Canadian Immigration News

What Are the Marijuana Regulations for Traveling to Canada?

3.75 minute read
"If you are a marijuana advocate or a regular partaker, there are a few things you must know before traveling to Canada. Having a previous offense involving marijuana can severely impact your ability to enter Canada. The Canadian government legalized the recreational use of Marijuana in 2018. However, it is still strictly regulated and cannabis-related charges can hurt your ability to immigrate to Canada."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 19, 2021
marijuana leaves with a canadian red maple leaf on top my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

If you are a marijuana advocate or a regular partaker, there are a few things you must know before traveling to Canada. Having a previous offense involving marijuana can severely impact your ability to enter Canada. The Canadian government legalized the recreational use of Marijuana in 2018. However, it is still strictly regulated and cannabis-related charges can hurt your ability to immigrate to Canada

What Are the Marijuana-Related Regulations that You Need to Know About?

Marijuana at the Border: 

It is still illegal to transport marijuana across country borders, even if it is legal in another country. Only suppliers with a permit from the Canadian government are exempt from this rule. Otherwise, everyone else must declare and surrender their marijuana at the Canadian border. You may try sending or receiving your weed through mail to get around this rule. However, if you fail to comply, then you could face detainment, fines, and possibly denied entry to Canada or a ban on future re-entry.

Driving While Impaired: 

Many people remain unaware of the risks of driving while high on marijuana. Canada regards driving under the influence of weed as a serious crime. If you are discovered doing the following, then you may face fines or even prison time:

  • Driving or having driven within 2 hours of having more than 2 nano-grams of marijuana in one milliliter (mL) of one’s blood

  • Driving dangerously

  • Refusing to comply with roadside drug or alcohol test

Buying and Using Marijuana in Canada: 

Every province and territory has set the minimum eligible age for using marijuana, much like alcohol. In Alberta, it’s 18 years. For Quebec, it's 21 years and for every other province and territory, it is 19 years. It is illegal for underage youngsters to smoke marijuana or for adults to facilitate access. Adults must buy their marijuana legally. Meaning, they must buy it from a store or supplier with a government license. One individual is allowed to buy 30 grams of dried marijuana at a time. As marijuana comes in different forms, the Canadian government has set up a conversion method. They even provide an online cannabis converter, a tool that allows the users to input and convert different amounts and types of marijuana to stay within the legal threshold.

What Is the History of Marijuana in Canada?

The Cannabis Act of 2018 legalized certain marijuana-related activities that were previously illegal. These liberties apply to temporary residents and visitors in Canada. Canada always had strict rules regarding allowing foreigners with criminal backgrounds into the country. Therefore, in such cases, Canada compares foreign law with its own to judge the severity of the crime. If something is illegal in both countries, then the applicant may have a problem. However, if the act is not considered a crime in Canada, then there should be little to no problems.

Since Canada allows its residents to carry up to 30 grams of dried marijuana or an equivalent amount, having a foreign criminal charge for possession of marijuana up to 30gms should not be a problem. However, any other criminal charge that remains illegal in Canada may cause hurdles in entering the country. It may even make you criminally inadmissible to enter Canada.

How to Overcome Inadmissibility?

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP): The Temporary Resident Permit grants temporary residence in Canada to someone who was otherwise inadmissible. A TRP may be issued for a single day or up to 3 years. This permit may be issued for a single entry or multiple entries to Canada. Your eligibility for this permit is based on your purpose to visit Canada. 


Criminal Rehabilitation: This is the permanent way to overcome criminal inadmissibility by applying for rehabilitation. Your eligibility for rehabilitation depends on the nature of your crime, the sentence served, and how much time has passed since the sentence was completed. If 5 years have passed since your imprisonment time, then you are more likely to be eligible for criminal rehabilitation.

Legal Opinion Letter: This is a document prepared by a Canadian immigration lawyer containing the details of your past marijuana-related charge or conviction and the lawyer’s legal conclusion on the situation. The purpose of this letter is to identify the relevant Canadian law to explain why the person should be admissible to Canada.

If you were denied entry due to a previous marijuana-related conviction, then you may use this letter for your next trip. This is essentially beneficial for those in a pre-sentencing situation or before making the final plea.

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine