February 12, 2019
The sale of CBD oil or any other cannabis-based product by an unlicensed cannabis retailer in Ontario is illegal
Expectations of Licensed Lottery Retailers
Ontario’s licensed lottery retailers must comply with the requirements of the Gaming Control Act, 1992 and its regulation, and other standards and requirements established by the Registrar.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) requires all licensed lottery retailers to remain in compliance with the law.
Lottery retailers who choose to offer cannabis-based products for sale, such as CBD oil, are doing so illegally.
If a lottery retailer is currently selling CBD oil or other cannabis-based products in their store, they are required to immediately cease the sale of these products and remove them from their premises.
The Federal Cannabis Act
The Cannabis Act creates a strict legal framework for controlling the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis across Canada. The Act protects public health through the creation of strict safety and quality regulations.
CBD oil is made from the cannabis plant (including the hemp variety) and is captured under the definition of cannabis in the federal Cannabis Act, as well as in Ontario’s Cannabis Control Act, and the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 The sale of CBD oil or any other cannabis-based product, such as seeds or edibles, by an unlicensed cannabis retailer is illegal.
The Ontario Cannabis Store is currently the only authorized retailer of legal recreational cannabis in Ontario.
The AGCO is the regulator for licensing private retail cannabis stores in Ontario. Only AGCO licensed cannabis retailers may sell recreational cannabis and they must purchase this product through the Ontario Cannabis Store.
Consumers may only legally buy cannabis products for medical use through a Health Canada licensed seller.
AGCO’s Regulatory Role and Risk-Based Inspection Compliance Model
The AGCO regulates Ontario’s alcohol, lottery, gaming, horse racing and cannabis sectors in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity and in the public interest.
The AGCO adopts a risk-based, outcomes-based and compliance-focused approach to regulation, based on the achievement of regulatory objectives or outcomes as opposed to prescriptive rules. This approach ensures that the highest standards of integrity for lottery gaming in Ontario are maintained and the public interest is protected.
The AGCO licenses and conducts compliance activities in alignment with the law and in support of public safety. AGCO Compliance Officials will continue to conduct inspections of lottery retail store locations to confirm compliance with applicable laws, regulations and conditions.