Cannabis Law: What You Need to Know?
The laws governing cannabis consumption appears to be controversial, in the sense that many countries have strikingly different policies which could either be in total, partial or even non-support for cannabis consumption. For instance, in some countries such as the United States, cannabis could be legal in one state and illegal in another state while in Canada, cannabis is absolutely legal for recreational use. In essence, while you can freely consume cannabis in one place without being afraid of running afoul of the local laws, doing so in another place could get you into serious trouble. Therefore, it becomes crucial for anyone who has an interest in cannabis whether as a producer, distributor or consumer to acquaint themselves with what the law stipulates regarding cannabis. This article will help you to know all the details pertaining to that.
Is Marijuana Legal in Which Countries?
Currently, cannabis is still considered illegal to be used for recreational purposes in many parts of the world, although an increasing number of countries are now relaxing their laws in order to accommodate its use for purposes beyond medicinal reasons.
Here are the countries where you can buy cannabis over the counter and enjoy it freely without being scared of arrest.
In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize to use of cannabis for recreational purposes. One can easily buy cannabis from certain pharmacies in the country for recreational purposes but they’re required to register with an agency will have a limit of 10 grams per week. In 2018, Canada followed suit and legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. Anyone above the age of 18 can possess or share up to 30 grams of marijuana to any adult. However, Canadians are required to buy marijuana only from locally licensed sellers. Likewise, growing or distribution of cannabis is equally regulated and selling/sharing cannabis to anyone below the age of 18 is highly prohibited and could earn one a long jail term.
Selling or Distributing Cannabis
Under federal laws, there are penalties in place for people who sell or distribute cannabis and the punitive measures are calibrated according to the size of the cannabis a defaulter is caught with. For instance, being in possession of 50 kg could make one serve five years in jail or an option of fine that could be as much as $250,000. Having 100 to 999 kg attracts 5 to 40 years of a jail term or an option $500,000 fine. While having 1000 kg or more could lead to between 10 years to lifetime in jail or $1, 000,000 fines. Also, note that jail time/fine increases progressively based on the volume a defaulter is caught with. Similarly, selling marijuana to a minor or within areas designated as off-limits (schools, youth center etc.) would attract double penalties and likewise repeat offenders.
Regardless of the fact that some states have legalized cannabis in the U.S, it is important to note that whenever there is a conflict in the justice system between the federal and state, the former will always superimpose.
Cultivating cannabis attracts penalties similar to that of selling cannabis. For instance, while selling 50 kg of cannabis can make you spend up to five years in prison or an option of fine that could be as high as $250,000, cultivating 50 plants of marijuana would also make you to face the same penalties if indicted by the authorities. The same number of plants is projected progressively against the same number of kg i.e. 50 plants for 50 kg, 100 plants for 100 kg, 1000 plants for 1000 kg and so on. Therefore, the exact penalties listed out for offenders found guilty of selling cannabis is also applicable to those cultivating cannabis. In essence, justice system weighs a seller and a cultivator on the same scale.
How to Start a Cannabis Business
Starting a cannabis business is not a bad idea at all, considering that over 38 states in the U.S have either decriminalized or legalized it (either medically or recreationally), and more states are set to join the bandwagon in no distant time. What this means is that demand for cannabis will continue to soar (sales are projected to reach $20.2 billion by next year) with less chances of investors or people dealing in it to lose their money or get arrested. However, that doesn’t mean that people should go into the business without first understanding the basics. The Swiss cannabis is popular in some places due to its mild effect and thus can be profitable too than some other variants.
Here are the steps to take for you to be successful in running a cannabis business:
- Choose a particular cannabis business to deal in
- Create a business plan
- Register a business name for it and secure licenses/permits
- Secure funding
Traveling With Marijuana
Traveling with marijuana should be done with extreme caution, especially when it involves boarding an aircraft. This is because marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law, and traveling by air is governed by federal laws which supersede that of states, thus overriding your ability to travel with marijuana into states that have legalized it. Although some airports in the U.S may allow you to pass if it’s just an ounce, however, marijuana still remains illegal at the federal level.
This means even if you’re traveling to states that have legalized the use of marijuana, you are not allowed to fly with it.