Information Sheet: Keep Drugs out of Your Establishment


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Keep Drugs out of Your Establishment

Waitress walks in a restaurant

As a liquor sales licensee, you cannot permit anyone to hold, offer for sale, sell, supply or consume a controlled substance on your licensed premises or in adjacent areas under your exclusive control. 

If someone in your establishment (e.g., patron, employee) is holding, selling, or consuming a controlled substance, you as the licence holder may face sanctions under the Liquor Licence and Control Act, 2019 (LLCA). Consider developing house policies and best practices to avoid this. When necessary, contact local police. 

Consider These Steps

The following steps can discourage people from bringing controlled substances into your establishment:

  • Educate yourself and your staff on controlled substances (e.g., identifying drugs, drug trends). 
  • Ensure that all tables are visible to staff and other patrons. 
  • Ensure that the licensed and adjacent areas are well lit.
  • Employ licensed security staff.
  • Monitor areas of concern (e.g., bathrooms, side stage doors, entrances and exits). This can include stationing security staff in such areas.
  • Refuse entry and/or service to anyone suspected of holding, selling or consuming controlled substances in your establishment or any adjacent areas (e.g., lineups to gain entry).
  • Install security cameras to monitor staff and patron activities.
  • Create and enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy for controlled substances.
  • Check your premises for concealed drugs and paraphernalia. Pay particular attention to washrooms. Regular staff/security patrols of washrooms will help discourage drug use in these areas.
  • If you suspect someone of holding, selling or consuming a controlled substance in your establishment, contact local police.

Behaviours to Watch for

Look out for these behaviours, which may indicate possession or use of a controlled substance:

  • Individuals making frequent trips in and out of the premises with different people.
  • Patrons who continually visit the washroom. Washrooms are commonly used as locations for drug use and dealing, and you should check them regularly. 
  • Patrons or staff passing match boxes, folded money, or folded napkins to others.
  • Patrons who arrive sober but quickly show signs of intoxication inconsistent with their alcohol use. This behaviour may be caused by mixing drugs with alcohol. This is an important sign to be aware of, since such a patron may have consumed a tainted beverage.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you suspect or observe drink tampering, notify police immediately. 

More Information

For more information, visit us online at or contact AGCO Customer Service anytime. You can also call us at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll-free in Ontario), Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.