Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, joint, reefer, pot, kush, 420, dutchie, ganja and Mary Jane just to name a few, is a drug.

Using cannabis can affect your coordination, reaction time, concentration, decision-making skills and your ability to handle attention and visual functions.

In Canada, recreational cannabis laws vary province to province.  

Outlined below are some quick facts about the new Ontario laws defining how to, where to and who can buy, possess and consume cannabis in the province.

Medical cannabis and some derivatives will continue to be subject to different laws than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government.

Five Facts About Cannabis You Need to Know

When will it become legal?

For the first time in Canadian history, recreational cannabis and its derivatives will be legal on October 17, 2018. 

On October 17, 2019, regulations under the Cannabis Act (Canada) were amended to add new classes of cannabis such as edibles, extracts and topicals. These new classes of products could be available for purchase at the Ontario Cannabis Store as early as December 16, 2019.

Click here for more information on the amendments to the Cannabis Regulations.

For final regulations for edible cannabis, extracts and topicals, visit the Government of Canada website.

Who can have it?

In Ontario, any person 19 and older can buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis within the legal limits.

Where can you consume it?

You can only consume recreational cannabis in:

  • A private residence, including a porch or backyard.
  • A condo or apartment and its balcony (refer to your building's rules or your lease agreement for specific details).
  • Public places not prohibited by legislation.

You are responsible for knowing where you can smoke or vape cannabis according to the Smoke Free Act, the Ontario Cannabis Act and local Brampton and Mississauga by-laws.

Where can't you consume it?

You can't consume recreational cannabis in:

  • Workplaces.
  • Motorized vehicles.
  • Schools and places where children gather, such as:
    • Children's playgrounds, and all public areas within 20 metres of these grounds.
    • Child care centres, or where an early years program is provided.
    • On school grounds, and all public areas within 20 metres of these grounds.
  • Brampton and Mississauga parks and recreation facilities.

Smoking of cannabis is banned in the same places where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Using cannabis in places where it's prohibited can result in fines and charges.

How much can you have and grow?

  • You can have up to a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public.
  • You can grow a maximum of four plants per residence (not per person).
  • Additional information on possession limits for cannabis products is available from the Department of Justice

Where can you buy it?

  • You can only legally buy recreational cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store.
  • On April 1, 2019 it will be sold in private retail stores.
  • Individuals are not legally allowed to sell cannabis in Ontario.
  • Licensed stores selling cannabis to anyone under the age of 19 can be fined and face possible jail time.

Driving Under the Influence and Charges

It's illegal to drive impaired by cannabis or under the influence of any drug.

If found impaired by drugs you could face:

  • An immediate licence suspension.
  • Financial penalties.
  • Vehicle impoundment.
  • Criminal record.
  • Jail time.

There will be zero tolerance for young, new drivers and commercial drivers.  If you are a commercial driver or are under the age of 22 or have a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence, you can't have any amount of non-prescribed drugs in your system while driving a vehicle. Your ability to operate a vehicle will be severely affected after consuming cannabis.

If police have reasonable grounds to believe that cannabis is being illegally consumed, or transported, the Ontario Cannabis Act gives them the authority to search the vehicle and its occupants.

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