The Regional Municipality Of York

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Cannabis Legalization

Please note, the provincial government in Ontario introduced new legislation on September 27, 2018 that proposed to make significant changes to the previously passed statute governing cannabis in Ontario. The legislation is currently before a legislative committee and may change before the legislation becomes law.

Cannabis became legal on October 17, 2018. The information provided below is based on the legislation.

Where you can use controlled substances

Where can residents smoke cannabis?

  • Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces (e.g. long-term care and/or retirement homes)
  • 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

*Additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in each municipality, lease agreements and the policies of employers and property owners. Visit your municipality’s website for more information.

For additional information on proposed legislation and places of use for recreational cannabis, please visit ontario.ca/cannabis

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Where will cannabis be sold?

People 19 and over will be able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website will be the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It will follow strict rules set by the federal government and the provincial government.

Residents can purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.

The provincial government has also introduced legislation that, if passed, would help the province move forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that would launch by April 1, 2019.

The legislation would establish the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as the provincial regulator authorized to grant store licenses. The Ontario Cannabis Store would be the exclusive wholesaler to these stores. Private stores would be introduced with strict controls to safeguard children and youth and combat the illegal market.

For more information on private retail please visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

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Is there a bylaw around odour?

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 does not address odour issues. Each municipality will have different bylaws. It is best to check your local municipality for more information.

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Who can I contact regarding complaints or bylaw enforcement?

The Cannabis Act, 2018 contains the legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada as of October 17, 2018. The Regional Municipality of York, including the Public Health and Bylaw departments, or individual municipalities, will enforce non-criminal requirements such as complaints around public consumption, odour and retail locations, as well as the Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 which regulates where tobacco, vapour products and cannabis cannot be used.

In conjunction with the regulations set out in the act, York Regional Police, working alongside Municipal, Regional, Provincial and Federal partners, will be enforcing violations of the federal act and the provincial regulations, concentrating on the following enforcement responsibilities.

York Regional Police Enforcement Responsibilities

Impaired Driving

  • On suspicion of impairment, an officer can compel a driver to take a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) or be tested by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)
  • For G1, G2, commercial drivers and those under 21, no amount of cannabis is legal
    Distribution (selling or trafficking)
  • Currently, the only legal way to purchase cannabis is online through the Ontario Cannabis Store
  • YRP will continue to enforce illegal distribution, either commercial or non-commercial and the unlawful trafficking of cannabis via an illicit location

Cultivation

  • The Cannabis Act dictates a four-plant maximum per residence
  • YRP will continue to investigate and charge owners of illegal cannabis grow operations, including those who are growing in excess of Health Canada licences

Possession

  • Youth under 19 are not permitted to possess, consume or grow cannabis in Ontario
  • Adults are permitted to possess a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis for recreational use
  • Medical users can possess in excess of 30 grams in certain circumstances, if they can provide documentation to an officer that they have been issued a valid medical licence by Health Canada. Additional information on acceptable documentation from Health Canada can be found here

Transporting (in vehicles)

  • All cannabis must be packaged, sealed and inaccessible to all vehicle occupants
  • If any passenger has access to cannabis, the driver could be charged
  • If transporting cannabis, the best place to store it is in the trunk of your vehicle

Additional Resources

To learn more about provincial cannabis laws, visit ontario.ca/cannabis
To learn more about cannabis in Canada, visit canada.ca/cannabis

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What rights do tenants and homeowners have regarding smoking and growing cannabis in a rental property?

For information on tenant and homeowner rights and responsibilities regarding the smoking and growing of cannabis, please contact the Landlord and Tenant Board.

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What does the city or town manage versus the Region?

York Region Public Health, Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes Control Officers will enforce the proposed Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 which will regulate the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of tobacco and vapour products including smoking and vaping of cannabis. All other matters relating to cannabis are under the jurisdiction of your municipality or York Regional Police for criminal matters.

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How far from a public space does a person need to be to be able to smoke cannabis?

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis

Indoors

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in:

  • Indoor common areas in condominiums, apartment buildings and university/college residences
  • Enclosed public places and enclosed work places
  • Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

Schools and places where children gather

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • At school, on school grounds and all public areas within 20 metres of these grounds
  • On children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20 metres 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

Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • Within 9 metres 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

Publicly owned spaces

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20 metres of these areas.

Vehicles and boats

You cannot consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating) in a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion.

Other outdoor areas

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis:

  • In restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9 metres of a patio
  • On outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings
  • In reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
  • Grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20 metres 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)

For additional information on proposed legislation and places of use for recreational cannabis, please visit ontario.ca/cannabis

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Other Frequently Asked Questions

What will the minimum age be to buy cannabis?

