Ontario Supporting Municipalities to Ensure Safe Transition to Federal Cannabis Legalization

Published 14/03/2018

Province Also Investing in Police Training, Investigations, and Public Education

Ontario is stepping up support for municipalities and law enforcement to help ensure communities and roads are safe in advance of the federal government’s legalization of cannabis.

The province will provide $40 million of its revenue from the federal excise duty on recreational cannabis over two years to help all municipalities with implementation costs related to the legalization of cannabis.

In addition, Ontario is taking further steps to ensure a safe and sensible transition for communities and people by:

-Increasing the capacity of local law enforcement, including the Ontario Provincial Police, by funding sobriety field test training for police officers to help detect impaired drivers

-Creating a specialized legal team to support drug-impaired driving prosecutions

-Increasing capacity at the province’s Centre of Forensic Sciences to support toxicological testing and expert testimony

-Developing a program to divert youth involved in minor cannabis-related offences away from the criminal justice system

-Creating a Cannabis Intelligence Coordination Centre to shut down illegal storefronts and help fight the unsafe and illegal supply of cannabis products

-Providing public health units with support and resources to help address local needs related to cannabis legalization

-Raising awareness of the new provincial rules that will take effect when cannabis is legalized federally.

Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation.

Limiting use in public

To protect the health and well-being of everyone in Ontario, especially children, youth and other vulnerable people, we will restrict where cannabis can be used, including limiting exposure to second-hand smoke and vapour. This is similar to Ontario’s existing laws for alcohol and tobacco.


Only be permitted to use recreational cannabis in a private residence. It will not be allowed to use recreational cannabis in:

-any public place


-motorized vehicles


-Funding will be distributed to municipalities on a per household basis, adjusted to ensure that each municipal government receives no less than $10,000.

-If the province’s portion of the revenue from federal excise duty on recreational cannabis for the first two years of legalization exceeds $100 million, the province will provide municipal governments with 50 per cent of the surplus.

-The Ontario Cannabis Act includes strong deterrents to discourage illegal cannabis activities, including high fines for individuals or corporations convicted of illegal selling or distribution, tough provincial penalties for driving while impaired and zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers who drive with cannabis in their system.


Preparing for Cannabis Legalization in Ontario

For public inquiries:
TTY: 1-800-263-7776

Brent Ross
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services


Leila Monteiro Lins

Leila has more than 30 years of experience in journalism and marketing, including media relations, event planning and the development of communication strategies. In April 2010, LML launched Discover magazine in Canada.

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