Cannabis for non-medical use is now legal in Canada

Cannabis for non-medical use is now legal in Canada subject to the federal Cannabis Act (Bill C-45). Under the federal legalization framework responsibility for cannabis distribution, retail sales, and rules regarding public consumption fall to individual provinces.

In Ontario, cannabis retail sales are available online exclusively through the Ontario Cannabis Store, with private retail storefronts anticipated to open by April, 2019. Under provincial legislation, municipalities will have until January 22, 2019 to opt-out of hosting private cannabis retail outlets within their territorial boundaries. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is responsible for licensing and regulation of private retail storefronts and municipalities are prohibited from passing planning or business licensing bylaws pertaining to cannabis retail.

Other areas of municipal responsibility include zoning for cannabis production facilities and enacting bylaws related to smoking and vaping in public places. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has developed a Municipal Guide to Cannabis Legalization that lays out areas of municipal responsibility and identifies policy options and examples. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario also has a various resources posted on their Cannabis Implementation webpages.

The following resources provide additional information about cannabis legalization and regulations in Peterborough City and County:

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