The St. Thomas Police Service has been closely monitoring provincial and federal legislation regulating cannabis.
The Cannabis Act, which creates a strict legal framework controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis, comes into effect on October 17, 2018. Until then, it remains illegal to buy, possess or use cannabis for anything other than authorized medical or research purposes. Drug-impaired driving has been illegal since 1925, and our Service will continue to strictly enforce this driving behaviour which puts all road users at risk.
The St. Thomas Police Service has been working diligently, both internally and with our regional and municipal partners, to prepare for the legalization of cannabis. Our role in this regard will continue to include the application and enforcement of applicable laws.
We recognize that the introduction of Bill C-45 has prompted questions from the community regarding traffic safety, and the specifics of how cannabis will be able to be consumed, purchased, grown and distributed. In this regard, we have compiled a number of resources here to assist in navigating these topics.
What is the minimum age to buy, use, possess or grow recreational cannabis?
You must 19 or older to buy, use, possess or grow recreational cannabis.
How much cannabis can I possess?
You are allowed to have a maximum of 30 grams of legal dried cannabis or equivalent in non-dried form in public at any time.
Where can I buy cannabis?
As of October 17, 2018, the only legal place to buy recreational cannabis is through the online Ontario Cannabis Store. You will be required to verify you are at least 19 years of age to accept delivery.
Can I share my recreational cannabis with someone else?
If you are 19 or older, you can share up to 30 grams of legal dried cannabis or equivalent in non-dried forms with someone who is 19 years of age or older.
I know I can legally possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis but how much is that in other forms of cannabis such as oils, seeds or solids?
It is legal to possess up to 30 grams of legal dried cannabis or the equivalent in non-dried forms. The following chart lists the equivalent amounts of other legal forms.
Class of Cannabis
Quantity equivalent to 1g of dried cannabis
|Dried cannabis||1 g||1g x 30=||30g of dried cannabis|
|Fresh cannabis||5 g||5g x 30=||150g of fresh cannabis|
|Solids containing cannabis||15 g||15g x 30=||450g of solids containing cannabis|
|Non-solids containing cannabis||70 g||70g x 30=||2,100 grams of non-solids containing cannabis|
|Cannabis solid concentrates||0.25 g||0.25g x 30=||7.5g of cannabis solid concentrates|
|Cannabis non-solid concentrates||0.25 g||0.25g x 30=||7.5g of cannabis solid concentrates|
|Cannabis plant seeds||1 seed||1 seed x 30=||30 cannabis seeds|
Can I legally buy, use, possess edible forms of cannabis?
It is legal to make cannabis products, such as food and drinks, at home as long as organic solvents are not used to create concentrated products.
It is anticipated that cannabis edible products and concentrates will be legal for sale approximately one year after the Cannabis Act has come into force on October 17, 2018.
What happens if I possess more than 30 grams of legal dried cannabis or equivalent in non-dried forms?
Under the Federal Cannabis Act, the penalty for possession of more than the legally allowed amount of cannabis can range from fines of up to $5,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.
Where can I use recreational cannabis?
Ontario legislation allows for the use of recreational cannabis in the places listed below. However, note that additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and the policies of employers and property owners.
- Private residences excluding those that are also workplaces (e.g. long-term care and/or retirement homes),
- Many outdoor public places (e.g. sidewalks, parks)
- Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns,
- Residential vehicles and boats that meet certain criteria (e.g. have permanent sleeping accommodations and cooking facilities, and are parked or anchored),
- Controlled areas in:
- long-term care homes
- certain retirement homes
- residential hospices
- provincially-funded supportive housing
- designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities
Where is it illegal to smoke or vape recreational cannabis?
- Indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences
- Enclosed public places and enclosed work places
- Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns
- Schools and places where children gather, including:
- at school, on school grounds, or within 20 metres of school grounds
- on playgrounds or within 20 metres of playgrounds
- in child care centres, or where an early years programs are provided
- in places where home child care is provided even if children aren’t present
- Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities, including:
- within 9 metres of the entrance or exit of hospitals (public/private), psychiatric facilities, long-term care homes, independent health facilities
- on outdoor grounds of hospitals (public/private) and psychiatric facilities
- in non-controlled areas in long-term care homes, certain retirement homes, provincially-funded supportive housing, designated psychiatric or veterans’ facilities, and residential hospices
- Publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20 metres of these areas
- Vehicles and boats that are being driven or are at risk of being put into motion.
- Other outdoor areas where you cannot smoke or vape cannabis, include:
- in restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within nine metres of a patio
- on outdoor grounds of Ontario government office buildings
- in reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
- grounds of community recreational facilities or public areas within 20 metres of those grounds
- in sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent (e.g. a bus shelter)
What is the fine for smoking or vaping recreational cannabis in an area where is it not allowed?
The fine for smoking or vaping in a banned area is up to $1,000 for a first offence and up to $5,000 for subsequent offences.
I live in an apartment and can smell that the neighbor is smoking cannabis in the apartment beside me. What can I do?
If you live in a multi-unit building such as an apartment or condo, your building may have specific rules about the use of recreational cannabis in your rental or condo association rules or agreements. If someone is contravening those rules or agreements, contact your landlord or property manager.
Can I grow cannabis at home?
Yes. You are allowed to grow four plants at home. It is important to note that the maximum number of plants allowed per household is four, regardless of the number of people living in the home.
Can an adult grow cannabis in a place of business?
No. You are only allowed to grow any cannabis plant for recreational use in your home.
Can I drive after consuming cannabis?
Drug-impaired driving is a serious criminal offence that puts you and the public at risk. Like driving while impaired by alcohol, drug-impaired driving carries significant penalties. If a police officer determines a driver is impaired by any drug, including cannabis, there are significant penalties which can include:
- immediate licence suspension
- vehicle impoundment
- criminal charges that can result in additional licence suspension, fines and/or jail
- a criminal record if convicted
What about young drivers?
It is illegal for drivers age 21 or younger or any driver with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence to have any cannabis in their system while driving.
What about if I drive a commercial vehicle or heavy equipment?
It is illegal drivers of a vehicle that requires an A-F driver’s licence or Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration, or of a road-building machine to have any cannabis in their system while driving.
How will police determine if a driver is impaired by drugs?
Standardized Field Sobriety Test
If a police officer suspects that a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, the officer may carry out a roadside standardized field sobriety test. If a driver fails the test, they can be immediately suspended from driving and face criminal impaired driving charges.
Drug Recognition Evaluation
If an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is impaired, a drug recognition evaluation may be carried out by a specially trained officer. The test helps determine if the impairment is caused by drugs. If a driver fails the test, they can be immediately suspended from driving and face criminal impaired driving charges.
- Government Of Ontario Cannabis Information
- Government of Canada Bill C-45, “The Cannabis Act”
- Government of Canada Bill C-46, “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code”
- Bill 174, Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2017
- Government of Canada resources on cannabis for medical purposes
- Proposed Province of Ontario legislation
- Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990 c. H8
- Ontario Cannabis Legalization Summary