CORNWALL, Ontario – Legalization day is almost upon Canadians. On Wednesday, Oct. 17, the use of recreational marijuana will be legal for several citizens, making history in our country.
Cannabis was added to the schedule of banned substances in 1923 without any parliamentary or public debate. Following pushback from the Senate and criticism from many, Bill C-45 hazily progressed from its introduction on April 13, 2017, fulfilling one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s campaign promises.
Provincially, the ON Government signed supply agreements with licensed cannabis producers to sell their products through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) online. This wholesale distribution network is set to supply cannabis to legal private stores upon ironing out legislative requirements by April 1, 2019.
The OCS online store will open on Oct. 17 and orders can be shipped within two to three business days.
The Cornwall Community Police Service (CCPS) are releasing facts and information to consider in a #CountdownToCannabis series to help inform the community.
The following is a quick breakdown of what is known and what can be expected for our province:
- The minimum age in Ontario to legally buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis is 19. This coincides with the minimum age for alcohol and tobacco sales.
- An individual can possess a maximum of 30 grams of cannabis in public.
- The only legal place to purchase cannabis as of Oct. 17 is the OCS online. The government plans to launch tightly regulated, private retail models as of April 1, 2019.
- Up to four plants can be grown per residence with legal seeds purchased from any OCS online.
- The consumption of recreational cannabis in the workplace is illegal.
- Driving while drug-impaired is illegal, and there is zero tolerance for cannabis in the system of a young, novice and commercial driver.
- Zero tolerance also applies to drivers 21 and under, those who have a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence, if the vehicle requires an A-F driver’s licence or Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR),
- Serious penalties, including immediate licence suspension, possible vehicle impoundment and possible jail time can be enforced on drug-impaired drivers. Police officers will be authorized to use oral fluid screening devices at roadside.
- Recreational cannabis can be smoked wherever the smoking of tobacco is permitted. Using cannabis in prohibited locations can result in fines up to $5,000.
- The only way to purchase medical cannabis is from a federally licensed producer online, over the phone and delivered by secure mail or by written order. Individuals may also receive a licence from Health Canada to grow medical cannabis.
- Changes and access will not change for individuals who are authorized to use cannabis by health care professionals.