Newly proposed provincial legislation would allow for an unlimited number of stores to sell recreational cannabis should retailers meet requirements and receive approval from Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
The government announced proposed legislation on Sept. 26, 2018, stating the AGCO would have authority to grant licences, enforce compliance and revoke licences. Other highlights from the proposed legislation include:
- Prohibiting smoking cannabis in places where smoking tobacco is prohibited as per the Smoke-Free Ontario Act.
- Providing municipalities the option of opting out of having cannabis retail stores in their communities.
- Establishing buffers separating retail cannabis stores from schools.
Also, the government said that operators of illegal cannabis stores must shut down by Oct. 17, the day cannabis sales become legal.
CMHA Ontario has provided feedback to the Ontario government about cannabis sales. In our 2017 submission, Cannabis Legalization and Regulation, CMHA Ontario made several recommendations including:
- Educating the public, particularly young people and heavy users, about the harms of cannabis use.
- Making the legal age for cannabis consumption 19.
- Zero tolerance for cannabis consumption in vehicles.