Cannabis Legalization in Canada

As of Wednesday October 17th 2018 recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada. We explore the details of this law change in today’s blog post.

Cannabis Legalization in Canada

What’s Changing?

As of tomorrow, October 17th, recreational cannabis will be legalized in Canada.

What does this mean for you?

This means that individuals over the minimum age (determined by province) can:

  • Possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis
  • Share up to 30 grams of cannabis with other adults
  • Buy cannabis from a provincially-licensed retailer
  • Grow up to four plants per residence
  • Make cannabis products (food/drink) at home

*Rules and regulations vary based on province and municipality. You are responsible for knowing the laws in your area.

Ontario Cannabis Laws

The following are rules and regulations specific to Ontario surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana.

The minimum age to buy, possess, grow, or use cannabis will be 19

Where You Can Use It

The government has proposed legislation that, if passed, would allow individuals to use recreational cannabis in the following places:

  • Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces
  • Many outdoor public places (e.g. sidewalks, parks)
  • Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
  • Residential vehicles and boats that meet certain criteria (e.g. have permanent sleeping accommodations and cooking facilities, and are parked or anchored)
  • Scientific research and testing facilities (if the cannabis use is for scientific research and testing purposes)
  • Controlled areas in:
    • long-term care homes
    • certain retirement homes
    • residential hospices
    • provincially-funded supportive housing
    • designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities

Where You CANNOT Use It

You would not be able to smoke or vape cannabis in:

  • Indoor common areas (condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences)
  • Enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces
  • Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
  • Schools and places where children gather
  • At school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
  • On children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
  • In child care centres, or where an early years program is provided
  • In places where home child care is provided – even if children aren’t present
  • Within 9m from the entrance or exit of hospitals (public/private), psychiatric facilities, long-term care homes, independent health facilities
  • On outdoor grounds of hospitals (public/private) and psychiatric facilities
  • In non-controlled areas in long-term care homes, certain retirement homes, provincially-funded supportive housing, designated psychiatric or veterans’ facilities, and residential hospices
  • In publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m of these areas
  • In a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion
  • In restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9m of a patio
  • On outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings
  • In reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
  • On grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20m of those grounds
  • In sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (e.g. a bus shelter)

Cannabis Use in the Workplace

Cannabis follows the same rules and regulations as alcohol when it comes to workplace consumption.

Consuming recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal and will continue to be after legalization on October 17, 2018.

Marijuana use will not be tolerated in the workplace and employees found to be under the influence may be sent home or even dismissed from their position.

Cannabis Use While Driving

Using cannabis and driving is illegal and dangerous. Cannabis, like many other drugs, slows your reaction time and increases your chances of being in a collision.

If a police officer finds that you are impaired by any drug, including cannabis, you will face serious penalties, including:

  • an immediate licence suspension
  • financial penalties
  • possible vehicle impoundment
  • possible criminal record
  • possible jail time

Police officers will be authorized to use oral fluid screening devices at roadside.

A thorough understanding of all laws surrounding recreational cannabis legalization is crucial during this change in legislation. For more information please visit the following sources: