Cannabis legalization

Cannabis is legal for recreational and medicinal use under the federal Cannabis Act. In Ontario, the Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, (2017) governs production, distribution, sale, consumption and possession of cannabis, including:

  • Where and when cannabis can and cannot be used
  • Recreational cannabis sales
  • How much you are permitted to carry
  • Rules for the workplace
  • Growing cannabis

The City continues to work with community partners on cannabis legalization.

A report to Council on cannabis retail stores in Guelph will be presented on December 17, 2018.

The City continues to work with community partners on cannabis legalization.

Read the cannabis report and engagement results

Timelines

  • Cannabis legalization: October 17, 2018: Cannabis is legal to buy, use, possess and grow.
  • Engagement: November 5 to 15, 2018 We engaged residents using a statistically valid telephone survey and an online survey. Engagement results were summarized in the report to Council.
  • Report to Council: Winter 2018-2019: Staff are preparing a report to Council prior to the January 22, 2019 deadline to opt into the Province of Ontario’s retail cannabis model. The report will contain recommendations for Council consideration regarding private cannabis retail stores.
  • Municipal deadline to opt in to the retail model for cannabis: January 22, 2019
  • The Province of Ontario is launching their private retail model for cannabis on April 1, 2019. The Province of Ontario is launching their private retail model for cannabis on April 1, 2019. This framework will be used to help municipalities work with potential business owners who wish to open a cannabis retail store.

Frequently asked questions

What is the age restriction for cannabis?

In Ontario, you need to be 19 years of age or older to buy, use, possess and/or grow recreational cannabis.

What is the maximum amount I can carry?

If you are 19 years or older, you are able to carry up to 30 grams (one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis in public.

Can I grow it in my home? What are the restrictions?

Yes, you can grow your own using Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) seeds. You will be able to grow a maximum of four plants per residence.

Where can I purchase cannabis?

As of October 17, 2018, you can start purchasing cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). Provincially-licensed, privately owned retail stores within municipalities that do not opt out of the program can start operating after April 1, 2019.

The City has until January 22, 2019 to opt out of the retail cannabis stores program.

The City has until January 22, 2019 to opt out of the retail cannabis stores program.

Where you can smoke and vape cannabis?

  • Private residences (not including residences that are also workplaces such as retirement homes)
  • Many outdoor public places such as sidewalks and parks
  • 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 municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and the policies of employers and property owners.

Where can you not smoke and vape cannabis?

Indoors

You would not be able to smoke or vape cannabis in:

  • Indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences
  • Enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces
  • Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

Schools and places where children gather

You would not be able to 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 childcare is provided, even if children aren’t present

Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities

You would not be 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 would not be able to smoke or vape cannabis in publicly-owned sports fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20 metres of these areas.

Vehicles and boats

You would not be 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 would 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)

Who will be responsible for enforcing the smoking cannabis?

City of Guelph Bylaw Compliance Officers and the Guelph Wellington Dufferin Public Health will be responsible for enforcement related to the smoking of cannabis. 

The Guelph Police Service will be responsible for enforcement of all regulations including driving, underage consumption and exceeding limits on growing and carrying.

Who can I call to report illegal behaviour?

Non-emergencies can be reported to the Guelph Police Service at 519-824-1212.

Emergency situations, such as impaired driving, can be reported by 911.

When will there be more information on edible cannabis products?

More information on edible cannabis products will become available in 2019.

For more information

David Wiedrick, Manager
Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing, Operations
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 3475
david.wiedrick@guelph.ca