First Look at the Northwest Territories Cannabis Legalization Proposal

Northwest Territories Cannabis

Flickr / Jerry "Woody" / CC BY-SA 2.0

While Canada has launched a public consultation on its proposed federal cannabis regulations, the Northwest Territories cannabis legalization proposal was unveiled recently by the territorial government.

On Nov. 24, 2017, Northwest Territories announced that it had released its plan for recreational cannabis legalization, including a proposal to give individual communities the right to ban or restrict recreational cannabis.

“Our government is working to make sure the NWT is ready with a framework for regulating recreational cannabis when the Government of Canada makes it legal in July 2018. We know this issue matters to Northerners and that is why we have made public engagement a priority and will continue to keep residents informed throughout this process as we work with the Members of the Legislative Assembly to ensure we have the appropriate laws, guidelines, policies and programs in place to achieve an orderly management of legal cannabis by July 2018,” said Louis Sebert, Minister of Justice, in a press release.

For the communities that choose to embrace recreational cannabis, the Government of the Northwest Territories has proposed that consumers be 19 or older, possession be limited to 30 grams, adults be permitted to cultivate up to four plants at home and public consumption be banned.

Additionally, the territory has proposed that the NWT Liquor Commission be in charge of importing and selling recreational cannabis and purchases be made at liquor stores or through the NWT Liquor Commission’s online mail-order service.

The Northwest Territories cannabis legalization proposal is the foundation for the legalization legislation that the NWT’s Legislative Assembly will debate starting in February 2018 so that the territory can meet the country’s deadline of July 2018 for implementing recreational cannabis legalization.

Caroline Cahill is the Managing Editor of MJINews. She earned her BA in Communications from College of Charleston and her MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has previously worked in higher education, development and radio. You can follow her on Twitter @CtheresaC.

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