Iqaluit city council passes new cannabis bylaw
Fines range from $200 for first offence to $10,000 for multiple offences
A new cannabis bylaw, passed by Iqaluit city council on Tuesday, will come into effect on Oct. 17, the day that the recreational consumption of cannabis will become legal under federal and territorial law.
The Government of Nunavut’s cannabis legislation, Bill 7, provides the main framework for sales, purchase, use and restrictions for the territory.
However, the city’s new Public Cannabis Consumption, Tobacco Use and Vaping By-law adds more specific information about where cannabis use will be prohibited within the city of Iqaluit.
Its existence also repeals the old smoking bylaw 570.
“Council wanted to ensure that the city’s cannabis bylaw was passed by Oct. 17, 2018 and we have met that deadline,” said Mayor Madeleine Redfern in a news release.
The city says it had been working closely with the GN and the RCMP to ensure that it is able to implement, as well as enforce, the new legislation and bylaw, according to the release.
The city’s new bylaw includes the following limits on consuming cannabis:
• Cannabis can be smoked anywhere tobacco smoke is permitted, but it is important to note that smoking laws have also changed.
• Landlords have the right to decide whether tenants are permitted to smoke tobacco or cannabis on their properties, especially if the smoke is likely to travel into another tenant’s unit or into public spaces.
• You cannot smoke at a workplace or within nine metres from an entrance or exit.
• You cannot smoke in the common area of an apartment building or condominium.
• You cannot smoke in a public place, or within nine metres of an entrance or exit of one. This includes hospitals, clinics, playgrounds and recreation centres. The bylaw also defines a public place to include a motor vehicle in a public place, or any building or structure, whether or not it has a roof, where the public has access—but does not include streets, roads or highways.
• You cannot smoke at a parade, concert, public assembly, or within nine metres of one. This also includes the setup or take-down of any temporary facilities for an event. Additionally, you cannot smoke at a school or on school grounds, or within 15 metres of an entrance or exit of one.
Some exceptions to these rules include workplaces that also serve as private residences; rooms within hotels, motels and elder homes that have been designated for smoking; and shelters or structures that are enclosed so that no smoke can come into contact with people exiting or entering.
Territorial legislation states that cannabis will only be legal for those over 19. Sharing cannabis with or selling cannabis to a minor, or permitting a minor to use cannabis, will be an offence with one of the highest fines.
Residents will be allowed to possess up to 150 grams of dried cannabis at home, but can only carry up to 30 grams on them at a time.
Anyone over 19 will be able to travel to Nunavut with a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis for personal consumption.
During the first year of legalization, edibles cannot be purchased in Nunavut. The federal government plans to draft laws to regulate edibles, while working with the provinces and territories.
However, residents will be allowed to grow up to four cannabis plants each.
The city says that cannabis ash and debris should be disposed of in the garbage, after making sure that there are no longer any embers and that the remaining cannabis is completely stubbed out.
Driving under the influence of marijuana is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act, including when marijuana is taken for medical reasons.
The City of Iqaluit’s municipal enforcement officers will be responsible for enforcing the city’s new bylaw, while the RCMP will be tasked with enforcing certain parts of the law that are governed by the federal government, such as driving offences. City bylaw will call the RCMP if a driver is suspected of driving under the influence.
Fines for violations can range from $200 for a first offence, and up to $10,000 for multiple offences, depending on the type of offence and other factors.
The details of these fines can be found in Bylaw 863.