The federal government has announced that the production, sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, by persons of at least 18 years of age, will be legalized by July of 2018. All provincial governments now have to be ready to deal with this significant federal change.
On November 1, 2017, the Ontario provincial government under Kathleen Wynne introduced new legislation that gives the provincial government a monopoly on the distribution and sale of cannabis. A Freedom government will cancel the Wynne government's cannabis plan. The Cannabis Act, 2017 and the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 will be repealed. It is not a proper role of government to be a pot dealer. Cannabis will not be distributed or sold by the LCBO or any other Ontario government entity.
Cannabis dispensaries have operated in Ontario for years, serving the needs of those who legally use cannabis for medicinal purposes. A Freedom government will continue the status quo with respect to wholesale and retail operations. Cannabis distribution and sale will remain the responsibility of private businesses competing in a free market. Sales to minors, and purchasing cannabis for minors, will be strictly prohibited. Sales to minors of equipment used exclusively for the growing or consumption of cannabis will be prohibited.
A privately-owned cannabis retail establishment in Toronto.
A Freedom government will focus on: crime prevention and public safety; keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors; providing support for police with respect to impaired driving; and ensuring that those who choose to inhale cannabis smoke or vapor can do so without violating others' ability to inhale clean, fresh air.
Cannabis is typically consumed in three ways: by inhaling burning cannabis, by inhaling heated cannabis (vaporizing), or by eating/drinking edible products containing cannabis components. The new federal law does not legalize the retail sale of edibles, but it does legalize personal production of cannabis and edibles.
Under new federal laws taking effect in 2018, cannabis can be burned, vaporized, or eaten (l-r: a "joint", a "vape pen", and edible cannabis goods)
A Freedom government will prohibit the burning of cannabis (e.g., the smoking of "joints") on public sidewalks, parks, beaches, schools, and government buildings. Burning that results in smoke traveling to another person's property will be prohibited on a complaint-basis. Vaporized and edible forms of cannabis will be exempted from the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 on a trial basis.
Many privately-owned cannabis vapor lounges have been in operation for years, serving the needs of medical cannabis users. They provide consumers with a safe, social space in which to consume cannabis without exposing others to cannabis. A Freedom government will amend the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 to allow cannabis vapor lounges to operate. Vapor lounge operators will be required to prevent the admission of minors.
A Freedom government will conduct a public consultation within six months after the federal legalization of recreational cannabis use with respect to reviewing the fairness and effectiveness of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, and examining the propriety of amendments to the Act.