The federal government is legalizing recreational use of marijuana/cannabis effective October 17, 2018 – the Cannabis Act (Bill C-45). Ontario's Cannabis Act, 2017 will govern the details of legalization including purchasing, possessing, and using cannabis. Until then it remains illegal other than for authorized medical or research purposes.
There are different rules for recreational cannabis and medical cannabis.
General rules for recreational cannabis in Ontario:
- You can possession a maximum of 30 grams (approximately 1 oz.) of dried cannabis in public at any time.
- You must be 19 or over to possess, consume, attempt to purchase, purchase or distribute cannabis.
- Ontario Cannabis Store is the only store that can legally sell recreational cannabis and must follow strict rules set by the federal government
- Can grow up to 4 plants per residence (not per person). You can purchase seeds and seedlings from the Ontario Cannabis Store.
|Cannabis in the Workplace|
|Cannabis||Cannabis Act, 20171||Prohibited to consume
|Prohibited to consume
|Smoking Cannabis||Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 20172||Prohibited:
Smoking lighted tobacco, medical cannabis, and electric cigarettes are prohibited in enclosed workplace
|Medical Cannabis||Cannabis Act, 2017
Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
|May be used in workplace subject to prohibitions set out in
Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
|Prohibited to smoke cannabis, have lighted
medical cannabis, use an electronic cigarette containing medical
cannabis or have an activated electronic cigarette containing
medical cannabis in a motor vehicle
s.17(1)(e) Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
s.7 Places of Consumption, O.Reg 325/18 [not yet in force]
Medical cannabis may be consumed in a public place, workplace, vehicle or boat, or any prescribed place subject to prohibitions set out in the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.
ss. 5 and 11(2) of Cannabis Act, 2017.
The only way to purchase medical cannabis is from a federally licensed producer online, by written order, or over the phone and delivered by secure mail.
In the Workplace A prescription for medical cannabis does not entitle an employee to:
|In the event that an employee has requested accommodation to
consume medical cannabis during hours of employment, then the
employer should request the employee provide the following
information from his/her health care professional who has
prescribed the medical cannabis4:
||Once an employee has requested accommodation for the use of
medical cannabis in the workplace and has provided the requested
information, employers should consider what accommodation may be
provided to the employee in order to use medical cannabis while at
work which may include the following:
Employers should review their workplace policies to ensure the following:
- Drug and Alcohol Policy includes cannabis and expectations when an employee states or there is an observation that the employee has a substance abuse problem.
- Smoking Policy deals with a definition of the types of smoking products prohibited in the workplace and what an employee should do when seeking accommodation in the workplace for the use of medical cannabis.
- Accommodation Policy is inclusive of medical cannabis use in the workplace for the treatment of a disability or illness.
We at Dale & Lessmann LLP are pleased to assist you with your questions concerning cannabis in the workplace. We can assist you in creating or modifying your workplace policies in respect of drug and alcohol, smoking, accommodation, and other workplace policies.
1 SO 2017, c26, Sch 1 [not yet in force].
2 SO 2017, c26, Sch 3 [not yet in force].
3 But note that smoking medical cannabis is prohibited in enclosed workplace and enclosed public places. Also note that smoking and consuming medical cannabis is permitted in a public place that is not prohibited under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017. So essentially, employees who require accommodation to smoke medical cannabis may be permitted to smoke it in an outside location dedicated to smokers (but recreational smoking of cannabis is not prohibited).
5 See note 3.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.