The Government of Canada was very clear that one of the driving forces behind the legalization of marijuana was to keep drugs out of the hands of youth, saying that science didn't yet confirm what effect it has on young people's brains.
The results were that every province and territory set the minimum age for buying and consuming weed at 18 or 19 years old. While this legal age of majority applies for purchasing weed from government retailers, the actual laws about possessing weed as a minor are a lot less clear.
Technically under the Cannabis Act, the legislation that made weed legal in the first place, minors can't be criminally charged for having cannabis. In fact, the Act even says that "Individuals under the age of 18 years would not face criminal prosecution for possessing or sharing very small amounts of cannabis (up to 5 grams)."
The Act goes on to say that the provinces and territories are allowed to build on this law, making their own policies about how much cannabis a youth is allowed to possess and penalties for it. Still, youth and minors won't be criminally charged.
In Ontario, for example, they have made it so youth possessing any amount of weed is illegal. But police officers will still issue tickets to anyone under 19, the legal age there, that's found to have cannabis. The maximum ticket is $200 and no criminal charges or records will be issued.
Despite the concerningly relaxed laws about youth having or using cannabis, there are very strict rules about promoting or providing weed to any minors. If a person is found guilty of advertising or packaging weed in ways that are appealing to kids, they could face fines of up to $5 million and three years in jail.
Even more serious, anyone found selling or otherwise giving cannabis to underaged minors can be charged and face 14 years in prison under the Cannabis Act.
While government laws have decriminalized youth possessing and even sharing up to five grams of weed, that doesn't make it legal or worth the risk. It is still illegal to have any amount of it in many provinces and while you can't criminally be charged, there are still consequences. Beyond that, any adult found giving weed to minors can face serious and long prison sentences.