Graham Abbott

Saskatchewan Establishes Fines for Cannabis Crimes

Authorities in Saskatchewan, Canada have established a provincial fine structure for cannabis offenses for after federal legalization takes place in October. According to a Global News report, the fines will range from between $200 and $2,250 depending on the severity of the offense. 

Justice Minister Don Morgan said the goal was to create “an appropriate disincentive for certain kinds of conduct” but not to go completely overboard on cannabis crackdowns.

“One of the major considerations when we went into this was trying to keep marijuana out of schools and out of the hands of children. Bringing marijuana into a school area we knew would be a significant issue so we wanted to have a large disincentive there.” — Justice Minister Don Morgan, in an interview with Global News

The following are the crimes (and their fines) targeted at cannabis consumers:

  • Consumption of cannabis in public — $200
  • Consumption of cannabis on school grounds or at a child care facility — $1,000
  • Possessing or consuming cannabis in a campground, when a prohibition is in effect — $200
  • Purchasing cannabis from a jurisdiction outside of Saskatchewan — $300
  • Possessing or consuming cannabis in a vehicle — $300
  • Possessing more than 30 grams of dried cannabis in public — $200

The following fines apply to commercial cannabis entities:

  • Selling, giving or distributing to a minor — $2,250
  • Selling or distributing to a person who appears to be intoxicated — $2,250
  • Purchasing from a non-authorized source — $300
  • Consuming or permitting consumption while being transported — $2,250

Notably, the fines for commercial cannabis entities are higher than the fines alcohol companies face for the same offenses (except for the $300 fine for purchasing from a non-authorized source).

“Cannabis is new. We’re worried about what the effect might be, so we’re starting with a higher penalty structure. Alcohol is something that’s been around for as long as the province has been in existence, and it’s something where people have a greater understanding and acceptance, so we want to have a greater disincentive, at least at the beginning.” — Justice Minister Don Morgan, in the report

The rules will take effect following the October 17 launch of Canada’s federal adult-use marketplace.

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