Cannabis laws in Ontario

cannabis law

https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-laws

Ontario’s new rules will keep the people of Ontario safe now that recreational cannabis has been made legal by the federal government.

Overview

The Ontario Government has put rules in place to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, keep our roads safe and combat the illegal market.

After extensive public and stakeholder engagement, we now have laws in place about how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province.

We are also moving forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019.

Medical cannabis will continue to be subject to different rules than recreational cannabis.

Minimum age is 19

You must be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.

Learn about the Youth Cannabis Diversion Program, an online education and prevention program for youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who come into conflict with the law for certain provincial cannabis-related offences.

Where you can use it

The government has enacted the following rules for using cannabis, both medical and recreational.

Where you can smoke and vape cannabis

  • Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces (for example, long-term care and/or retirement homes)
  • Many outdoor public places (for example, sidewalks and parks)
  • Designated smoking guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
  • Residential vehicles and boats that meet certain criteria (for example, if they 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

How much cannabis you can possess

You are able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis (or equivalent) in public at any time.

Growing your own cannabis

You may grow up to four cannabis plants per residence (not per person) if:

  • you are 19 years of age and older
  • it is only for your personal use
  • the starting material was purchased from the Ontario Cannabis Store or an authorized retail store

Rules for the workplace

Ontario has strict rules in place to make sure workplaces are safe.

Consuming recreational cannabis in an enclosed workplace remains illegal after legalization on October 17, 2018.

Employers (and supervisors):

  • need to know the rules for medical cannabis
  • are required to address workplace hazards, under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

Employees and workers:

  • who are unable or unfit to work safely could be a hazard to themselves or to others in the workplace
  • have a duty to perform work safely and to report any hazards to their supervisor or employer under the OHSA

See additional rules related to cannabis use in the workplace, including for commercial drivingwhere you can use recreational cannabis and using medical cannabis in the workplace.

Where you cannot smoke or vape cannabis

Indoors

You cannot smoke or vape cannabis in:

  • indoor common areas in condos, 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 will be driven

Learn more about the rules for cannabis and driving.

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
  • on 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 (for example, a bus shelter)

Medical cannabis

If a health care professional has already authorized you to use cannabis for medical reasons, your access has not changed now that recreational cannabis is legal.

Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government.

The only way to purchase medical cannabis is:

  • from a federally licensed producer online
  • by written order
  • over the phone and delivered by secure mail

You can also receive a licence from Health Canada to grow medical cannabis on your own, or designate someone else to grow it on your behalf.

Learn more about accessing cannabis for medical purposes.