Cannabis Overview

Recreational cannabis rules have been changing.  Below is an overview, based on information provided by the Government of Ontario, of the legislation as of Oct. 17, 2018.  Please note that Medical cannabis will continue to be subject to different rules than recreational cannabis.

It may helpful to think of recreational cannabis in the same way that we treat alcohol, in regards to our students and schools.

Minimum age will be 19

You will need to 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.

Where smoking or vaping cannabis is allowed

Current legislation provides the following rules for using recreational cannabis.

Where people can smoke or vape cannabis*

  1. Private residences – this does not include residences that are also workplaces (e.g. long-term care and/or retirement homes)
  2. Many outdoor public places (g. sidewalks, parks)
  3. Designated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

*Additional restrictions on smoking and vaping may exist in municipal bylaws, lease agreements, and the policies of employers and property owners.

Where people cannot smoke or vape cannabis


  • Indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings
  • Enclosed public places and enclosed work places
  • Nondesignated guest rooms in hotels, motels and inns

Schools and places where children gather

  • at school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20m of these grounds
  • on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds
  • in child care centres, or where an early years program is provided
  • in places where home child care is provided – even if children aren’t present

Hospitals, hospices, care homes and other facilities

  • within 9m from 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 spaces

  • People are not able to smoke or vape cannabis in publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20m of these areas.

Vehicles and boats

  • People are not able to consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating) in a vehicle or boat that is being driven or is at risk of being put into motion.

Other outdoor areas

  • in restaurants and on bar patios and public areas within 9m of a patio
  • on outdoor grounds of Ontario government office buildings
  • in reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations
  • on grounds of community recreational facilities, and public areas within 20m of those grounds
  • in sheltered outdoor areas with a roof and more than two walls which the public or employees frequent, or are invited to (e.g. a bus shelter)

How much cannabis will adults be able to possess?

  • Adults will be able to have a maximum of 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried cannabis in public at any time.


Using cannabis and driving is illegal and dangerous. Cannabis, like many other drugs, slows your reaction time and increases your chances of being in a collision.

If a police officer finds someone impaired by any drug, including cannabis, while driving, they will face serious penalties, including:

  • an immediate licence suspension
  • financial penalties
  • possible vehicle impoundment
  • possible criminal record
  • possible jail time

Police officers will be authorized to use oral fluid screening devices at roadside. Once a federally approved device is available, those devices will help police enforce the law.

Learn what counts as impaired driving and the penalties people could face for it.

Zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers

You will not be allowed to have any cannabis in your system (as detected by a federally approved oral fluid screening device) if you are driving a motor vehicle and:

  • you are 21 or under
  • have a G1, G2, M1 or M2 licence

Learn more about zero tolerance for young, novice and commercial drivers.

Where adults can buy recreational cannabis

People age 19 and over are able to purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store. Online orders will be delivered safely and securely. Consumers will be required to verify their age to accept delivery and no packages will be left unattended at the door.

As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website will be the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It will follow strict rules set by the federal government.

The government has also introduced legislation that would help the province move forward with a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that would launch by April 1, 2019.  The Ontario Cannabis Store would be the exclusive wholesaler to these stores. Private stores would be introduced with strict controls to safeguard children and youth and combat the illegal market.

Growing cannabis

Adults will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person).

Medical cannabis

Medical cannabis is subject to different rules than recreational cannabis. The production and sale of medical cannabis is regulated exclusively by the federal government.

If a health care professional has already authorized someone to use cannabis for medical reasons, access will not change when recreational cannabis is legal. Smoking and vaping medical cannabis are not allowed on school property.

The only way to purchase medical cannabis is from:

  • a federally licensed producer online
  • by written order
  • over the phone and delivered by secure mail

Other Information

Cannabis Education

Students will continue to learn about cannabis and other drugs as part of the regular curriculum.

Addiction Support

If you know of someone who is struggling with addiction, please contact:

  • For Students: School Social Worker
  • For Staff: Employee and Family Assistance Program at (800) 387-3765, or CAMH at
  • For other Community Members: CAMH (

Board Policies

The board has a number of existing policies in place that speak to conduct around alcohol and drugs including:



For parents

For youth and young people

For educators:

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