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Cambridge City Council Votes To Opt-in For Retail Cannabis Stores

Cambridge City Council Votes To Opt-in For Retail Cannabis Stores

City Council voted this evening to allow the operation of provincially licensed cannabis retail stores in the City of Cambridge.

City staff, in consultation with area municipalities and key stakeholders, recommended  “opting in”  as a safer alternative to the illegal market.

Potential benefits of allowing private stores include:

Product safety  - Federally controlled and inspected cannabis

Harm/crime reduction -  Less opportunity for illegal or tainted or supply

Economic development  -  New business and job opportunities

Funding and Revenue -  Substantial provincial funding and cannabis revenue

Enforcement – Additional access to enforcement resources

The provincial government has announced a phased in approach with a limited number of stores eligible to open in cities that have permitted cannabis retail as of April 1, 2019.

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:

o    long-term care homes

o    certain retirement homes

o    residential hospices

o    provincially-funded supportive housing

o    designated psychiatric facilities or veterans’ facilities

·         Rental units - each rental unit will be allowed to have up to four marijuana plants.


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. (See link below.)
  • 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. 

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. (See link below.)

Four Plants Per Household NOT Per Person

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. (See link below.)

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