Production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and cannabis products are regulated by federal and provincial laws in Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, these products can only be bought at specialized licensed establishments.
In NL, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages can be bought in special stores called liquor stores. Some ales, wines, and spirits are made in the Province and can be purchased directly from the producers.
There are also specialty stores selling or renting equipment and materials to make your own wine or beer, on the premises or at home. You can find these stores in the Yellow Pages. [See Related Resources]
Alcoholic beverages can also be bought in restaurants and bars, but they must be consumed there. Only restaurants or bars which have a licence issued by the NL Liquor Corporation are allowed to serve alcohol.
Tobacco products such as cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc. are sold at convenience stores and smoke shops in NL.
NL retailers who sell tobacco products must also have a licence. They cannot sell cigarettes to people under 19 years of age. Retailers caught selling cigarettes to minors can face warnings, fines, and/or suspension of their licence.
In NL, smoking is banned in workplaces and public areas. This means you cannot smoke in hospitals, schools, restaurants, bars, theatres, stores, etc. It is also prohibited to smoke in a vehicle with persons under the age of 19 present.
Cannabis (also known as marijuana, among other names) is the second most commonly used psychoactive substance in Canada, after alcohol.
On October 17, 2018, Canada passed the Cannabis Act, a law that made it legal to grow, possess, purchase from a licensed supplier, and consume cannabis and its products for recreational purposes, with strict regulations and licensing. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes has been legally permitted in Canada since 2001. Each province sets its own rules and regulations on how people can grow, obtain and use marijuana. The federal government regulates access to cannabis for medical purposes. [See Related Resources]
In NL, the sale of recreational cannabis is only permitted through government-owned retail locations or online from a government-controlled website. The legal age for cannabis use on the Island is 19, the same as for alcohol and tobacco. You can only consume cannabis products in a private home or a yard attached to a private home. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any drug which can cause impairment, including cannabis.
- By law, in NL only persons 19 years of age or older may buy and consume alcoholic beverages, tobacco or cannabis products.
- If you are hosting a party in your home, you are responsible to take all precautions to protect your guests from harm, including someone who has had too much to drink or has used cannabis. For example, you do not want one of your guests to start a fight, fall down the stairs, or drive their car after consuming alcohol or cannabis.
- It is illegal to drive while impaired. Do not drive if you are under the influence of alcohol or cannabis, or any drug, prescribed or otherwise, which affects your perception and motor ability. Impaired driving can have serious consequences, including harm to yourself and others, and may result in fines, loss of license, or imprisonment.
Related Topics in this Guide
We have made every effort to ensure that the information in this Guide is accurate and up-to-date. If you find any errors or omissions, please contact us.