The Premier of Ontario has declared a province-wide state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order in response to rising COVID-19 variant infection rates.
Cannabis for non-medical is legal in Canada effective October 2018. Ontario laws are in place regarding how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province. The minimum age for use of cannabis is 19, the same as for alcohol. Visit Ontario's Cannabis Legalization page for information.
October 17, 2018 - Cannabis for non-medical use became legal in Canada. Ontario laws are in place regarding how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province. The minimum age for use of cannabis is 19, the same as for alcohol. Visit Ontario's Cannabis Legalization page for information.
April 1, 2019 - The Province of Ontario elected to allow recreational cannabis to be sold on-line through the Ontario Cannabis Store and in privately operated retail stores. 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 provided municipalities a one-time decision to opt-out of permitting licensed cannabis retail stores within their boundaries by January 22, 2019. Municipalities that chose to opt-out can opt back in at any time – but that decision is final.
January 14, 2019 - Town Council opted out of allowing licensed retail cannabis 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).
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.
At a special meeting on March 2, Council chose to maintain the opt-out position on allowing privately-operated retail cannabis stores in Oakville. Citing concerns about the allowable locations of the shops and a need to continue observing the industry, Council has decided to review the vote again in 2021. Town staff will monitor industry information and how municipalities who have opted-in are operating.
October 17, 2019 - Cannabis regulations were updated to establish rules for the production and inclusion of the sale of three new classes of cannabis at licensed AGCO retail locations starting January 6, 2020, including Edibles, Extracts and Topicals.
December 2019 - The Province announced that it is moving to an open market for retail cannabis stores. Potential retailers will still be required to apply for an operator licence and store authorization from the AGCO in municipalities that have opted-in to permit retail cannabis stores.
March 2020 - The province is also consulting on additional cannabis business opportunities, including sale of cannabis for consumption in cafes/lounges and at special events. Comments are due to the province by March 10
Production facilities, both medical and recreational cannabis, will be regulated by the Federal government. A Federal licence will be required for:
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.
Under the new laws in Ontario, adults 19 years of age or older will be able to:
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.
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.
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
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.