NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. — Marine Atlantic won’t allow customers to engage in use of recreational marijuana on its vessels.
The federal Crown corporation released its cannabis policy Wednesday in conjunction with its decriminalization across Canada.
Ferry spokesperson Darrell Mercer said a detailed review was undertaken with administrators and officials from both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We’ve decided that we’re not going to permit recreational cannabis use in our public areas, at our terminals and on our vessels,” said Mercer.
“That’s similar to what the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has also done — It’s illegal to smoke and use marijuana in public areas throughout the province.”
In Nova Scotia, cannabis falls under The Smoke-free Places Act, which only bans smoking from indoor workplaces and public places, select outdoor public spaces, outdoor licensed areas and patios of all restaurants, lounges, beverage rooms and cabarets.
Medical users are asked to self-identify upon making a reservation with Marine Atlantic. They must then provide supporting documentation to ferry personnel who will then accompany them to an area where cannabis is permitted.
“Any customer who does have the documentation and authorization to use medical marijuana would certainly be accommodated at both our terminals and on board our vessels,” said Mercer.
“In our policy, we’re defining where those spaces are. In the past, we did facilitate the use of medical marijuana, but it was done on a case-by-case basis. We’re standardizing that now.”
Marine Atlantic says a written note from a medical practitioner alone does not meet the requirements set out by Health Canada to use medically authorized cannabis.
Customers may also be asked at any time during their travel to present documentation along with photo identification confirming their entitlement.
Although recreational marijuana use is banned aboard Marine Atlantic’s ferries, individuals without medical licences will be allowed to transport up to 30 grams of dried product.
Marine Atlantic says it is the responsibility of customers to ensure that possession amounts are within the federal limits.
Ferry passengers will remain permitted to smoke tobacco in designated areas as Mercer noted that regulations governing the use of tobacco are different than those governing the use of recreational cannabis.
Possession, production, distribution and sale of cannabis outside of what the law allows remains illegal and subject to criminal penalties — ranging from ticketing up to a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
What documentation do I require?
Marine Atlantic customers may present one of the following:
- Packing slips and/or packaging information with the passenger’s name from shipments of medically authorized cannabis by a licensed medical cannabis supplier in Canada.
- An authorization to possess form issued by Health Canada.
- A personal production license issued by Health Canada.
- A designated production license issued by Health Canada.
- Registration certificate from Health Canada.