D. Reid Paralegal Services Ottawa
The Ontario Government has put rules in place to keep cannabis out of the hands of children and youth, keep our roads safe and combat the illegal market.
After extensive public and stakeholder engagement, we now have laws in place about how, where and who can buy and possess cannabis in the province.
We are also moving forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019.
You must be 19 and older to buy, use, possess and grow recreational cannabis. This is the same as the minimum age for the sale of tobacco and alcohol in Ontario.
You are able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis (or equivalent) in public at any time.
Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government. Under the new regulations there are improvements for patients accessing cannabis for medical purposes from federally licensed sellers.
These improvements include:
- the ability to request the return of their medical document from a federally licensed seller
- the ability to request the transfer of their medical document to a different federally licensed seller
- that the effective date on the registration document will be the day it is issued, rather than the day the medical document was signed by the health care provider
- removal of the 30-day limitation period for buying cannabis from a federally licensed seller (to ensure no break in a patient’s supply)
- a broader range of permitted products
- access to an increasing number of licensed producers and sellers (Health Canada has licensed more producers in the last year than in the 4 previous years combined).
The increasing number of licensed producers enables:
- competitive prices
- more supply of cannabis
- an increased availability of a range of products
Other improvements and benefits for patients
Other benefits to patients include that:
Health Canada has committed to evaluate the drug review and approval process so Canadians in need have better access to a range of medicinal options
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is investing significantly in research on cannabis and cannabinoids including, but not limited to, research related to use for medical purposes Health Canada will also be collecting and monitoring data from various cannabis surveys to better understand:
- use patterns
- impacts for individuals who use cannabis for medical purposes
Health Canada continues to report on scientific literature with respect to:
- potential therapeutic uses of cannabis for medical purposes
- adverse effects