FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CANNABIS 

Where can I smoke or vape cannabis?*

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

*Additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in, lease agreements and the policies of employers and property owners.

For additional information on proposed legislation and places of use for recreational cannabis, please visit ontario.ca/cannabis 

Where will cannabis be sold?

People 19 and over are able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website will be the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It will follow strict rules set by the federal government and the provincial government.

Residents will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.

Visit ontario.ca/cannabis  for more information.

The provincial government has also introduced legislation that, if passed, would help the province move forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that would launch by April 1, 2019.

The legislation would establish the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) as the provincial regulator authorized to grant store licenses. The Ontario Cannabis Store would be the exclusive wholesaler to these stores. Private stores would be introduced with strict controls to safeguard children and youth and combat the illegal market.

For more information on private retail please visit

https://www.agco.ca/cannabis/private-retail-licensing-and-regulation

If retail shops are allowed as of April 2019, will they be allowed in the Town of Aurora? 

The provincial government has provided an opt-out provision for municipalities which would allow them to prohibit retail cannabis shops within their boundaries.  This matter is expected to be brought forward to Council for consideration in early 2019. 

Are municipalities able to introduce bylaws that would prohibit people from smoking cannabis on public property? 

Yes. However, no decision on this matter has been made in the Town of Aurora. This matter is expected to be brought forward to Council for consideration in early 2019. 

Regarding complaints, enforcement and bylaws, what does the Town manage versus the Regional Municipality of York? 

Enforcement falls within the jurisdiction of York Region Public Health (for medical) and the Police (for recreational).

The Cannabis Act proposes a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. In conjunction with the framework set out in the Act, and working alongside our regional, provincial and federal partners, the Region and local municipalities are actively reviewing its current bylaws to anticipate the ramifications of legalized cannabis. 

York Region, Public Health, Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes Control Officers will enforce the current Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2006 (SFOA) and the Electronic Cigarettes Act 2015 (ECA).  Officers will enforce the proposed Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 and if it moves forward it will combine the existing SFOA, 2006 & ECA, 2015 and in addition intends to regulate the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of tobacco and vapour products including smoking and vaping of medical cannabis. All other matters relating to cannabis are under the jurisdiction of police services.

What rights, if any, do tenants and homeowners have regarding smoking and growing cannabis in a rental property? 

For information on tenant and homeowner rights and responsibilities regarding the smoking and growing of cannabis, please contact the Landlord and Tenant Board.

How far from a school/bus shelter/library/hospital/community centre/etc does a person need to be to be able to smoke cannabis?

Indoors

You are not able to smoke or vape cannabis in:

Indoor common areas in condominiums, 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 are not able 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 are not able to 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 are not able to 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 are not able to consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating) in a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion.

Other outdoor areas

You are not be able to 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
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 (e.g. a bus shelter)

For additional information on proposed legislation and places of use for recreational cannabis, please visit ontario.ca/cannabis

What does the city or town manage versus the Region? 

York Region Public Health, Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes Control Officers will enforce the proposed Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017 which will regulate the sale, supply, use, display and promotion of tobacco and vapour products including smoking and vaping of cannabis. All other matters relating to cannabis are under the jurisdiction of your local police service.

What is the minimum age to buy cannabis?

The legal age to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis will be 19 years old. This is the same minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.

For more information visit Ontario.ca/cannabis 

What is the minimum age to grow cannabis?

You will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person). You will be able to purchase legal seeds and seedlings from the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The legal age to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis will be 19 years old. 
This is the same minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.

For more information visit Ontario.ca/cannabis 

Can homegrown cannabis be sold legally?

No. Recreational cannabis in Ontario can only be purchased from the Ontario Cannabis Store. Home cultivated cannabis can be shared, up to 30 grams per person. 

Where will cannabis be sold?

As is currently proposed by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Cannabis Store through 32 licensed producers for its online retail platform as well as 10 accessories suppliers will be the only legal way to legally purchase recreational cannabis and will follow strict set of rules set out by the federal government. 

For more information, visit ocscannabisupdates.com/faq 

By April 2019, cannabis will be available for purchase in private retail shops. 
For more information, visit Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario or contact at 1-800-522-2876

What types of cannabis will be sold legally?

Cannabis will be sold in the forms allowed under federal law. These forms would initially include dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil, as well as cannabis accessories. 
Edibles are not legal and will not be sold until such times as the federal government may choose to make these legal.

For more information, visit ocscannabisupdates.com/faq 

I am concerned about a grow-op in my neighbourhood, who can I call?

Recreational home cultivation of cannabis permits four plants per residence indoor or outdoor (not per person). Health Canada permits individuals with medical authorization to grow cannabis; the allowance varies from person to person dependent on their prescription and the number of plants permitted is calculated by Health Canada. 

Call your local police department’s non-emergency line to report suspected criminal activity.
In York Region that number is 1-866-876-5423

Can the city or town refuse service to a resident who is clearly intoxicated (ie. at a library or community centre)?


This is a crime, particularly if causing a disturbance. Call the non-emergency police line or 911. 

What is being done to protect our at-risk residents (youth, homeless, sheltered and seniors)?

Consult provincial and federal governments for existing education and information programs already in progress across the country.

https://ocscannabisupdates.com/responsibility/

What are the dangers of being around someone smoking cannabis?

Evidence suggests exposure to second hand smoke including cannabis has similar carcinogens found in tobacco smoke. A smoke-free environment is the safest and healthiest choice for anyone.

Why did the federal government decriminalize cannabis?

The Government of Canada has chosen to legalize cannabis to create a legal framework around production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis in Canada. More information about the federal framework can be found here.


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