Do You Know the Rules About Cannabis Edibles in Canada?

As of this month, Canada has legalized edible cannabis products, including vaping and topical products, across the country. While these products cannot  be sold until mid-December at the earliest, the following is a run-down of the new laws surrounding these products that may assist interested purchasers once sales are given the green light.

The Canadian government has prescribed different rules to these products based on how they are consumed.

“Edible products” include those that can be eaten or drunk, cannabis extract is ingested through swallowing but differs from edibles, cannabis inhalants include vaping products and cannabis topicals are products that can be applied to hair, skin and nails.

Each product is governed by a distinct set of rules.

Read more to learn what those rules are.

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Sarah Leamon
Canada Votes 2019: The Cannabis Report

The 2019 Canadian federal election is looming, and with each passing day, it seems that the polls are looking tighter and more volatile. With many Canadians still undecided on who to vote for in the Canadian federal election, and with so much noise and unclear messaging, it can be difficult to pin down the political party that best aligns with our individual concerns and beliefs. 

But when it comes to cannabis, clarity is possible. 

These are the cannabis platforms – or lack thereof – for all of our major federal political parties. 

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Sarah Leamon
The Good, The Bad & The Unknown One Year Post-Legalization

The one-year anniversary of cannabis legalization is swiftly approaching. 

Although October 17, 2019 marks when legal weed came to Canada, there is still a lot of certainty and criticism about how our government chose to approach this issue. 

Most of the concerns revolve around red tape and the over-complication of rules and regulations in the legal cannabis market. Advertising, product availability, production restrictions and even the continued criminalization of the plant are all major problems.

But it’s not all bad. Federal legalization has carried a strong message with respect to the legal status of cannabis in this country and has opened the doors to important conversations around cannabis destigmatization.

Read on to learn more about the good, the bad and the still uncertain future of legal cannabis in Canada.

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Sarah Leamon
Three Lessons Canadians Should Learn From the Global Cannabis Community

It’s been nearly a year since Canada lifted its federal ban on cannabis, but many issues around the production, distribution, sale and use of the plant remain hazy at best.  Questions around personal cultivation, where to consume and the legal status of CBD and edibles are still looming. 

There’s still a lot of work to do, so maybe it’s time that we get a little help from our friends. 

Although Canada looks to other countries for supplying things like electricity, motor vehicles, and consumer goods… it hasn’t done the same for cannabis. 

Here are the top three countries with commendable cannabis concepts that Canada should consider importing. 

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Sarah Leamon
I'm Not a Canadian Citizen...Could a Criminal Charge Get Me Deported?

Being charged with a criminal offence is a daunting experience, but when you are not a citizen in the country you’ve been charged…it’s all the more terrifying.

Those facing criminal charges may worry that they will be deported, or what consequences a jail sentence could have on their immigration status. Does the type of charge that a non-citizen is facing affect their ability to remain in the country?

The ramifications of criminal charges - let alone convictions - for non-citizens are very serious.

These are daunting questions, and in this blog post, we will attempt answer them for you.

So, read on to learn more!

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Sarah Leamon
Can Art Be Classified as Sexual Harassment?

A popular Vancouver nightclub has found itself before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal for the sexual harassment of female employees. 

Sadly, this sounds like a typical, run-of-the-mill headline, but the substance of the complaint is anything but. 

This allegation has to do with nothing more than the art on the walls. While some may like the saucy neon signs inside ‘The Basement’ nightclub on Vancouver’s popular Granville strip, others have complained that it constitutes a human rights issue and is inherently discriminatory towards women.

The legal definition of sexual harassment is extremely broad. It can capture things like images and branding which employees are exposed to and associated with. But is a decor choice really enough to constitute sexual harassment, or has the #metoo movement finally gone too far?

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Sarah Leamon
Help! How Do I Choose the "Right" Lawyer?

Choosing a lawyer can be stressful. Thankfully, it’s not something that you have to do everyday.

Whether it’s a child custody issue, a speeding ticket or a criminal charge, your legal issue is important to you. But with a sea of lawyers online, finding the right one can be difficult.

