Ontario’s proposed new Cannabis Act

Bill 174 – Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statue Law Amendment Act, 2017

 

Introduced by Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General, the Bill was carried on Second Reading on November 2, 2017.

 This Bill:

  • Enacts the Cannabis Act, 2017 (Schedule 1)
  • Enacts the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 (Schedule 2)
  • Repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 and replaces the acts with Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
  • Amends the Highway Traffic Act re driving with alcohol or drugs present in the body and other matters

Cannabis Act, 2017

  • The purpose of the Act is to establish prohibitions respecting cannabis and to protect youth, public health and safety, and to deter illicit activities through appropriate enforcement and sanctions.
  • It is important to note that, subject to certain exceptions, the Act and regulations do not apply with respect to cannabis produced for medical purposes under applicable federal law.
  • The prohibitions set out that no person is permitted to sell cannabis other than Ontario cannabis retailers established under the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 and that it may not be distributed unless it has been or is intended to be sold by an Ontario cannabis retailer.
  • Cannabis also CANNOT be sold to persons under the age of 19 or to persons who are or appear to be intoxicated. Persons under 19 years of age also cannot possess, consume, purchase or attempt to purchase, distribute, cultivate, propagate or harvest cannabis or offer to cultivate, propagate or harvest it.
  • There are also restrictions that prevent places where cannabis may be consumed and restricts method of transportation in a vehicle or boat, unless certain conditions are met.
  • Landlords are also prohibited from knowingly permitting their premises to be used in relation to the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis
  • Police officers have the following powers and authority to:
    • request a person who attempts to rely on an exemption to provide specified confirmation of such exemption.
    • seize cannabis or any other thing in specified circumstances.
    • request that premises be vacated if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Act is being contravened on the premises and to restrict persons who are required to vacate from re-entering the premises on the same day.
    • temporarily close premises other than residential premises if a charge is laid under the Act.
    • arrest a person without a warrant in relation to apparent contraventions of the Act.
    • refer persons who are charged with prohibited activities by persons under 19 years of age to youth education or prevention programs that are approved.
  • Arrangements and agreements may be entered into with respect to the sale, distribution, purchase, possession, consumption, cultivation, propagation or harvesting of cannabis on a reserve.
  • Complementary amendments are made to a number of Acts, most significantly to:
    • Education Act: List of purposes of the code of conduct is amended to refer to discouraging the use of cannabis, except by a medical cannabis user; and amend list of activities leading to possible suspension.
    • Liquor License Act: The Act is amended to incorporate referrals to youth education or prevention programs under that Act, as a parallel to the corresponding provisions in the Cannabis Act.

Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017

  • The Act provides for the establishment of the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), which has the exclusive right to sell cannabis in Ontario subject to certain exceptions.
  • Appointment, composition and duties of the OCRC Board are provided for. An  individual who is a member of the LCBO is eligible to be appointed as a member of the OCRC board, and if appointed does not have a conflict of interest simply because they are a member of the LCBO.
  • OCRC must enter into a MOU with the LCBO.
  • OCRC may make by-laws and the MOU with the LCBO may provide that the certain by-laws of the Corporation must be approved by the LCBO.
  • OCRC may enter into agreements with the LCBO.
  • OCRC may enter into agreements for the sale of cannabis by agents, if authorized by the Minister.
  • OCRC’s financial matters are to be audited annually by Auditor General.
  • Certain restrictions on the Corporation’s operations are established in connection with applicable federal law.
  • Complementary amendments are made to the Liquor Control Act to allow LCBO to oversee Ontario cannabis retailers established under the OCRCA, and enter into agreements with the retailers.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

  • This new Act applies to tobacco products, vapour products and medical cannabis, and to other products and substances that may be prescribed in the regulations. For example, it is prohibited to sell or supply tobacco products, vapour products and prescribed products and substances to persons under 19.
  • The smoking of tobacco or medical cannabis, use of electronic cigarettes and consumption of prescribed products and substances is prohibited in a number of places such as:
    • Enclosed public places
    • Enclosed work places
    • Schools
    • Child care centre
    • Reserved seating areas of sporting arenas
  • This prohibition for consumption in certain places is subject to certain exemptions such as controlled use areas in long-term care homes and designated hotel rooms. Obligations are placed on employers and proprietors with respect to places where the prohibition apply.
  • Home health-care workers are protected from the use in their presence of tobacco, medical cannabis, electronic cigarettes and prescribed products and substances
  • No one shall be allowed to do any of the following in a motor vehicle:
    • Smoke tobacco or have a lighted tobacco, or use an electronic cigarette or have an activated electronic cigarette  while another person who is less than 16 years is present in the vehicle
    • Smoke medial cannabis, have lighted medical cannabis, use an e-cigarette containing medical cannabis or have an activated electronic cigarette containing medical cannabis
    • Consume a prescribed produce or substance in a prescribed manner or have a prescribed product of substance
  • Traditional use of tobacco by indigenous people are protected

Highway Traffic Act

  • The Act amends provisions as it relates to novice and young drivers regarding driving with alcohol or drugs present in the body. For example, if a novice or young driver is found to contravene the condition of not having drugs in the driver’s body while driving, they will be guilty of a fine between $60 to $500 dollars. A young driver’s license may also be suspended for 30 days, and license of an novice drive may be suspended, cancelled or changed in accordance with the regulation.
  • Other provisions of the Act are amended as well. For example, the maximum fine for contravention of the Act or regulation is increased from $500 to $1000.

For more information on the Bill: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=5276

 

DDO Legislative Update

A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.

Bills

Bill 174 – Cannabis, Smoke-Free Ontario and Road Safety Statue Law Amendment Act, 2017

Introduced by Hon. Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General, the Bill was carried on Second Reading on November 2, 2017.

This Bill:

  • Enacts the Cannabis Act, 2017 (Schedule 1)
  • Enacts the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 (Schedule 2)
  • Repeals the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 and replaces the acts with Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017
  • Amends the Highway Traffic Act re driving with alcohol or drugs present in the body and other matters

Cannabis Act, 2017

  • The purpose of the Act is to establish prohibitions respecting cannabis and to protect youth, public health and safety, and to deter illicit activities through appropriate enforcement and sanctions.
  • It is important to note that subject to certain exceptions, the Act and regulations do not apply with respect to Cannabis produced for medical purposes under applicable federal law.
  • The prohibitions set out that no person is permitted to sell cannabis other than Ontario cannabis retailer established under the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017 and that it may not be distributed unless it has been or is intended to be sold by the Ontario cannabis retailer.
  • Cannabis cannot also NOT be sold to persons under age of 19 or to persons who are or appear to be intoxicated. Persons under 19 years of age also cannot possess, consume, purchase or attempt to purchase, distribute, cultivate, propagate or harvest cannabis or offer to cultivate, propagate or harvest it.
  • There are also restrictions that prevent places where cannabis may be consumed and restricts method of transportation in a vehicle or boat, unless certain conditions are met.
  • Landlords are also prohibited from knowingly permitting their premises to be used in relation to the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis
  • Police officers have the following powers and authority to:
    • request a person who attempts to rely on an exemption to provide specified confirmation of such exemption.
    • seize cannabis or any other thing in specified circumstances.
    • request that premises to be vacated if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Act is being contravened on the premises and to restrict persons who are required to vacate from re-entering the premises on the same day.
    • temporarily close premises other than residential premises if a charge is laid under the act.
    • arrest a person without a warrant in relation to apparent contraventions of the act.
    • refer persons who are charged with prohibited activities by persons under 19 years of age to youth education or prevention programs that are approved.
  • Arrangements and agreements may be entered into with respect to the sale, distribution, purchase, possession, consumption, cultivation, propagation or harvesting of cannabis on a reserve.
  • Complementary amendments are made to a number of Acts, most significantly to:
    • Education Act: List of purposes of the code of conduct is amended to refer to discouraging the use of cannabis, except by a medical cannabis user; and amend list of activities leading to possible suspension.
    • Liquor License Act: The Act is amended to incorporate referrals to youth education or prevention programs under that Act, as a parallel to the corresponding provisions in the Cannabis Act.

Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation Act, 2017

  • The Act provides for the establishment of the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation (OCRC), which has the exclusive right to sell cannabis in Ontario subject to certain exceptions.
  • OCRC has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person except as limited in the Act or the regulations.
  • OCRC is an agent of the Crown and is deemed to be a government agency for the purposes of the French Language Services Act
  • Appointment, composition and duties of the OCRC Board are provided for. An  individual who is a member of the LCBO is eligible to appointed as a member of the OCRC board, and if appointed does not have a conflict of interest simply because they are a member of the LCBO. OCRC must enter into a MOU with the LCBO.
  • OCRC may make by-laws and the MOU with the LCBO may provide that the certain by-laws of the Corporation must be approved by the LCBO.
  • OCRC may enter into agreements with the LCBO.
  • OCRC may enter into agreements for the sale of cannabis by agents, if authorized by the Minister
  • OCRC’s financial matters are to be audited annually by Auditor General.
  • Certain restrictions on the Corporation’s operations are established in connection with applicable federal law.
  • Complementary amendments are made to the Liquor Control Act to allow LCBO to oversee Ontario cannabis retailers established under the OCRCA, and enter into agreements with the retailers.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017

  • This new Act applies to tobacco products, vapour products and medical cannabis, and to other products and substances that may be prescribed in the regulations. For example, it is prohibited to sell or supply tobacco products, vapour products and prescribed products and substances to persons under 19.
  • The smoking of tobacco or medical cannabis, use of electronic cigarettes and consumption of prescribed products and substances is prohibited in a number of places such as:
    • Enclosed public places
    • Enclosed work places
    • Schools
    • Child care centre
    • Reserved seating areas of sporting arenas
  • This prohibition for consumption in certain places is subject to certain exemptions such as controlled use areas in long-term care homes and designated hotel rooms. Obligations are placed on employers and proprietors with respect to places where the prohibition apply.
  • Home health-care workers are protected from the use in their presence of tobacco, medical cannabis, electronic cigarettes and prescribed products and substances
  • No one shall be allowed to do any of the following in a motor vehicle:
    • Smoke tobacco or have a lighted tobacco, or use an electronic cigarette or have an activated electronic cigarette  while another person who is less than 16 years is present in the vehicle
    • Smoke medial cannabis, have lighted medical cannabis, use an e-cigarette containing medical cannabis or have an activated electronic cigarette containing medical cannabis
    • Consume a prescribed produce or substance in a prescribed manner or have a prescribed product of substance
  • Traditional use of tobacco by indigenous people are protected

Highway Traffic Act

  • The Act amends provisions as it relates to novice and young drivers regarding driving with alcohol or drugs present in the body. For example, if a novice or young driver is found to contravene the condition of not having drugs in the driver’s body while driving, they will be guilty of a fine between $60 to $500 dollars. A young driver’s license  may also be suspended for 30 days, and license of an novice drive may be suspended, cancelled or changed in accordance with the regulation.
  • Other provisions of the Act is amended as well. For example, the maximum fine for contravention of the Act or regulation is increased from $500 to $1000.

 

For more information on the Bill: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=5276

 

Status of Previously Reported Bills

 

Bill Status
 

Bill 154 – Cutting Unnecessary Red Tape Act, 2017

Third reading carried on November 1, 2017
Bill 160 – Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017 Ordered referred to Standing Committee (General Government) on October 26, 2017
Bill 161 – Nick’s Law (Opioid Abuse Awareness), 2017 Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Social Policy) on October 5, 2017
Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017 Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Regulations and Private Bills) on October 26, 2017

 

Proposed and Approved Regulations

 

  • No new and approved regulations of interest

 

Articles of Interest

 Marijuana

Cannabis law should spell end for dispensaries

Legalized marijuana presents opportunity of a lifetime for Canadian entrepreneurs

Protecting People in Ontario from the Health Impacts of Cannabis

 

MAID

Proposed Manitoba legislation to protect health professional who object to assisted dying called one sided

 

Organ Transplants

Ontario study to life six-month-sober rule for liver transplant patients

 

Privacy

Appalling privacy breach as Canadian officials share sensitive info of Brazil woman with man in Ontario

B.C radiologist’s questionable work missed due to poor communication, privacy concerns, report finds

 

Health Care

Breast density is a risk women need to know about, cancer survivor group says

Bernie Sanders compares US health-care struggles to rights movements

The unfinished dollhouse a family’s transition with a transgender child

Health Canada prepares to rewrite the food guide

Opposition slams Wynne government over ‘hallway medicine crisis’

 

Long Term Care & Seniors

Grey Matters: Elderly patients have right to refuse medical treatment

 

What’s happening in our city this weekend:

Things to do this Weekend

 

DDO Legislative Update

A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.

Bills

No Bills of interest.