The legal age to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis will be 19 years old. This is the same minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.


What will the minimum age be to grow cannabis?

You will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person). You will be able to purchase legal seeds and seedlings from the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The legal age to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis will be 19 years old.

This is the same minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.


Can homegrown cannabis be sold legally?

No. Recreational cannabis in Ontario can only be purchased from the Ontario Cannabis Store. Home cultivated cannabis can be shared, up to 30 grams per person.


Where will cannabis be sold?

As is currently proposed by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Cannabis Store through 32 licensed producers for its online retail platform as well as 10 accessories suppliers will be the only legal way to legally purchase recreational cannabis and will follow strict set of rules set out by the federal government.

ocscannabisupdates.com/faq

By April 2019, cannabis will be available for purchase in private retail shops.

For more information, visit Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or contact at 1-800-522-2876


What types of cannabis will be sold legally?

Cannabis will be sold in the forms allowed under federal law. These forms would initially include dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, as well as cannabis accessories.

Edibles are not legal and will not be sold until such times as the federal government may choose to make these legal.


I am concerned about a grow-op in my neighbourhood, who can I call?

Recreational home cultivation of cannabis permits four plants per residence indoor or outdoor (not per person). Health Canada permits individuals with medical authorization to grow cannabis; the allowance varies from person to person dependent on their prescription and the number of plants permitted is calculated by Health Canada.

Call York Regional Police’s non-emergency line to report suspected criminal activity at 1-866-876-5423


Can the city or town refuse service to a resident who is clearly intoxicated (ie. at a library or community centre)?

This is a crime, particularly if causing a disturbance. Call the non-emergency police line or 911.


What is being done to protect our at-risk residents (youth, homeless, sheltered and seniors)?

Consult provincial and federal governments for existing education and information programs already in progress across the country.


What are the dangers of being around someone smoking cannabis (second hand smoke/odour)?

Evidence suggests exposure to second hand smoke including cannabis has similar carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. A smoke-free environment is the safest and healthiest choice for anyone.


Why did the federal government decriminalize cannabis?

The Government of Canada has chosen to legalize cannabis to create a legal framework around production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada.


York Regional Police will enforce incidents of impaired driving and the illegal production, distribution, possession and sales of cannabis.

The Cannabis Act, 2018 contains the legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada as of October 17, 2018. The Regional Municipality of York, including the Public Health and Bylaw departments, or individual municipalities, will enforce non-criminal requirements such as complaints around public consumption, odour and retail locations, as well as the Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 which regulates the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of tobacco, vapour products and cannabis.

In conjunction with the regulations set out in the act, York Regional Police, working alongside Municipal, Regional, Provincial and Federal partners, will be enforcing violations of the federal act and the provincial regulations, concentrating on the following enforcement responsibilities.

York Regional Police Enforcement Responsibilities

Impaired Driving

  • On suspicion of impairment, an officer can compel a driver to take a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) or be tested by a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)
  • For G1, G2, commercial drivers and those under 21, no amount of cannabis is legal
    Distribution (selling or trafficking)
  • Currently, the only legal way to purchase cannabis is online through the Ontario Cannabis Store
  • YRP will continue to enforce illegal distribution, either commercial or non-commercial and the unlawful trafficking of cannabis via an illicit location

Cultivation

  • The Cannabis Act dictates a four-plant maximum per residence
  • YRP will continue to investigate and charge owners of illegal cannabis grow operations, including those who are growing in excess of Health Canada licences

Possession

  • Youth under 19 are not permitted to possess, consume or grow cannabis in Ontario
  • Adults are permitted to possess a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis for recreational use
  • Medical users can possess in excess of 30 grams in certain circumstances, if they can provide documentation to an officer that they have been issued a valid medical licence by Health Canada. Additional information on acceptable documentation from Health Canada can be found here

Transporting (in vehicles)

  • All cannabis must be packaged, sealed and inaccessible to all vehicle occupants
  • If any passenger has access to cannabis, the driver could be charged
  • If transporting cannabis, the best place to store it is in the trunk of your vehicle

Additional Resources

To learn more about provincial cannabis laws, visit ontario.ca/cannabis
To learn more about cannabis in Canada, visit canada.ca/cannabis
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Related Resources

Cannabis Use
Members of Provincial Parliament
Members of Parliament
York Regional Police Cannabis Presentation


Cannabis,Legalization The Regional Municipality of York en-US Cannabis graphic explaining where you can use controlled substances Cannabis Legalization Cannabis became legal on October 17, 2018.

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