Keep your skunk in the trunk.
Put your loot in the boot.
Legal cannabis, just like alcohol, has to be transported properly.
Even after you’ve followed all the rules, bought from a government store or website, and never, ever exceeded the personal cannabis limit of 30 grams, you can still run afoul of the law by not carrying pot properly in your car.
According to the Ontario government website, the rules are as follows: if you have pot in your car, it has to be either unopened and in the original packaging, or packed into baggage that’s not readily available to anyone in the car.
Toronto Police Sgt. Warren Stein, of Traffic Services, spells it out for people in Ontario.
“The laws for transporting Cannabis legally do mirror those for alcohol,” he said.
“Section 12 of the Cannabis Control Act states: No person shall drive or have care or control of a vehicle or boat, whether or not in motion, while cannabis is contained in the vehicle or boat except when it is in it’s original packaging and has not been opened or packaged in baggage that is fastened closed or is not otherwise readily available to any person in the vehicle or boat.”
And yes, those provincial laws will be enforced by Toronto cops. It’s a $175 ticket if you get this wrong.
Carrying the substance in your car — and doing it properly — is just one more legal wrinkle being ironed out around legal cannabis. Every province can make its own rules on certain elements of legalized herb, so if you’re driving across this fair country, you’d better know the rules in every province and territory.
In Alberta, for example, transport rules are a little tougher. We stole the phrase, “Keep your skunk in the trunk,” from the good police officers in Edmonton, who wrote 149 tickets for illegal transport in the first seven months after legalization.
That’s because in Alberta, pot must be in closed packaging and cannot be within reach of anyone in a vehicle, which pretty much suggests it goes in the trunk.
The police in Edmonton had to start a public education campaign to walk people through the dos and don’ts of transporting legal cannabis.
No such issue arose in Ontario.
Stein said people here “do get that they have to transport it the same way they treat alcohol – making it not readily accessible to the occupants.”
Only seven tickets for transporting cannabis improperly have been issued here.
Things vary from province to province, but not much.
In British Columbia, the rule is: “Cannabis can be transported in a vehicle as long as it’s in its original, unopened packaging, or is inaccessible to the driver and occupants (for example, in the trunk). In addition, a maximum of four non-medical cannabis plants can be transported in a vehicle, but they cannot be budding or flowering.”
In P.E.I. the rules for transporting cannabis are the same as the rules for transporting liquor.
In Saskatchewan, the fines for incorrectly transporting cannabis are probably greater than the penalties attached to shooting Indigenous people.
In Quebec, the rules pertain to commercial transport and no mention of personal transport is made. Our advice? Do not transport cannabis wearing any sort of religious symbol or in packaging that involves more words in English than in French.
Unfortunately, we had to make some of this up. Keep your bud in the back, friends.