Legal Cannabis in Canada Timeline

April 4, 2024

Timeline of Cannabis Legalization in Canada | Garden City Cannabis Co

The timeline of cannabis legalization in Canada is a long and complex one, spanning several decades of advocacy and political action. Here is a brief overview of the major events that led to the legalization of cannabis in Canada:

Timeline of Legal Cannabis in Canada

1960s-70s: Cannabis use becomes increasingly popular in Canada, particularly among the younger generation. Despite this, cannabis remains illegal and possession can result in severe penalties.

1996: The first medical cannabis legislation is introduced in Canada, allowing patients with certain conditions to access cannabis for medical purposes.

1997: “Cannabis Culture magazine” is founded, which becomes a leading publication in the cannabis legalization movement.

2000: The BC Marijuana Party is founded, advocating for cannabis legalization as its primary platform.

2001: The Canadian government introduces the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations, which establish a legal framework for medical cannabis use.

2003: Canada's first "Cannabis Culture" head shop in Vancouver, selling cannabis-related products and literature.

2005: The Supreme Court of Canada rules that medical cannabis patients have a constitutional right to use cannabis, paving the way for greater legal protections for medical cannabis users.

2012: The federal government introduces the "Respect for Communities Act," which makes it more difficult to open new medical cannabis dispensaries and imposes stricter regulations on existing ones.

2015: The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, campaigns on a promise to legalize and regulate cannabis for recreational use if elected.

2016: The Canadian government announces plans to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis for recreational use.

2017: The federal government introduces the "Cannabis Act," which legalizes and regulates the sale, possession, and consumption of cannabis for recreational purposes. The act comes into effect on October 17, 2018.

2018: Cannabis is officially legalized for recreational use in Canada, making it the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay.

St. Catharines | Welland (Niagara Street) | Fort Erie | Welland (East Main)

Timeline of Legal Cannabis in Canada

The history of cannabis growing in Niagara is relatively recent, as cannabis cultivation for non-medical purposes was illegal in Canada until 2018. However, since legalization, the region has become a hub for legal cannabis production and research, with several licensed producers (LPs) and research institutions located in the area.

One of the earliest LPs to establish itself in Niagara was CannTrust, which was founded in 2013 and became one of Canada's largest cannabis producers before running into legal and regulatory issues in 2019. Other LPs that have established themselves in Niagara include Safari Flower Co, & Dykstra Greenhouses,. These companies have invested heavily in their facilities and technology, and have worked closely with local governments and institutions to build a strong legal cannabis industry in the region.

In addition to LPs, Niagara is home to a number of research institutions and organizations focused on cannabis. The Niagara College Research & Innovation division, for example, has established a Cannabis Production program, which provides education and training in the cultivation, processing, and marketing of cannabis. The college has also established partnerships with LPs in the region, allowing students to gain hands-on experience in the industry. The region is also home to the Cannabis Research Institute of Niagara, which is dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of cannabis and its potential therapeutic uses.

St. Catharines | Welland (Niagara Street) | Fort Erie | Welland (East Main)

Timeline of Legal Cannabis in Canada

Today, we're proud to be part of the next chapter of Cannabis history in Niagara. 
We're proud to contribute to the education and de-stigmatization of this misunderstood plant.

Check out our original line of Niagara Grown Craft Cannabis here! 

If you want to learn more about it, feel free to stop by one of our stores and chat with one of our knowledgeable budtenders. 

St. Catharines - 111 Forth Avenue (Ridley Plaza) 
Welland - 623 Niagara Street 
Fort Erie - 310 Garrison Road
Welland - 469 East Main 

St. Catharines | Welland (Niagara Street) | Fort Erie | Welland (East Main)