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Recreational Cannabis

As of Oct. 17, 2018, under federal legislation, cannabis use for recreational purposes is legal across Canada. The province is responsible for setting in place regulations for the use and sale of cannabis in Ontario.

We understand that our residents may have questions or concerns about the potential impact legal cannabis will have in our community. Our priority has always been on protecting our community and vulnerable populations from the negative impacts of legalization and are committed to working with community partners and other levels of government for the safe implementation of this new legislation.

What you need to know

Cannabis for non-medical use is legal in Canada as of Oct. 17, 2018. Under the new laws in Ontario, adults 19 years of age or older are able to:

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. Learn more about impaired driving through the Ministry of Transportation.

Under the new (proposed) legislation, you will be able to grow up to four plants per residence (not per person).

It remains illegal for travellers to take cannabis out of Canada or to bring it back from other countries.

The rules and regulations related to cannabis may be different in other provinces and territories.

It is illegal to sell or purchase edible recreational cannabis products.

The law on cannabis use for medical purposes is different and can be found at Health Canada.

Where you can and cannot consume 

Where you can or can't consume cannabis is regulated by the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Generally, This means smoking cannabis is allowed wherever smoking cigarettes is permitted and banned where smoking cigarettes is banned.

Who to contact

If you have concerns about the new federal or provincial legislation, you may wish to speak with your Member of Parliament or Member of Provincial Parliament.

To report illegal cannabis sales/distribution/growing

As of Oct. 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) is the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. To report the unlicensed sale or distribution of cannabis, or someone growing more than the allowed number of plants, contact Waterloo Regional Police Services.

To report smoking or vaping of cannabis where it is not permitted

Where smoking or vaping cannabis is permitted is regulated under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. If you observe someone consuming cannabis where it is not permitted - like on school property or a city-owned recreation facility, contact Region of Waterloo Tobacco Enforcement.

To report someone under the age of 19 consuming cannabis

It is illegal to buy or consume cannabis if you are under the age of 19. To report illegal use by a minor, contact Waterloo Regional Police Services.

To report someone consuming cannabis while driving or driving while impaired

using cannabis and driving is illegal and dangerous. Call Waterloo Regional Police Services.

If cannabis use is interfering with your enjoyment of private property

Unfortunately, if someone is consuming cannabis in accordance with the federal and provincial regulations, there is little municipalities can do if that legal recreational use interferes with your enjoyment of private or public property. If the residence is a rental property or condominium, the landlord may be able to take action if the lease or condominium agreement prohibits use.