Cannabis

Cannabis is now legal in the Northwest Territories and the rest of Canada. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and within the law.

Legal age

The minimum age to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis in the NWT is 19— the same as the legal drinking age.

Places to buy

You can only buy legal cannabis in the NWT from NTLCC-approved vendors or from the NTLCC online store.

Growing cannabis

Adults 19 and over can grow up to four (4) cannabis plants per household. Plants must be grown indoors and seeds must be purchased from NTLCC-approved vendors or from the NTLCC online store. People who rent may be subject to additional rules defined by rental agreements or condominium bylaws.

Using cannabis

Cannabis use in the NWT is limited to:

  • private property where smoking tobacco is allowed; and
  • on trails, roadways (when not operating a motor vehicle), and parks when not in use for a public event.

Using cannabis is strictly prohibited in locations frequented by children, such as playgrounds, school grounds or sports fields, and outdoor events.

Health effects

Early and frequent use of cannabis is known to affect the brain’s development and can impact learning, memory and attention, and can also affect the healthy development of breastfeeding babies’ brains.

For more information about the health effects of cannabis, visit the Department of Health and Social Services Health Effects of Cannabis webpage.

Possession limits

The federal and territorial possession limit for adults over 19 is 30 grams of cannabis. While in a vehicle, cannabis products must be in closed packaging and not within reach of the vehicle driver or occupants.

Workplace impairment

In the Northwest Territories many employers have rules and programs that address workplace impairment and keep employees safe. The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission is revising its regulations, and developing educational materials and tools to support workers and employers in understanding their obligations under those regulations.

Drug impaired driving

It is a criminal offence in Canada to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs—including cannabis. In the NWT, there is zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs for drivers 21 and under, novice drivers, and some commercial vehicle drivers.

For more information about the NWT’s drug impaired driving laws, visit the Department of Infrastructure website.

Frequently asked questions

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about cannabis in the NWT, please visit www.eia.gov.nt.ca/en/cannabis/frequently-asked-questions.

Additional resources