Cannabis for non-medical use became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. The minimum age for use of cannabis is 19, the same as for alcohol. Ontario laws are in place regarding how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province. Visit Ontario's Cannabis Legalization page for information.

The Province of Ontario has elected to allow recreational cannabis to be sold on-line through the Ontario Cannabis Store and in privately operated retail stores. This private retail model will launch April 1, 2019. The location and operation of these private stores will be under the control of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), which is also responsible for regulating gaming and alcohol sales in the province.

The province is allowing municipalities to make a one-time decision to opt-out of permitting physical cannabis retail stores within their boundaries by January 22, 2019. Municipalities that choose to opt-out can opt back in at any time – but that decision is final.

Update: Town Opts Out of privately-operated retail cannabis stores

January 14, 2019 — The Town of Oakville decided at its Council meeting that it will opt-out and not allow privately-operated cannabis retail stores in Oakville. Council directed staff to report back by December 2019 to reconsider its decision once more detailed information on cannabis retail stores becomes available. For more details read the news release for and the staff report (item #4). 

On December 17, 2018 Council received a staff report (item #3) highlighting some of the cannabis licensing regulations and information regarding retail cannabis stores. For more information review the news release.



Planning and Development Council Meeting

January 14, 2019, 7 p.m.
Halton Regional Centre - Council Chamber
1151 Bronte Road, Oakville

Production facilities

Production facilities, both medical and recreational cannabis, will be regulated by the Federal government. A Federal licence will be required for:

  • cultivating and processing cannabis
  • sale of cannabis for medical purposes
  • analytical testing of and research with cannabis.

Before submitting an application to the Federal government, the person that intends to submit the application must provide a written notice to the local government, police, and fire in the area in which the site referred to in the application is located. The notice must be addressed to a senior official of the local authority to which it is provided. In Oakville, it is the Chief Building Official so that the application can be reviewed for zoning compliance to determine what the primary use is in accordance with existing use definitions such as Agriculture or Manufacturing, and the applicable zoning permissions.

Cannabis laws

Under the new laws in Ontario, adults 19 years of age or older will be able to:

  • purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store — this is the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis pending the implementation of a private retail model scheduled to launch April 1, 2019.
  • possess up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis in public
  • share cannabis with people 19 years of age or older
  • grow up to four plants per residence (not per person) without a licence
  • smoke/consume cannabis in places where smoking tobacco and using e-cigarettes is permitted by the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017. This includes
    • a private residence including the outdoor space of a home (for example, a porch or back yard)
    • a unit or balcony in a multi-unit building like an apartment or condo, subject to the building’s rules or lease agreement.

The new legislation includes criminal offences for sharing/selling cannabis with/to minors and penalties for individuals who engage youth in cannabis-related offences.

Drug-impaired driving remains illegal in Canada.

It remains illegal for travellers to take cannabis out of Canada or to bring it back from other countries.

Cannabis and the police

The Halton Regional Police Service’s role will continue to include applying and enforcing applicable laws. Police have put information together to answer questions people might ask about drug-impaired driving, the criminal code and more. Visit the HRPS cannabis website for more information.

Medical use

The law on cannabis use for medical purposes is different and can be found on the Health Canada website.

Ontario Provincial Cannabis Act

In November 2017, the Ontario government introduced its own Cannabis Act which will regulate the sale, possession and distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes throughout the province. The Province of Ontario has elected to allow recreational cannabis to be sold on-line through the Ontario Cannabis Store and in privately operated retail stores. Under the control of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario this private retail model will launch April 1, 2019.

Please continue to check Province of Ontario’s Cannabis Legalization or the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario websites for all current information.

Visit the AGCO website for more information including

Federal Cannabis Act

The Federal Cannabis Act , Bill C-45, received Royal Assent in June 2018 with cannabis becoming legal on October 17, 2018. Until then, it remains illegal to buy, possess or use cannabis for anything other than authorized medical or research purposes. Law enforcement will continue to enforce existing laws.

The Act's stated objectives are to "prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework." The Cannabis Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.

Visit Government of Canada’s Cannabis in Canada website for more information.

Responsibility and control for medical cannabis will remain with the federal government.

More information