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Non-medical cannabis in North America: an overview of regulatory approaches.

Authors
  • Lancione, S1
  • Wade, K1
  • Windle, S B1
  • Filion, K B2
  • Thombs, B D3
  • Eisenberg, M J4
  • 1 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada; Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada; Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Departments of Psychiatry, of Psychology, and of Educational and Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, QC, Canada; Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Division of Cardiology, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Canada)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Public health
Publication Date
Oct 07, 2019
Volume
178
Pages
7–14
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2019.08.018
PMID: 31600630
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The objective of this study was to describe existing regulations of non-medical cannabis legalization in North America to inform recommendations for future health policy. These regulations are among the first in the world and will set a precedent for other jurisdictions globally who legalize cannabis. This was a review of online grey literature on regulatory approaches to non-medical cannabis legalization in North American jurisdictions. We conducted an internet search in June 2019 to identify government and public health resources published after January 1, 2012. We were able to achieve data saturation using a limited number of resources. Data extraction was conducted by two independent reviewers, with disagreements resolved by consensus. Eleven US states, the District of Columbia, and Canada have enacted legal recreational cannabis regulations. The legal age of cannabis possession matches the legal drinking age in all jurisdictions except one. Most consumption is in private residences only, with some provinces/territories permitting public consumption where tobacco is permitted. Most jurisdictions allow for home growing of up to 6 (US) or 4 (Canada) plants and a maximum possession of 1 oz. (US) or 1.06 oz. (Canada). Cannabis is available for purchase only in private retail stores in US states, while Canada has also legalized online sales. Impaired driving assessment is not cannabis-specific in most US states, while Canada has federal driving limits. Although North American approaches to regulating recreational cannabis use are consistent in many aspects, some exceptions exist (e.g., home growing, personal possession). More research is needed to assess the impact of variations in regulatory policies on potential harms from legalization to inform future policy decisions in North America and abroad. Complementary public health interventions will be crucial in ensuring public health and safety. Copyright © 2019 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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