Cannabis Legalization

Update, December 2018

Bill 36, Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act, 2018

This bill was introduced by Attorney General Caroline Mulroney on September 27, 2018 and received Royal Assent on the federal legalization day of October 17, 2018. The Cannabis Statute Law Amendment Act allows private retail stores to be open for business by April 1, 2019. Municipalities will have until January 22, 2019, to opt out of having stores in their communities. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will be the registrar for licences. There will also be a 15-day public consultation period for communities to weigh in on the location of stores, but the final decision will rest with the AGCO. 

On Oct. 26, OPSBA participated in a stakeholder consultation meeting with the Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat regarding the "school buffer" regulation, which includes banning retail shops within a minimum of 150 metres of schools and establishing hours of operation of 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Municipalities have until Jan. 22, 2019, to opt out of having cannabis retail stores within their boundaries.

Deputy Minister Nancy Naylor has sent school boards a memo that provides an update on revised PPMs, links to fact sheets for parents and educators and links to other resources. The memo includes an appendix that provides a board-by-board breakdown of one-time funding provided by the Ministry of Education to support local training needs related to the legalization of recreational cannabis.

OPSBA Submission re: Bill 36, Cannabis Statue Law Amendment Act, 2018

For more information, including where cannabis may be used, visit the Government of Ontario's Cannabis Legalization website.

Update, August 2018

On August 13, 2018, the PC government announced the province's recreational cannabis retail model that will now include a private retail system, replacing the former government's plan to operate government-run cannabis standalone stores. Beginning on the federal legalization date of October 17, 2018, recreational cannabis will exclusively be sold online via the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The province will introduce legislation for a private retail model that, if passed, would be launched by April 1, 2019. "The private retail store model will be developed in consultation with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the City of Toronto, Indigenous communities, police, the cannabis industry association and other key stakeholders to ensure safe, responsible sales." OPSBA will continue this monitor this issue and its implementation and request school boards be part of the retail store consultation.

Additional Information