Canada: Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018: Ontario Government Passes Cannabis Regulatory Regime

The Conservative government announced on August 13, 2018 that “the Government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores.” Instead, Ontario will implement a private retail model by April 1, 2019; a dramatic shift from the previous Liberal government's plan for 150 brick-and-mortar Ontario Cannabis Stores (then planned to be a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario) outlets by 2020.1

To effect this change, the Ontario government passed Bill 36, the Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018 on October 17, 2018. The legislation amends the Cannabis Act, 2017 (now named the Cannabis Control Act, 2017), the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017, the Liquor Control Act and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 as well as making a consequential amendment to the Highway Traffic Act. The legislation also enacts the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018.2 Some highlights of the new legislation include:

  • Changes for the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC): The OCRC will be granted the exclusive right to sell cannabis in Ontario online but is expressly prohibited from operating retail stores directly or indirectly. Instead, retail stores will be privately operated. The OCRC will also have the exclusive right to sell cannabis in Ontario to a retail store for resale.3
  • Licensing scheme: The Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 sets out the licensing scheme for private cannabis retail stores and will be administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), the regulatory body for the adult-use cannabis market.
  • Licences and authorizations: In order to operate a cannabis retail store, an individual must apply for and be granted both a retail operator licence and a retail store authorization.4 The retail store authorization may only be issued to the holder of or an applicant for a retail operator licence and authorizes its holder to operate a particular cannabis retail store.5 A separate authorization is required for each store and permits the holder to sell only cannabis purchased directly from the OCRC and any other prescribed items.6 The federal government intends to authorize the legal sale of cannabis edible products and concentrates no later than 12 months following the coming into force of the Cannabis Act (Canada). In the interim, individuals are permitted to make edibles for personal use.7
  • Illegal retail operations: The Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 also permits an individual who has been convicted or charged with a prescribed offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) for cannabis to be eligible to apply for a retail operator licence.8 However as Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stated, “if you are still operating an illegal retail operation after October 17, you would not be able to get a licence in Ontario.”9
  • No ceiling or “cap”: The proposed legislation does not set a limit to the number of retail store licences in Ontario. However, the legislation would afford the government flexibility needed to address issues with concentration of stores in individual markets and the number of individual stores that a single retailer may have. According to Attorney General for Ontario Caroline Mulroney, the objective is to ensure that the market is not dominated by one or two parties.10
  • Sale by federally licensed producers: Federally licensed producers will be allowed to establish retail stores, however they will be limited to a single retail store that must be onsite at a production facility.11
  • Public consumption: The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and the Cannabis Control Act, 2017 are amended to the effect that individuals in Ontario will be able to smoke or vape cannabis wherever the smoking or vaping of tobacco is permitted as well including in public areas.12 This would represent a dramatic change from the previous state of the Cannabis Control Act, 2017 which currently prohibits the consumption of cannabis in any public place.13 Smoking or vaping cannabis in enclosed public places, workplaces, vehicles or boats however is still be prohibited.14 If prescribed requirements are met, there are also exemptions allowing for the smoking or vaping of cannabis in certain long-term care homes, retirement homes, supportive housing residences, psychiatric facilities, veterans facilities as well as hotels, motels and inns.15
  • Municipality control: Municipalities are able to pass a resolution by January 22, 2019 to opt out of retail sale in their communities.16 This prohibition can be lifted in the future, however once cannabis retail stores are permitted it will not be possible to implement a prohibition later.17 Should a municipality “opt in” and allow retail sale in their community, the AGCO will have the authority to decide how many and where retail outlets will be permitted. While the municipality and its residents may make written submissions within 15 days after notice of a proposed retail store is posted, the AGCO will ultimately reserve the right to make a final decision.18 Further, the legislation prohibits municipalities from passing by-laws designating cannabis retail as a separate land use or creating their own system of licensing.19
  • Reserves: A retail store authorization may not be issued unless the council of the band has approved the location of the proposed retail store on the reserve.20 A council of the band may request that the AGCO Registrar not issue retail store authorization for cannabis retail stores to be located on the reserve. The Registrar must comply with such a request, as well as with any future request to amend or rescind the original request.21
  • Standards and requirements: The AGCO will also be able to establish standards and requirements respecting the conduct of licence and authorization holders on matters including: (1) store premises, equipment, surveillance and security; (2) the prevention of unlawful activities, including prohibiting or restricting certain individuals from entering cannabis retail stores; (3) advertising and promotional activities; (4) training relating to cannabis; (5) the protection of assets, including money and money equivalents; (6) the keeping of records, including financial records; (7) reasonable measures to maintain the confidentiality and security of records, including measures to securely dispose of records and to prevent unauthorized access to records; (8) compliance with the national Cannabis Tracking System; and (9) any other matter relating to the conduct of licence and authorization holders or to the operation of cannabis retail stores that may be prescribed.22
  • Inducements and promotion: The legislation would prohibit any inducement or promotion to the holder of a licence or authorization in order to increase sale of a particular type of cannabis.23

Footnote

1 Ministry of Finance, “Ontario Announces Cannabis Retail Model” (August 13, 2018), online: Government of Ontario; Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018.

2 Supra, note 2.

3 Ministry of Attorney General, “Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018” (September 27, 2018), online: Government of Ontario.

4 Supra, note 4.

5 Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 at s 4(1).

6 Supra, note 6 at s 4(5) and s 18.

7 Government of Canada, “Introduction of the Cannabis Act: Questions and Answers” (March 13, 2018), online: Government of Canada.

8 Supra, note 6 at s 3(6).

9 Shawn Jeffords & Paola Loriggio, “Ontario government says recreational cannabis can be smoked wherever tobacco smoking allowed (September 26, 2018), The Canadian Press, online: Global News.

10 Supra, note 4; Rob Ferguson, “Ontario won’t set limit on number of private marijuana stores” (September 26, 2018), The Toronto Star, online: The Star; Justin Giovannetti, Christina Pellegrini & Marina Strauss, “Ontario proposes capping number of stores for cannabis growers, open market for recreational sales”, (September 26, 2018) The Globe and Mail, online: The Globe and Mail.

11 Supra, note 6 at s 4(4).

12 Supra, note 2 at s 11 of Schedule 1.

13 The Cannabis Control Act, 2017, RSO 2017, c 26 at s 11(1)(a).

14 Supra, note 4.

15 Supra, note 2 at Schedule 2, s 5.

16 Supra, note 6 at s 41(1).

17 Supra, note 6 at s 41(3) and (4).

18 Supra, note 6 at s 4(7), 4(9), 4(11) and 4(14).

19 Supra, note 6 at s 42.

20 Supra, note 6 at ss 4(6)(6).

21 Supra, note 6 at s 43.

22 Supra, note 6 at s 26.

23 Supra, note 6 at 36.

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.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions