On October 17, 2018, the use of cannabis (marijuana) for recreational purposes is expected to be legalized across Canada. In Ontario, as of the date of legalization, recreational cannabis will be available for purchase through the provincial Ontario Cannabis Store to persons 19 years of age or older. As of October 17, 2018, no prescription will be necessary to obtain cannabis or marijuana.
The legalization of recreational marijuana does not replace the regulatory framework for access to medical marijuana. Persons who hold a valid prescription for medical cannabis can continue to obtain the product through federally-regulated Licensed Producers (LPs).
In short, the legalization of recreational marijuana creates a situation where cannabis or marijuana can be obtained either with or without prescription, as of October 17, 2018.
The legalization of recreational marijuana, in combination with the continued existence of medical marijuana regulation, has the potential to impact the practice of a number of regulated professions, including physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, pharmacists, and naturopaths.
Professionals who deal with cannabis should ensure they are in compliance with all updated legislation and policies, and should seek legal advice in the event of uncertainty.