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Here's a breakdown of Ontario's hazy pot laws

In less than a month recreational marijuana will be legal across Canada but how you’ll purchase it in Ontario has changed so many times in the last few months it’s probably got your head spinning more than if you just hotboxed your bathroom.

Here’s a look at what you need to know about the smoking, buying and selling of marijuana in Ontario as it stands right now.


  • Marijuana will be legal to smoke on Oct. 17
  • Ontario residents will be able to smoke recreational cannabis wherever the smoking of tobacco is permitted


  • You must be 19 years of age or older to purchase cannabis in Ontario
  • On Oct. 17, legal marijuana will only be available for sale online
  • A private retail model is scheduled to be in place by April
  • Any illegal pot shops still running after Oct. 17 will not be able to get a licence in Ontario
  • Ontario municipalities that want to opt-out of hosting pot shops will have until Jan. 22, 2019 to do so under the new legislation
  • Ready-made edibles will become available for sale in fall 2019


  • A government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp. — not the OCS — will handle online cannabis sales
  • Anyone looking to open a pot shop in 2019 will have to apply for both a retail-operator licence and a retail store authorization for each potential location
  • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will regulate the marketplace, giving it the power to grant, and potentially revoke, licenses as well as enforce provincial rules on cannabis sales
  • The Ontario government says it will not put a cap on pot shops when it starts licensing and regulating the province’s private cannabis retail marketplace
  • In 2019, licensed pot producers will be able to have one retail location located at a production facility (similar to a store at a craft brewery)

The Rules in Canada

  • Smoking pot in vehicles or boats that are being operated will be prohibited — breaking the rules would see people subjected to fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 upon conviction
  • As of Oct. 17, Canadian residents can grow up to four plants per household
  • You can possess up to 30 grams of legal cannabis, dried or equivalent in non-dried form, in public
  • You can share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults
  • You can make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products
  • The current regime for medical cannabis will continue to allow access to cannabis for people who have the authorization of their healthcare provider
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