Learn about cannabis

  • Cannabis legalization in Yukon
  • Consumption, possession and cultivation
  • ​Retail and distribution
  • Talking to youth about using cannabis
  • Drug-impaired driving and road safety
  • Health risks associated with cannabis

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  1. Cannabis legalization in Yukon

    We have developed laws to regulate distributing, selling, possessing, consuming and growing cannabis for personal use. Watch our video on the 10 things you need to know about the new cannabis law.

    Check with your local municipal government to learn more about whether they have introduced cannabis-related bylaws.

    Cannabis use in Yukon

    Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in the world and the most prevalent substance used in Canada.

    Self-reports from a Government of Yukon survey in 2004–05 indicate cannabis was the most commonly used illicit drug in Yukon and that Yukon has one of the highest rates of cannabis use. 21% of Yukon adults surveyed had used cannabis in the last year compared to 14% of Canadian adults.

    Cannabis was also the most frequently used illicit drug used by First Nations populations in a 2008–09 Regional Health Survey of First Nations Citizens. 35% of Yukon First Nations adults surveyed reported using cannabis in the previous year.

    Travelling with cannabis

    Cannabis legalization does not mean it's legal to transport cannabis to other jurisdictions. Check the laws of where you're travelling before transporting cannabis from Yukon to another jurisdiction.

    Glossary of cannabis terms

    Cannabis

    Products derived from the flowers, resins and leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant, Cannabis indica plant or hybrids of the two. Products include dried flowers in the form of “weed,” “pot” or “bud," hashish, hash oil, tinctures and other concentrates such as “dabs” or “shatter.”

    Cannabis or marijuana

    "Cannabis” describes cannabis products in general and "marijuana” refers to the dried flowers of the cannabis plant.

    Cannabis use

    Cannabis can be used for medical, recreational, industrial or spiritual purposes.

    Medical cannabis

    Cannabis products prescribed by a healthcare practitioner to treat a specific medical condition.

    Recreational cannabis

    Using cannabis products for a “high." The mental and physical effects can include changes in perception and a heightened mood.

    THC

    THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis known as the “high."

    Cannabis consumption

    Cannabis can be consumed in the following ways.

    • Smoking: Inhaling smoke from joints (paper-wrapped), blunts (tobacco-wrapped), pipes or bongs.
    • Vaporizing: Inhaling the vapour from heated cannabis using a vaporizer, “vape” pen or e-cigarette.
    • Edibles: Cannabis can be added to a variety of foods, such as brownies, cookies and candies.
    • Drinks: Cannabis extracts can be added to any beverage.
    • Dabbing: Heating cannabis concentrates on a hot surface and inhaling the smoke.
    • Other methods include tinctures taken orally and lotions applied directly to the skin.
  2. Consumption, possession and cultivation

    You must be at least 19 years of age to buy and use cannabis in Yukon. This is also the minimum age to buy and consume alcohol.

    Cannabis retail locations

    You can purchase cannabis at CannabisYukon.org or in person at licensed retailers

    Possessing cannabis in public for personal use

    • You must be at least 19 years of age.
    • You can buy up to 30 grams of dried cannabis per purchase. This is the legal amount a person can have in their possession while in public.

    Using cannabis for personal use

    • You must be at least 19 years of age to consume cannabis.
    • Cannabis must be consumed:
      • in a private residence and adjoining property; or
      • in another location if it's permitted by regulations.
    • Cannabis consumed must be legally obtained.

    You cannot consume cannabis by inhaling smoke or vapour:

    • in the presence of health or social service providers; 
    • in the presence of another person defined in regulations who does not want to be exposed to smoking or vaping;
    • in an enclosed space that is a daycare, pre-school or other licensed child care home (it does not matter whether children are present or not); and
    • in any group-living facility as defined by the Smoke-Free Places Act.

    Using cannabis in the workplace

    If you’re impaired because you’ve used cannabis or any other substance, it’s illegal for you to be at work. If your impairment is the result of the medical use of cannabis or another substance, talk to your employer. You may be eligible for an accommodation, depending on how safety-sensitive your job is.

    Ask your employer about the impairment policy for your workplace. If there is not an impairment policy, ask your employer to establish one and train you and your fellow workers on it.

    Landlord and tenant rights

    Landlords and tenants should talk about cannabis. Make sure you understand and agree to the rules. Contact the Residential Tenancies Office to apply for a dispute resolution if there is a disagreement.

    Now that cannabis is legal:

    • Landlords can use tenancy agreements to restrict cannabis use and growth.
    • Smoking cannabis is allowed in residences where smoking is currently permitted. There may be some exceptions. The Smoke Free Places Act and the Cannabis Control and Regulations Act have details about specific exceptions and conditions.

    Tenancy agreements that include “no smoking” rules will include cannabis. The landlord and tenant can agree in writing if the "no smoking" rule does not include cannabis.

    This information sheet provides more details for landlord and tenants on cannabis and residential tenancies.

    Condominiums

    Condominium corporations can make rules that restrict smoking and growing cannabis.

    Condo corporations should discuss cannabis with condo owners and make sure everyone understands the rules.

    Growing cannabis

    Personal use

    People who are at least 19 years of age can grow up to 4 cannabis plants for personal use.

    • You can only grow plants from legally obtained seeds or plant material.
    • You can only grow these plants at your private residence and adjoining property.
    • There is a limit of 4 plants per household, not per person.

