Cannabis Legislation in Saskatchewan – Effective When?

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Jointly authored by Ken Fox and Pat Kelly

Many of you are aware that October 17 is the date the federal Cannabis Act becomes law. And if you have been following closely, you may also be aware that many aspects of cannabis legalization, including distribution, licensing, restrictions on access, health regulation, and impaired driving regulations, fall under provincial jurisdiction. But if I were a gambling man (I’m not), I would bet my entire fortune that you are not familiar with the effective dates of the various pieces of Saskatchewan legislation that will roll out in the wake of the Cannabis Act.

So we at Legal Sourcery have done you the favour of pulling all this information together – so you will have no excuse for not knowing, for example, when our province’s zero tolerance policy with respect to drugged driving becomes effective.

First the biggest piece is The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act SS 2018 c C-2.111, also known as An Act to Control the Sale, Possession, Consumption, Distribution and Transportation of Cannabis and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts. This act comes into force on proclamation, and as of September 28, 2018, it is not yet proclaimed. To find out when the proclamation happens, you might follow the news, or keep an eye on the list of “Acts Proclaimed” in Part I of the Saskatchewan Gazette. If I were a gambling man, I would bet the farm (if I had one) that effective date will be somewhere in the vicinity of October 17. Update: The act, except s.7-10, was proclaimed into force on October 17.

The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Consequential Amendments Act, 2018, SS 2018 c 7, despite its name, is barely worth mentioning here, as it does not create any substantive law with respect to cannabis. The one thing I would note, however, is that it adds one item to the list of phenomena the Liquor and Gaming Authority is responsible for, namely “(f) any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may assign to the authority.” Of course I don’t actually know what other matter the legislators have in mind here, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet that there’s a plan to assign cannabis control to the LGA’s authority (but I’m not). This act comes into force on the same day as section 1 of The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act, which comes into force on October 17.

The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Regulations, C-2.111 Reg 1, deal with the possession, distribution and consumption of Cannabis, including Cannabis Retail Store Permits, Cannabis Wholesale Permits, Cannabis Permits generally, Registered Suppliers, Taxation, Administration and Enforcement.  This regulation comes into force on the same day as section 1 of The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act – which is October 17.

The Miscellaneous Vehicle and Driving Statutes (Cannabis Legislation) Amendment Act, 2018, SS 2018 c 21, updates the impaired driving provisions in the Highway Traffic Act and Automobile Accident Insurance Act, including a “Zero tolerance drugs” provision. Parts 1 and 2, Offences Relating to Transportation – Drugs, came into force on July 1, 2018. Part 3, Offences Relating to Conveyances, comes into force on December 28, 2018.

The Automobile Accident Insurance (General) (Safety Rating Appeals and Cannabis) Amendment Regulations, 2018, SR 66/2018, is another one of those legislative pieces that does not mention cannabis except in the title. However, it does refer obliquely to some new Criminal Code sections under the heading “Offences Relating to Conveyances” that have been introduced in An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, SC 2018, c. 21. Most of this regulation came into effect on September 14, 2018. The remainder, sections 4, 5, 7 and 11(5), come into force on December 28, 2018.

The Vehicle Impoundment (General) Amendment Regulations, 2018 SR 67/2018 do not mention cannabis at all, but do make reference to the new Offences Relating to Conveyances in SC 2018, c. 21 mentioned above. Part 1 of these regs came into force on September 14, 2018, except for s 8(2), which comes into force on the day on which Part 2 (Offences Relating to Conveyances) of SC 2018, c. 21 comes into force. Part 2 (s 12 to 50 of SR 67/2018) is in effect on December 18, 2018.

 The Driver Licensing and Suspension (Cannabis) Amendment Regulations, 2018 SR 68/2018, also makes reference to various Criminal Code provisions, including the new Offences Relating to Conveyances. Sections 1, 2, 3(1), 4(1), 5(1), 6(1), 7(1), 8(1), 9(1),10(1), 11, 12, 13(1), 14, 15, 16(1), 17(1), 18(1), 19(1), 20(1) and 21 to 25 have been in effect since September 14, 2018. Sections 3(2), 4(2), 5(2), 6(2), 7(2), 8(2), 9(2), 10(2), 13(2), 16(2), 17(2), 18(2), 19(2) and 20(2) come into force on December 28, 2018.

Unlike the above regulations, The Summary Offences Procedure (Miscellaneous) Amendment Regulations, 2018, SR 45/2018, makes frequent reference to cannabis in its substantive content, especially in the newly added Table 54, which prescribes monetary penalties for various offences defined in the aforementioned Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act. These regs came into force on June 29, 2018, except for section 8, which was in effect September 1, 2018, and sections 3(b), 4(b), 5(2), 7(a), 9 and 13, which come into force, again, on the same day as section 1 of The Cannabis Control (Saskatchewan) Act – which is October 17.

Now if you are involved in the regulation of cannabis in Saskatchewan in any way, and if I were a gambling man, I would bet my life that I know what you are going to do next. You are going to bookmark this page.

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