Here’s What You Need to Know About Using Cannabis in Halton

It's official.

As of today, Oct. 17, cannabis is legal in Canada.

According to the Halton Regional Police Service, the Cannabis Act in Ontario received Royal Assent on Dec. 12, 2017.

Following Oct. 17, people who are 19 years of age and older will be able to purchase, use, possess, and grow cannabis for non-medical purposes.

At this current time, the legal sale of cannabis will only be allowed online, through the Ontario Cannabis Store website.

After April 1, 2019, Ontario will allow non-medical cannabis to be sold in private retail stores.

Here's what you need to know about using cannabis in Halton.

The Halton Regional Police Service, in partnership with the Region of Halton Health Department, has created a collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding how Bill C-45 will regulate the possession, distribution, consumption, and cultivation of cannabis.

To review the document in full click here.

What is medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis is subject to different rules in recreational cannabis. Its production and sale is regulated by Health Canada.

What is non-medical cannabis?

Non-medical cannabis is referred to as recreational cannabis.

CULTIVATION

How many cannabis plants can you grow?

Four cannabis plants are allowed to be grown per residential premise (indoors or outdoors). This will be a household limit, not four plants per person in a house.

If you rent a property, landlords will have the authority to ban growing cannabis, this will include tenant boards for owner-occupied units.

Will cultivation rules change on Oct. 17 for those who have a medical cannabis license?

If you have been authorized by a health professional to use cannabis for medical reasons, you are still required to register under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations in order to produce cannabis for your own medical purposes.

What to do if someone is growing more cannabis than allowed?

If you want to report someone who is growing more cannabis than allowed, you can contact your local or regional police service, or Crime Stoppers.

USE/CONSUMPTION

Where can non-medical cannabis be used?

Areas where the use of cannabis will be prohibited include the following:

*Private residences - this does not include residences 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)

*Scientific research and testing facilities (if the cannabis use is for scientific research and testing purposes)

Controlled areas in:

*Long-term care homes

*Certain retirement homes

*Residential hospices

*Provincially-funded supportive housing

*Designated psychiatric facilities or veterans' facilities

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

Indoors:

*Indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings, and university/college residences

*Enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces

*Non-designated guest rooms in hotels, motels, and inns

Schools and places where children gather:

*At school, on school grounds, and all public areas within 20 metres of these grounds

*On children's playgrounds and public areas within 20m of playgrounds

*In child care centres, or where an early year 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 9 metres 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:

  • Publicly-owned sport fields (not including golf courses), nearby spectator areas and public areas within 20 metres of these areas.

Vehicles and boats:

  • 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 9 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, 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)

What to do about drug-impaired driving?

Drug-impaired driving has been illegal since 1925 and will remain illegal. If you believed that someone is driving under the influence, call 9-1-1 immediately.

POSSESSION

How much cannabis can someone carry?

In public, anyone who is 19 years of age or older is allowed to carry up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of dried legal cannabis, or its equivalent, in public.

If you believe someone is carrying more than the legal amount, call your local police or regional police service, or Crime Stoppers.

PURCHASING

Where can recreational cannabis be purchased?

Currently, the legal sale of cannabis will only be allowed online, through the Ontario Cannabis Store website. After April 1, 2019, the province will allow non-medical cannabis to be sold in private retail stores.

HEALTH RISKS

It is important to note that health risks associated with using cannabis will vary depending on the person.

Short-term health risks associated with using cannabis:

*Altered perception of time, distance and space

*Impaired judgment

*Loss of coordination

*Disorientation

*Sleepiness

*Increased heart rate

*Panic attacks or feeling paranoid

Long-term health risks associated with using cannabis:

*Difficulty concentrating, and reduced memory and attention span

*Psychological dependence and possible physical dependence

*Increased risk of lung damage

*Worsening mental health issues such as depression and anxiety

Health risks may also increase depending on a number of factors, such as:

*Longer duration of use

*Larger amount used and stronger potency of the product

*Delivery system (smoking can be more harmful than smokeless)

*High-risk behaviours while impaired such as driving or consuming other drugs

*Use of other substances or medications

*Health conditions such as chronic disease or a family history of psychosis

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