 

Status of Previously Reported Bills

 

Bill Status
1.     Bill 160 – Strengthening Quality and Accountability for Patients Act, 2017 Ordered referred to Standing Committee (General Government) on October 26, 2017
2.      Bill 161 – Nick’s Law (Opioid Abuse Awareness), 2017 Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Social Policy) on October 5, 2017

 

3.      Bill 163, Protecting a Woman’s Right to Access Abortion Services Act, 2017

 

Royal Assent received on October 25, 2017
4.      Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017

 

Ordered referred to Standing Committee (Regulations and Private Bills) on October 26, 2017

 

Proposed Regulations

Health Protection and Promotion Act Regulations would be amended to modernize and ensure public health programs and services remain current to protect the health of Ontarians. There are proposed amendments to 11 regulations under HPPA:

  • REG 199/03 – Control of West Nile Virus
  • REG 318/08 – Transitional – Small Drinking Water Systems
  • REG 428/05 – Public Spas
  • REG 565 – Public pools
  • REG 554 – Camps in Unorganized Territory
  • REG 557 – Communicable Diseases – General
  • REG 562 – Food Premises
  • REG 566 – Qualifications of Boards of Health Staff
  • REG 567 – Rabies Immunization
  • REG 568 – Recreational Camps
  • REG 569 – Reports

http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=25266&language=en

Comments Due: November 8, 2017

 

 Articles of Interest

 

Opioid Crisis

Rising hospitalizations due to opioid crisis puts burden on health system

Opioid addiction and the most controversial bathroom in New York

 

Marijuana

Toronto Parent angered by flyer promoting weed delivery service

McMaster University Campus is going 100% smoke free here are 5 things to know

 

Privacy

Doctors are under attack group says medical offices are regularly hit by ransomware

 

Physician Professional Misconduct

Georgetown family doctor admits showing patients naked selfies was completely inappropriate

Fake neurosurgeon ordered to pay $300 000 for botched treatment, but allowed to pose as doctor for years

 

Health Care

Hospital getting more beds, more funding

Toronto HIV-AIDS hospital doubles it capacity, launches new awareness campaign

Real patients star in Sick Kids’ campaign video

 

Long Term Care & Seniors

My Mother was let down: the failings behind the unexplained death of Violet Lucas

 

Self-Care

Skipping breakfast might be healthier than eating sugary foods in the morning

Palm lane Yorkville – New Fast Casual Salad Bar from Chase Hospitality Group

Best new restaurants and bars in Toronto East

 

DDO Legislative Update

A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.

Bills

No Bills of interest.

Regulations

 

No Regulations of interest.

 Articles of Interest

 

Opioid Crisis

‘Illegal’ payments for prescription opioids under review, says health minister

Prescription limits driving some patients to street drugs

Health ministers looking at electronic database to fight opioid crisis

Manslaughter charges for fentanyl dealers not the answer: experts

Alberta says Health Canada approves safe injection sites in Edmonton, Lethbridge

 

Litigation

Brampton woman on life support is moving is bleeding but is dead doctors say.

Motherrisk hair test rejected by judge – 22 years before scandal blew up

‘It’s a tragedy’: How the flawed Motherrisk hair test helped fracture families across Canada

 

Research

Questions raised about disclosure of Canadian research-policy breaches

 

Health Care

Health Ministers meet Cannabis-Opioid Crisis

Far too many hospital beds occupied by patients who don’t need to be there: report

6 months after coma, man still in ICU while he waits for place to live

 

Gord Downie

Kingston fan pay respects to Gord Downie

Gord Downie used voice to ‘shed a light’ on brain cancer, importance of reconciliation

 

Self-care

Why our brain needs sleep, and what happens if we don’t get enough of it

DDO Legislative Update

A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.

Bills

No Bills of interest.

Regulations

 

No Regulations of interest.

 Articles of Interest

 

Privacy

University Health Network investigating errors in patients records

Long-term care patients in Quebec will soon be able to use surveillance cameras

 

Mental Health

Student mental health needs growing Ontario Colleges say

 

Marijuana

Setting the cannabis age at ’19 is not practical at all’ say lawyer

 

Research

Universities introducing term limits for Canada Research Chairs to meet diversity targets

 

MAID

Who will be the doctors of death in a time of assisted suicide?

