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Risk Management and Cannabis in Ontario

What is going to be legalized and when?

May 2018

The Federal Government of Canada has yet to set a date for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada. Current forecasts estimate that it will be legalized in the summer of 2018, but this may be optimistic. Once recreational cannabis is legalized, its sale and distribution will be regulated by the provinces leading to different rules province to province, like the regulation of alcohol.

In Ontario, the legal age to purchase, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis will be 19 years of age.

Once legalized, the Ontario government indicates that individuals will only be able to use recreational cannabis in private residences, including any privately owned outdoor spaces. The use of recreational cannabis will remain prohibited in public spaces, motorized vehicles and in workplaces.

Driving while under the influence of cannabis will be treated like driving under the influence of alcohol. Although determining whether an individual is impaired by cannabis will pose some new obstacles to law enforcement. Bill C-46 has been put forward to address some of these challenges. It proposes driving limits for cannabis as well as new roadside testing devices and would allow for the roadside testing of individuals who do not display visible signs of intoxication.

Once legalized, the government indicates recreational cannabis, as well as seeds and seedlings, will be available for purchase through the Ontario Cannabis Store in person or online.

Individuals will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis at a time in public and each residence will be permitted to grow up to four plants.

None of the changes to the law relating to recreational cannabis will have any effect on the regulation of medical cannabis which is governed by different laws by the Federal Government of Canada.

Sources for More Information:

  1. Introduction of the Cannabis Act: Questions and Answers
  2. Bill C-46: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts
  3. Ontario Cannabis Store Updates
  4. Cannabis legalization - Learn what will and won't be legal in Ontario

MB Resources:

  1. Are Dispensaries and Vapour Lounges the new Tavern?
  2. Product Liability for Producers, Distributors, and Dispensers
  3. Drugged driving and how insurers can manage risk
  4. Medical Marijuana: Considerations for Employers
  5. Drug Recognition Experts and Drug-Impaired Driving
  6. And The Litigation Begins...
  7. Potential Impact on Social Hosts
  8. Marijuana Legalization: Ontario Weighs In


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