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Ontario passed cannabis legislation to protect communities and keep youth safe


December 12, 2017
By Staff with files from Ontario government

New cannabis legislation was passed today that will regulate the lawful use, sale and distribution of recreational cannabis by the federal government's July 2018 legalization deadline.

Ontario’s Cannabis Act, 2017 will include:

  •  A brand new retailer overseen by the LCBO
  •  A minimum age of 19 to possess, buy or cultivate marijuana,
  •  A series of education programs and awareness campaigns for youth,
  •  The banning cannabis from public spaces, 
  •  Even tougher impaired driving laws, with zero tolerance for new and young drivers.
  •  High fines for corporations convicted of illegal selling or distribution as well as for landlords who permit such activities on their premises.

The province recently made changes allowing police to immediately remove drivers from the road who they believe are impaired by drugs, including cannabis.

Ontario has also partnered with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) to introduce the Small Business Innovation Challenge. It encourages small and medium-sized businesses to develop solutions to rapidly determine if a driver is impaired by cannabis or other drugs.  

Minister of Finance Charles Sousa said that “our approach to retail and distribution will achieve the standards of public safety and social responsibility that the people of Ontario expect.”

Approximately 150 stand-alone stores will open by 2020, including 40 stores by July 2018, rising to 80 by July 2019. Online distribution will service all regions of the province by July 2018.

Source: Government of Ontario