 

Physicians

Toronto doctor had sex with 15-year-old girl, injected her with meds, police allege

 

Health Litigation

Lawyers spar over whether class-action into Motherisk drug-testing scandal should go ahead

 

Opioid Crisis

Opioid death toll hits record in B.C. despite push on prevention

 

What’s happening in our city this weekend:

Things to do this Weekend

 

 

DDO Legislative Update

A weekly scan of new legislation and regulations important to the Ontario health sector, as well as articles of interest.

Bills

Bill 161, Nick’s Law (Opioid Abuse Awareness), 2017

Introduced by Lisa MacLeod, MPP – Nepean-Carleton, Opposition, the Bill is currently ordered to be referred to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.

This Bill enacts the Nick’s Law (Opioid Abuse Awareness), 2017. If passed, this Bill will require the Ontario government to allocate at  least 10% of the Bulk Media Buy Program towards marketing campaign to raise awareness regarding the risk of prescription opioid abuse and fentanyl abuse.

 

For more information about the Bill:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=5115

 

Bill 163, Protecting a Woman’s Right to Access Abortion Services Act, 2017

Introduced by Hon. Yasi Naqvi, Attorney General, the Bill was carried on First Reading on October 4, 2017.

This Bill enacts the Safe Access to Abortion Services Act, 2017  and amends the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in relation to abortion services.

The purpose of the Act is to protect access to abortion services. It defines multiple terms, including clinic, facility, and protected service providers who provide abortion services. The Act sets out the prohibitions of certain activities and establishes access zones for clinics, prescribed facilities and residences of protected service providers who provide abortion services. For example, section 3 prohibits certain activities in access zones for clinics or facilities, which includes advising a person to refrain from accessing abortion services, informing a person concerning issues related to abortion services, performing certain acts of disapproval, certain persistent requests and actions for the purpose of dissuading a person from accessing abortion services or a protected service provider from providing the service. The Act would also prohibits such activities in access zones for the residences of protected service provider.  Section 5 prohibits certain activities done for the purpose of dissuading protected service providers from providing abortion services in any area.

The Act also sets out offences and enforcement provisions. Individuals may not be convicted of an offence of contravening a prohibition in an access zone unless the person knew, or was given notice of, the location of the access zone.  Individuals may also seek right to damages for losses resulting from contraventions and the right to injunctions. The Act also provides for the powers of arrest without a warrant.

FIPPA is amended to remove an existing restriction on the application of the Act to records relating to the provision of abortion services and replaces it with a narrower restriction. A new subsection confirms that the Act continues to apply to statistical or other information relating to the provision of abortion services that is not referred to in the Act.

For more information about the Bill:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&BillID=5135&detailPage=bills_detail_the_bill#Sched10

 

Bill 164, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017

Introduced by Nathalie Des Rosiers,  MPP (Ottawa-Vanier), Government, the Bill was carried on First Reading on October 4, 2017.

 This Bill amends the Human Rights Code to include immigration status, genetic characteristics, police records and social conditions as prohibited grounds of discrimination. Amendments to various provisions of the Act are made including the right to equal treatment without discrimination due to genetic characteristics because of a person refusal to undergo a genetic test or refusal to disclose the results of a genetic test.

For more information about the Bill:

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=5136

 

Regulations

 

Ontario Regulation 202/94 – Pharmacy Act, 1991

The Ontario College of Pharmacists (“OCP”) is currently seeking feedback on the proposed amendments to O.REG 202/94. These amendments include implementing an Intern Pharmacist and Intern Pharmacy Technician class of registration, integrating Pharmacy Technicians into 2 part register for distinguishing members who provide patient care; incorporating pharmacy technicians into quality assurance regulations; eliminating unnecessary steps in registration and shifting from hourly reporting of practice to a self-declaration of competency in conjunction with practice assessments

Comments are due: November 20, 2017.

For more information about this regulation:

http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=24986&language=en

 

Articles of Interest

Opioid Crisis

Ontario forms opioid emergency task force to address ongoing crisis

Taking Action to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Overdose

 

Abortion Clinics and New Legislation

Ontario to create ‘safe access zones’ around abortion clinics with new legislation

 

Health Care

Ontario family warns others: Their regular dental visit resulted in HIV tests

New figures show hospital overcrowding will have ‘drastic impact’ on care, Ontario NDP says

Three Ontario nursing homes ordered to stop new admissions because of substandard care

Public invited to provide feedback about hospital performance

 

Mental Health

Ontario health minister won’t join call for inquest into Hamilton hospital suicides