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.  We 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 can:
  • purchase cannabis online through the Ontario Cannabis Store or a licensed cannabis retail store. 
  • possess up to 30 grams of dried legal cannabis in public
On January 15, 2019 Cambridge Council passed a motion to allow the operation of provincially licensed cannabis retail stores in the City. To learn more, visit Cambridge Council votes to opt-in for retail cannabis stores.

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 on the Ministry of Transportation’s website.

Under the new 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 and can be found here.

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

 Where you can/cannot consume
Where you can or can’t consume cannabis is regulated by the Smoke Free Ontario Act 2107 and enforced in our region by the Region of Waterloo Public Health. Generally, this means smoking cannabis will be allowed wherever smoking cigarettes or vaping is permitted and banned where smoking cigarettes or vaping is banned. Please note that City Hall and City facilities are smoke-free.

It is prohibited in:

  • Enclosed public spaces and workplaces
  • Motorized vehicles and boats
  • Schools, private schools, child care centres, playgrounds and recreation centres, public sports fields (within 20 metres)
  • Restaurants (within 9 metres of a patio), bus shelters
  • Within 9m from the entrance or exit of hospitals
  • Outdoor grounds of specified Ontario government office buildings
  • Reserved seating areas at outdoor sports and entertainment locations

*Additional restrictions may exist in lease agreements, and under the policies of employers, condo boards, and property owners.

It will be allowed in:

  • Private residences (subject to lease and condominium bylaw restrictions) – 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
  • Controlled areas in:
    • long-term care homes
    • certain retirement homes
    • residential hospices
    • provincially-funded supportive housing
    • designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities
  • Rental units - each rental unit will be allowed to have up to four marijuana plants.
 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 Members of Provincial Parliament.

To report illegal cannabis sales/distribution/growing

To report the unlicensed sale or distribution of cannabis, or someone growing more than the allowed number of plants, contact the 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 bus shelter, contact the Region of Waterloo Public Health.

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 public or 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.