September 8, 2017

Today, Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins announced the Provincial government’s plan for the regulation of recreational cannabis use in Ontario.  The plan is a response to the federal-level legalization of recreational cannabis slated to come into effect on July 1, 2018.

The Government of Ontario’s plan includes:
  • the creation of a separate and dedicated Crown Agency modeled after the LCBO for the retail and distribution of recreational cannabis;
  • storefronts with locations determined in collaboration with Ontario’s municipal governments;
  • online retail to enable consumers to purchase federally licensed marijuana through mail delivery;
  • adjusting the legal age for consumption to align with Ontario’s liquor and tobacco rules;
  • prohibiting cannabis consumption in public spaces, workplaces, and in motorized vehicles consistent with existing rules;
  • new enforcement measures to deter youth from holding, sharing, or consuming cannabis; and
  • a public education campaign focused on prevention and harm reduction.
AMO has led engagement with municipal, provincial, and federal governments since cannabis legalization was first announced in April 2016.  AMO has called for:
  • Local influence on the location of retail outlets to promote community safety and to ensure the rollout of storefronts begins in willing municipalities.
  • Adequate funding, training, and resource supports to enable municipal governments to follow provincial enforcement and implementation directions in time for legalization.
  • Revenue from marijuana sales to finance new municipal responsibilities and other municipal needs.
  • Collaboration with the Province to ensure Ontario communities and residents benefit from the economic development opportunities arising from regulated legal cannabis.
Moving forward, AMO will continue to work with the Province, through the AMO Marijuana Legalization Task Force and staff-level working tables, to ensure the implementation of a safe and effective Ontario model for cannabis regulation. AMO will also be providing input on the Province’s proposed framework once consultations are underway to ensure municipal governments in Ontario have the ability to act in the best interests of residents and communities.  Stay tuned as we transition towards the consultation and implementation phases of marijuana regulation - AMO will be providing members with updates on municipal interests and implications as they arise.