Public cannabis consumption ban in Ontario was reversed

The Issue

On Aug. 13, Ontario Finance Minister Vic Fideli announced the government’s plan for cannabis legalization. The keystone of the Progressive Conservatives’ policy was a reversal of the public retail monopoly model proposed by the former Liberal government, to instead opt for private retail provincewide.

Along with the private retail announcement, the government stated that municipalities would be able to “opt out” from cannabis activity, meaning that cities and towns would have the opportunity to prohibit cannabis retail outlets from being established within their municipal boundaries.

In addition to strict age-of-purchase and impaired-driving restrictions, the PCs planned to enact a complete public consumption ban, similar to how alcohol is treated provincewide.

The CCC’s Response

In order to disseminate the Consumer Choice Center’s position on why Ontario’s public consumption ban would have been detrimental to consumer choice, the CCC’s North American Affairs Manager David Clement published an op-ed in The Globe and Mail, which is largest printed newspapers in Canada. In his piece, he suggested either backpedalling on the ban or legalizing regulated consumption lounges.

Moreover, David Clement also spoke on 570 News about the drawbacks of the Ontario’s Cannabis Plan which could have hit the poor.

    The Impact

On 26 September, Ontario reversed their decision to ban all public consumption for cannabis. This victory will contribute to the creation of a more equitable, just and consumer-friendly cannabis market in Ontario.