Nova Scotia's cannabis laws

Cannabis laws are different in each province and territory in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about what is and isn’t legal in Nova Scotia.

You must be 19

19 is the legal age to use, buy, grow or possess cannabis in Nova Scotia. If you’re under 19, you can be fined or face criminal charges.

Be aware of the penalties if you’re under age

  • If you’re under 19, cannabis will be seized and you may be fined up to $150. Parents or guardians may be notified. Restorative justice programs may apply.
  • If you’re under 18 and in possession of more than five grams, it is a criminal offence. You will be prosecuted in the same way as youth drug possession.
  • If you’re over 18 and in possession of more than 30 grams, it is a criminal offence under the federal Cannabis Act.
  • If you sell or give cannabis to someone under 19 or involve them in a cannabis-related crime you may be fined up to $10,000.

Know where you can use it and where you can’t

  • The Smoke-free Places Act applies to the use of combustible cannabis in public places. You can be fined up to $2,000 for a violation. Municipalities may pass additional bylaws that further restrict the use of cannabis in public places. Some have, so be aware of local bylaws.
  • You can use cannabis in the privacy of your own home. If you rent, your landlord may make rules about cannabis smoking or growing that form part of your lease. For more information, visit Service Nova Scotia.
  • Cannabis in any form cannot be used in vehicles by passengers or drivers. You may be fined up to $2,000 for consumption in a vehicle.

There’s a limit to how much you can possess

If you’re 19 or over, you can have up to 30 grams of dried cannabis (or equivalent) with you in public. There are no restrictions on how much you can keep in your home, as long as it’s for personal use. Store cannabis safely and keep it away from children and pets.

There’s a limit to how much you can grow

Legal age adults can grow up to four cannabis plants per household. Each apartment in a house or building is considered a separate household. Take extra care to grow safely if you have children or pets at home.

Municipalities may pass additional bylaws that further restrict cultivation. Some have, so be aware of local bylaws.

You can only buy cannabis legally from NSLC

The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation is the only authorized retailer of recreational cannabis in Nova Scotia. Cannabis can be purchased by adults 19 or over at designated NSLC stores or online. For more information, visit the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation.

While edibles can be produced at home for personal use, it remains illegal under federal law to sell edibles, including at restaurants and markets.

Federal regulations for the legal sale and production of edible cannabis, extracts and topicals came into effect on October 17, 2019. Consumers should expect to see products on NSLC shelves beginning no earlier than mid-December 2019 due to Health Canada’s review process.

Keep it closed and out of reach in your car

The rules for transporting cannabis in a vehicle are the same as alcohol. Cannabis must be in a closed, sealed package and out of reach from anyone in the vehicle. You can be fined up to $2,000 for improper storage.

No changes to medical cannabis

The legalization of recreational cannabis has not changed the way medical patients access cannabis.

If you’ve been authorized by your health care practitioner and Health Canada to access cannabis for medical purposes, you can still buy it from licenced producers, grow your own for medical use, or designate someone to grow it for you. Health Canada will continue to regulate medical cannabis.