Thankfully, however, there are some steps that you can take in order to secure the right representation and to make sure that your needs are met. Different lawyers have different approaches, and some lawyers may be a better fit for you than others. It’s important to do your homework before you decide who to hire.

Follow our helpful guide, and choose wisely!

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Sarah Leamon
Are Canada's New Sex Assault Laws Constitutional? The Answer is Yes...and No.

A controversial ruling on a controversial issue has come out of Saskatchewan.

Earlier this month, Judge Bruce Henning declared some of the Liberal government’s sexual assault trial reforms unconstitutional. This decision was aimed at the reforms embodied by Bill C-51, which appeared to have been introduced as a knee-jerk reaction to the much-publicized Jian Ghomeshi acquittal in 2016.

In coming to his conclusion, the judge stated that the new law works to seriously limit an accused person’s ability to effectively and properly challenge the veracity of an accusation at trial.  

But if you’re looking to breathe a sigh of relief, you’d best hold off. This ruling is, by no means, the end of the story.

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Sarah Leamon
Why Have There Been No Criminal Cannabis Impaired Charges Laid in B.C. Since Legalization?

It’s been nearly a year since cannabis was legalized, but there have been zero – count that, zero – cannabis-related driving offences laid under our new criminal law…in B.C. at least.

The same cannot be said for the rest of Canada. So, what’s going on?

Are British Columbians just a highly diligent and dedicated group of law-abiding citizens? 

A recent case out of Saanich, where a driver was caught speeding through a school zone while smoking a joint, tends to de-bunk this theory.

So what gives?

Read on to learn more.

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Sarah Leamon
Five Things You Need to Know If You've Been Charged with Assault

Facing an assault allegation can be scary. The process of being investigated and arrested can be a daunting one. You are sure to have questions about what’s going to happen and what to expect.

In order to help you, we’ve put together a short list of the top five things you need to know if charged with assault. From how to act during the initial arrest, to what to expect when you are released, we have you covered.

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Sarah Leamon
Are Cannabis Packaging Regulations Ruining Our Environment?

These days, environmental issues are at the top of everyone’s news feed. With concerns about our planet's future, we are all scrambling for solutions to problems related to the climate crisis.

Among those problems is plastic. 

Plastic waste is poised to become one of the biggest threats to our global well-being. Our federal government recently recognized this dire fact.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government's intention to limit single-use plastics and to make plastic producers responsible for the collection and recycling of their products. Under these new regulations, environmentally harmful single-use plastics could be banned in Canada by 2021. 

But it’s not without ample political irony. 

After all, the Trudeau government has actually worked diligently to create more plastic waste in a key emerging Canadian industry. 

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Sarah Leamon
"Spirits of the Law" - Episode Five - A Tale of Two Petrostates

In Episode Five of “Spirits of the Law,” Matthew and Sarah are joined by Puneet Klar, associate at Sarah Leamon Law Group, to talk oil, politics & the law in two different states; Alberta and Norway. Their conversation is enhanced by a taste test of two different types of Akvavit, the traditional spirit of Norway.

Which Akvavit will win the hearts of the legal team, and which state has done a better job of managing their resources & wealth?

Find out by listening to the full episode here.

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Sarah Leamon
The Five Biggest Fails of Canadian Cannabis Legalization

It’s been nearly nine months since cannabis legalization but things are far from perfect in the great green north.

From distribution issues and shortage problems to concerns over packaging, there has been plenty of cause for concern. The continued criminalization of cannabis and administrative lags on granting amnesty for historical cannabis convictions have also created questions about whether or not we are living in a legalized state of cannabis, or in some new form of legislated prohibition.

In this column, which was published in The Daily Hive, criminal defence and cannabis lawyer Sarah Leamon explores the top ten biggest failures of cannabis legalization so far.

Read on to find out if your biggest gripe made the list.

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Sarah Leamon
Is Bill C-460 The Answer To Ending The Opioid Crisis in Canada?

A Liberal MP from Ontario has introduced a new bill, which is squarely aimed at quelling the opioid crisis in this country.

