Cannabis use for medical purposes has been permitted in Canada since 2001.
In 2017, the federal government introduced proposed legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis for non-medical use (Cannabis Act, Bill C-45). Bill C-45 received Royal Assent in June, 2018 and cannabis for non-medical use by legal age adults became legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018.
The Province of Ontario passed updated legislation regarding cannabis use, retailing and enforcement in October 2018 (Bill 36 – The Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act). The Act serves to amend the previous provincial framework for cannabis use and sales, including establishing a new licensing scheme for private cannabis retail sales, and amending permitted places of use for cannabis.
The following restrictions apply to purchasing, possessing and consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes in Ontario:
- 19 years or older is the legal age to buy, use, or possess cannabis
- There are serious penalties for drug-impaired driving and a zero tolerance limit for young, novice, or commercial drivers
- Adults of legal age will be permitted to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public
- As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website is the only legal option for purchasing cannabis for non-medical purposes
- Licensed private retail storefronts are anticipated to be established by April 1, 2019
- A limit of four cannabis plants may be grown per residence
- Use of cannabis for non-medical purposes is prohibited in workplaces
Peterborough Public Health is responsible for enforcing where cannabis can be used through our relevant enforcement unit. More information about the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and other relevant municipal by-laws can be found on our Smoking and Vaping pages.
The following resources provide additional information about the legal aspects of cannabis:
- Health Canada – Legalizing and Strictly Regulating Cannabis: The Facts
- Province of Ontario – Cannabis Legalization
- City of Peterborough – Cannabis Legalization FAQ