Distribution of Recreational Cannabis
The Nova Scotia government, through the Cannabis Control Act, provides the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC) authority to supervise and manage cannabis sales.
The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation is the only authorized retailer of recreational cannabis in Nova Scotia. Cannabis can be purchased at designated NSLC stores or online.
As of publication, there are 12 NSLC locations across Nova Scotia that sell recreational Cannabis. However, the corporation has announced that 14 additional locations will be undergoing renovations to allow those locations to offer cannabis products.
Though it is legal to purchase recreational cannabis products through the NSLC, individuals are limited in where they can smoke cannabis within Nova Scotia. Under the Smoke Free Places Act, persons cannot smoke in public spaces. Violators can be fined up to $2,000 for doing so.
As in other provinces, Nova Scotia is home to a number of private cannabis dispensaries, often advertised as medical cannabis dispensaries. These dispensaries, however, are not licensed by the province. As such, regional police and municipalities, such as Halifax, are actively shutting these dispensaries down. Managers and employees of private dispensaries have been charged under the Cannabis Act. Halifax Regional Municipality has also ordered shut-downs as the dispensaries operate without permits (which they cannot obtain, because dispensing cannabis in this way is illegal).
General Prohibitions of Cannabis
• Minimum Age: 19.
• Home Growing: The default position set out in the federal Cannabis Act (ability to grow 4 plants per dwelling) has been maintained, subject to municipal by-laws.
•Inteprovincial Movement of Cannabis: No restrictions, but subject to the public possession limit of 30g of dried cannabis (or equivalent) per person for adult-use.
Research & Development
Research and development of cannabis-based life sciences products (e.g., topical pain treatment) are subject to the same research licensing as entities across Canada. Such research licences are provided subject to the Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations.
Population: Approx. 940,600
Retail sales from October 2018-September 2019: $65.8 million CAD