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Statistics Canada reports that in 2017, almost 48,000 cannabis-related drug offences were reported to police. The majority of these (80%) were possession offences. A criminal record resulting from a cannabis offence, even a minor possession charge, can have serious and lifelong implications for the person charged. In allowing the production and possession of legal cannabis for adults, the Act helps keep Canadians who consume cannabis out of the criminal justice system, reducing the burden on the courts.

Cannabis offences target those acting outside of the legal framework, such as organized crime. Penalties are set in proportion to the seriousness of the offence. Sanctions range from warnings and tickets for minor offences to criminal prosecution and imprisonment for more serious offences. Some offences specifically target people who make cannabis available to youth.

The Federal government’s responsibilities are to set:

Reducing criminal activity

This means, for example, that an adult 18 years of age or older, can legally possess 150 grams of fresh cannabis.

No person may sell or provide cannabis to any person under the age of 18. There are 2 criminal offences related to providing cannabis to youth, with maximum penalties of 14 years in jail:

As of October 17, 2019, cannabis edible products and concentrates are legal for sale.

The Cannabis Act creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. The Act aims to accomplish 3 goals:

Luckily, Patrick had checked Travel.gc.ca/cannabis before packing for their trip.

He sees his roommate putting legal cannabis into his luggage.

Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. If you are travelling for business related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible.

Leaving Canada

Not declaring cannabis in your possession at the Canadian border is a serious criminal offence. You could be arrested and prosecuted.

Cannabis is illegal in most countries. If you try to travel internationally with any amount of cannabis in your possession, you could face serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. You could be denied entry at your destination country if you have previously used cannabis or any substance prohibited by local laws. You could also be denied entry to other countries in the future.

If you are entering Canada and have cannabis with you in any form, you must declare it to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and products containing cannabis – including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – across the Canadian border:

In a previous post, “Don’t overestimate cannabidiol during medical cannabis potency determinations with gas chromatography. Use stationary phase selectivity for accuracy and hydrogen for fast analysis.”, I recommended a 15m x 0.25mm x 0.25µm Rxi-35Sil MS GC column for fast separations of CBC, CBD, delta-8-THC, delta-9-THC, CBG, and CBN with hydrogen carrier gas. This same separation can be done on a 15m x 0.53mm x 0.50µm Rxi-35Sil MS, a column format that has additional sample loading capacity and ruggedness, at the cost of slightly longer run times. We also have a 15m x 0.53mm x 0.50µm Rtx-35, a 35% pendant phenyl-type column that doesn’t have the arylene-modification that the 35Sil MS uses for increased thermal stability. (The 35 has a 300°C maximum operating temperature and the 35Sil MS can go to 360°C!) Sometimes the arylene-modified columns and the pendant-only columns can differ in selectivity, but in this case the chromatograms are very close to each other.

Important Medical Marijuana Cannabinoids Analyzed by GC-FID on Rxi-35Sil MS and Rtx-35

The earlier ChromaBLOGraphy post for cannabinoids on Rxi-35Sil MS and Rtx-35 is repeated in whole below.

I’m now adding a 15m x 0.53mm x 0.50µm MXT-35 to the GC column data collection effort for cannabinoids, thanks to Ron Stricek’s help with getting that column manufactured for me. This column is made out of metal and has the features/benefits listed here. In addition to the ruggedness of the metal column and the ability to coil it tightly for smaller GC ovens, the MXT-35 has a maximum operating temperature of 340°C versus 300°C for the Rtx-35. AND, it does a beautiful job of separating the important medical cannabinoids when using gas chromatography.

One novel twist I put on this work was to prepare a standard that had different relative concentrations of cannabinoids. Although the variation of concentrations in medical cannabis can range somewhat widely based on strain, I decided to stagger the concentrations from high to low as delta-9-THC, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, cannabichromene, delta-8-THC, cannabinol. This potentially allows more accurate determination of cannabinoids versus using a standard that is equal in concentration for all compounds, considering even that the flame ionization detector probably has the widest linear dynamic range for GC. This variable concentration -standard also allows elution order mapping/confirmation of cannabinoids for GC columns (and LC columns). You can build your own “JC Mix” with individual cannabinoid standards located on our Medical Marijuana web page.