple pot possession. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says coming legislation will waive the waiting period and fee for those seeking a pardon for possession offences. READ MORE.

Toronto police will be barred from consuming weed within 28 days of duty: internal video

In an internal police video leaked to a Toronto radio station, Police Chief Mark Saunders says officers will be barred from using marijuana within 28 days of reporting for duty. In the video, Saunders says studies have shown that THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, can linger in one’s system, causing levels of impairment that are incompatible with police work. READ MORE.

Officers decry ‘offensive’ limits on pot use planned by RCMP, other forces

Some police forces are implementing nonsensical and downright offensive policies that prohibit or severely limit off-duty cannabis use, says a national association that represents front-line officers. READ MORE.

Pot-sniffing police dogs out of work?

What does cannabis legalization mean for pot-sniffing police dogs? Some have been retired, while others have been sold to private security companies. WATCH.

FAQs

Legal pot FAQ: Your burning questions answered

With legalization come new rules governing everything ranging from where you can use pot to how it will be marketed and distributed. In the run up to decriminalization day, CityNews asked viewers and readers to send in their concerns about navigating the changes. We then reached out to experts in the field to weigh in. READ MORE.

Clearing the smoke: 5 interesting findings from a deep dive into cannabis studies

With many parts of the world shifting away from criminalizing cannabis, studies related to the plant are now being regularly conducted, with sometimes surprising and contradictory results.
As part of our Marijuana Files coverage, CityNews has delved into the wealth of established and emerging research on the topic. Here’s five interesting takeaways from our deep dive into marijuana, with links to 50 studies that shed new light on the physical, psychological, and societal effects of cannabis consumption. READ MORE.

What are sativa, indica, THC and CBD?

10 key terms every budding consumer should know about cannabis. READ MORE.

How bad is marijuana second-hand smoke?

Just 10 minutes of moderate exposure to marijuana smoke is enough for blood levels to exceed the legal driving limit, according to research out of the University of Calgary. Dr. Fiona Clement, the lead author of the Canadian Medical Association Journal Open study, said she was surprised by the results. READ MORE.

The truth about how cannabis affects your health

There’s a major lack of conclusive research on how cannabis actually affects the body, which has led to over-the-top claims, both pro and con. We asked experts to help clear the air. READ MORE.

Experiences, potential problems and more

10 things I learned trading weed stocks as a rookie investor

Weed stocks aren’t for the faint of heart. CityNews’ Michael Talbot shares the lessons he’s learned as a rookie trading weed stocks. READ MORE

Pot holds promise, problems, for pet owners

CBD oil, a product made from marijuana, is in high demand among Toronto dog owners, even though it is not regulated and there is little proof it actually works. CBD oil claims to do wonders for our four-legged friends when it comes to things like chronic pain, cancer and anxiety. READ MORE.

Baked goods: cooking with cannabis oil

While recreational cannabis is now legal, pot infused edibles are not included. That will come with legislation sometime in 2019. The Canadian edibles sector is expected to hit somewhere between $12 and $22 billion once the market is in full swing. Until then, you won’t be able to buy edibles in store and any (waking and) baking will have to happen at home. READ MORE.

The risks of growing cannabis at home

It is now legal to grow cannabis at home and that has some realty groups sounding the alarm about the relatively unknown risks of cultivating the plant. The damage can get extensive, even impact property values, and critics say it is far different than taking care of other common house plants. READ MORE.

Marijuana brings yogis to a higher level

CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt visited a Toronto yoga studio where you’re encouraged to consume marijuana to reach a higher level. WATCH

Advice for pot users who travel within Canada

For the first time in Canadian history, recreational marijuana will be allowed to be carried into Canadian airports and on any flights within our country’s borders. With that freedom comes some lingering questions about travelling with marijuana. Here are some Q&As. READ MORE.

Clinical scientists say youth should wait until they’re 25 before trying marijuana

Scientists are just starting to understand the effects of marijuana on the teenage brain, and while there are still many unknowns – they say they do know one thing for sure: the younger they start using it, the more it will impact their development. READ MORE.

Will cannabis legalization draw tourists to Canada?

Ganja-preneurs are dreaming big when it comes to making our country a tourist destination for cannabis users. The possibilities are endless, including pot tasting tours, cooking classes, bachelor parties and weddings. READ MORE.

This article has been edited to include the latest information regarding pardons for simple pot possession.