Nate Erskine-Smith, who represents the Beaches-East York riding of Toronto, tabled Bill C-460 in the House of Commons on June 17, seeking to decriminalize minor drug possession offences. 

While introducing the bill, Erskine-Smith described the opioid crisis as it is: a public health emergency. He cited statistics from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which reports that more than 11,000 Canadians have died from opioid overdoses since January 2016.  There is no debating the fact that we are in the midst of a crisis.

And while blaming drugs and addiction may be temping, the root of this crisis really lies in stigma. 

The stigmatization of drug use is what holds many opioid users back from seeking help.  It also often causes them to isolate themselves, using alone and without any safeguards in place should something go wrong. 

Simply put, stigma kills.

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Sarah Leamon
Does the 28-Day Canadian Flight Crew Ban on Cannabis Consumption Make Sense?

Last week, Transport Canada unveiled a new policy aimed at cracking down on cannabis before taking to the skies.

In an announcement made late last week, the public body stated that Canadian airline and flight crews will be forbidden from consuming cannabis in any form for at least twenty-eight days prior to reporting for duty. With nearly a month between the last allowable consumption time and work, this effectively bans all active employees, even those working on even a part-time basis, from consuming cannabis full stop.

This 28 day ban works in combination with other airline policies, including those of Air Canada and WestJet, which completely prohibit employees in safety sensitive positions from using cannabis altogether, even while off duty.

But is it necessary? And will it stand up to legal challenges?

Read on to find out.

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Sarah Leamon
New ICBC Insurance Changes Could Pack a Punch for People With Traffic Tickets

Starting Monday, June 10, 2019, a ticket could mean more than points on your licence or a hefty fine. Now, the ticket could hit you over and over again in the pocketbook when you pay for your car insurance.

With new changes announced by ICBC, driving convictions will now cost you more for your Collision and Extended Third Party Liability insurance. The tickets will target people with convictions for impaired driving, excessive speeding, and distracted driving. This will include Immediate Roadside Prohibitions, 24 Hour Prohibitions, and cell phone tickets.

Even small tickets could end up costing you big money in the long run.

If you have a ticket, an experienced traffic lawyer can help give you the best chance of avoiding these hefty penalties while keeping your driving privileges in tact.

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Sarah Leamon
Will the Government Do What's Right in the Wake of the MMIW Report?

It’s been a long time coming, and a lot of work in the making, but the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report is finally here.  

After three years of community consultation, testimony and research, the final product comes in the form of a 1,200-page document which makes 231 recommendations for justice.  These Calls for Justice include sweeping changes to culture, health and wellness, media and social influencers, educators, and—of course—police departments and legal services. 

The recommendations are varied and multifaceted, taking into account the all-encompassing and pervasive impact that colonialism has had on Indigenous communities. 

They are also woven together with a common thread of respect, understanding, and connectivity. 

But the bottom line is that, in order for any change to occur, our government needs to be invested in it, which means that it must allocate the money and resources necessary to do so. 

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Sarah Leamon
Five Ways That The End of Canadas Cannabis Prohibition Parallels Alcohol

When Canada legalized cannabis in October, 2018, it ended a ninety-five-year long prohibition.

This has catapulted the government into a new era of cannabis regulation.  Federal, provincial and municipal authorities are all rolling out their own methods of adapting in a post-prohibition environment.

But if history has taught us anything about ending a prohibition, it’s that they don’t go out easily.

Take British Columbia’s liquor laws for example.  Many of the inane provincial and municipal laws that we have on the books today were developed as a result of alcohol prohibition and the attitudes that people carried as a result of it.

Here are the top five ways that alcohol prohibition and cannabis prohibition are alike.

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Sarah Leamon
"Spirits of the Law" - Episode Four - Keefer Sour News Hour

In Episode Four of Spirits of the Law, Sarah and Matthew saunter down the 100 block of Keefer Street, trying out cocktails at The Keefer and Juniper, while examining some interesting legal news that might leave you sour.

Which of these two beloved Vancouver bars will reign sour supreme? And which news item will leave a burn?

Find out by listening to the full episode here.

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Sarah Leamon