    Commercial use

    Find out how to apply to be a licensed cannabis producer.

  3. ​Retail and distribution

    You must be at least 19 years of age to purchase and possess cannabis in Yukon. 

    Purchase cannabis online

    You can buy cannabis online at Cannabis Yukon. This is the only legal online retailer in Yukon.  Cannabis Yukon can ship cannabis to every community in Yukon. You will have to verify your age when the product is delivered.

    Purchase cannabis at a licensed retail location

    In Yukon you can only purchase non-medical cannabis from licensed retailers.

    Become a licensed cannabis retailer

    Find information on how to become a licensed cannabis retailer.

    Training for retailers

    Find out what training people will have to take to sell non-medical cannabis.

  4. Talking to youth about using cannabis

    Provide youth with facts about the effects of cannabis so they can make informed decisions about using it. Start talking with your kids when they are between 11 and 15 years old. Ask them what they know about cannabis and how their friends are talking about it.

    If you think your kids are using cannabis or other drugs, identify the reason why they might be using or starting to self-medicate.

    Yukon youth cannabis use

    29.85% of Canadian youth reported using cannabis within the past year in a recent cross-national study.

    Yukon youth do not think using cannabis is risky. We do not have solid data on when Yukon youth first use cannabis, but anecdotal evidence suggest it can occur in late childhood and early adolescence.

    Cannabis was the most frequently used substance among Grade 9 and 10 Yukon students in a 2016 survey. 36.9% of students participating in the survey reported they had tried cannabis compared to 23% nationally. 22.3% reported using cannabis within the last 30 days compared to 13% of Canadian students.

    42% of Yukon First Nations youth reported they had used cannabis in the previous year. (2008–09 Yukon First Nations Regional Health Survey, CYFN 2013). In 2015–16 that number was down to 38% (Yukon First Nations Regional Health Survey and H. Stappers, personal communication, July 13, 2017).

  5. Drug-impaired driving and road safety

    Impaired driving is illegal. It does not matter if it's due to alcohol or drugs.

    Drug-impaired driving offences are currently, and will continue to be, addressed through the:


    The Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon are both updating their respective legislation to further address drug-impaired driving.

    The RCMP are the enforcement authority for all types of impaired driving.

  6. Health risks associated with cannabis

    Using cannabis can:

    • make you feel relaxed and happy, and it's just as likely to make you feel anxious and paranoid;
    • decrease your ability to concentrate, remember, think and make decisions (if your use begins early and is frequent, these effects can be long-term);
    • affect the part of your brain responsible for decision making, social behaviour and personality;
    • slow your reaction time and affect your ability to drive; and
    • impair your ability to perform high-speed activities such as biking, skiing or playing sports.

    Impairment can last for more than 24 hours after use. This is well after other effects have faded.

    Short-term and long-term risks

    We have some understanding of short-term risks of cannabis use, such as its effects on memory, attention and psychomotor function. 

    Our knowledge of long-term risks of cannabis use is limited. This is because cannabis use has been prohibited so there has not been time to undertake any comprehensive studies. Long-term risks may include permanent harm to mental functioning, risks of depression and anxiety disorders.

    Cannabis can be addictive. About 1 in 11 people who use cannabis will become addicted. That risk rises to about 1 in 6 for people who started using cannabis as a teen.

    Risks to children and youth

    Your brain is not fully developed until your mid-20s. Using cannabis before you’re 25 can lead to permanent cognitive problems and can increase the risk of development issues.

    Risks associated with consuming cannabis

    Consuming cannabis can increase health risks depending on the potency of the product and how often you use it.

    Driving while impaired by cannabis is associated with an increased risk of accidents and fatalities.

    Using cannabis with alcohol may pose an incremental risk for impaired driving and may damage your lungs, making it harder to breathe and increasing the risk of chronic lung disease. It may also increase your risk of lung cancer, especially if you already smoke tobacco.  

    Risks to vulnerable populations

    The more you use cannabis, the higher your chances are of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses. It can also lead to social anxiety and paranoia.

    Using cannabis frequently during pregnancy may lead to a lower birth weight of the baby and affect the development and learning skills of your child. Learn more by visiting the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada website.

    Risks related to interactions with the illegal cannabis market

    Using unsafe products that are illegally produced can expose people to violence and exposure to more harmful and illegal substances. Additional risks include arrest, a criminal record or imprisonment. 

    Safer ways to use cannabis

    It’s best to wait until you are over 25 to avoid any risk of developmental delays. Consider non-smoking methods and choose cannabis with lower THC levels. Do not use cannabis every day and do not drive while high.

    If you choose to consume cannabis – start low, go slow

    Start with a low amount of THC and wait to feel the effects before you take more. This will help minimize health effects and the risks of overconsumption. Cannabis can be consumed in different ways. 2 common ways are inhalation (smoking or vaping) and ingestion (eating or drinking). Each way carries different health and safety risks.

    Inhalation: 

    • Start with 1 or 2 puffs of a vape or joint with 10% (100 milligrams per gram) or less THC.
    • Effects felt in seconds to minutes.
    • It can take up to 30 minutes to feel the full effects.

     

    Ingestion:

    • Look for products that contain 2.5 milligrams of THC or less.
    • Effects felt within 30 minutes to 2 hours.
    • It can take up to 4 hours to feel the full effects.

    Take care with cannabis.


Contact 

For questions about what the government is doing about cannabis email cannabis@gov.yk.ca.