Cannabis and Policing
On October 17, 2018, Cannabis will be legalized across the country. The new Cannabis Acts create strict frameworks outlining who can control, produce, sell and possess cannabis. Hamilton Police Service will continue working to create safe and healthy communities for everyone – making sure the new laws are applied and our roads are safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum age to consume cannabis?
You will need to be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.
Where can you smoke and 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, 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’t you smoke or vape cannabis?
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 work places
- non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
Schools and places where children gather
You would not be able smoke or vape cannabis:
- at school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
- on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m 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 would not be able to smoke or vape cannabis:
- within 9m 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 sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m 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 9m 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 20m 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)
What are the penalties for driving while high?
Using cannabis and driving is illegal and dangerous. Cannabis, like many other drugs, slows your reaction time and increases your chances of being in a collision.
If you are impaired by any drug, including cannabis, you will face serious penalties, including:
- an immediate licence suspension
- financial penalties
- possible vehicle impoundment
- possible criminal record
- possible jail time
Zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers
You will not be allowed to have any cannabis in your system (as detected by a federally approved oral fluid screening device) if you are driving a motor vehicle and:
- you are 21 or under
- have a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence
- the vehicle you are driving requires an A-F driver’s licence or Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
- you are driving a road-building machine
Where can you buy recreational cannabis?
When it’s legal, people 19 and over will be able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. Online orders will be delivered safely and securely. Consumers will be required to verify their age to accept delivery and no packages will be left unattended at the door.
You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.
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.
The 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 licences. 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.
How much cannabis are you able to possess?
You will be able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public at any time.
How much cannabis can you grow?
You will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person).
Resources adapted from https://www.ontario.ca/page/cannabis-legalization
Where to purchase
Youth and Cannabis
- Date modified: