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Recreational Cannabis in Kawartha Lakes

Recreational cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018 by the federal government. It is now legal to purchase and use cannabis for recreational purposes across Canada.

In Ontario, currently the only way to legally purchase recreational cannabis is online through the Ontario Cannabis Store, but beginning in April 2019 it will be available for purchase through provincially licensed private recreational cannabis retail stores.

On January 15, 2019 Council decided to allow private recreational cannabis retail stores in Kawartha Lakes. More information can be found in the staff presentation and report.

The public and the municipality may provide comment on an application for a store within a 15-calendar day comment period to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). The application will be posted at the site location and a notice will be posted to the AGCO website

There will not be a retail cannabis store in Kawartha Lakes in the first round of 25 licensees set to open April 1, 2019. At such time as the province approves additional retail locations, there will be opportunity for interested businesses to apply for a licence in Kawartha Lakes. All licence applications are overseen by AGCO.


As of October 17, 2018, cannabis may be consumed on private property – this includes cannabis in any form (smoking, vaping or edibles), subject to the provisions of any lease agreements or condominium by-laws. With the passing of Bill 36 initiating amendments to the Smoke Free Ontario Act, 2017, the smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited everywhere the smoking of tobacco is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • indoor common areas in condos, apartment buildings and university/college residences;
  • at schools, on school grounds and all public areas with 20 metres of these grounds;
  • on grounds of community recreational facilities and public areas within 20 metres of those grounds; and,
  • on children’s playgrounds and public areas within 20 metres of playgrounds.

The consumption of medical and recreational cannabis is permitted where the smoking of tobacco is permitted under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. The Smoke Free Ontario Act is enforced locally by Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

Reporting prohibited cannabis use and enforcement

As of December 2018, all smoking or vaping of cannabis within the City of Kawartha Lakes is regulated under the Smoke Free Ontario Act. Any comments or questions should be referred to Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit.

The AGCO, Kawartha Lakes Police Service, and the Ontario Provincial Police will be responsible for inspections and enforcement related to recreational cannabis including legal age, public consumption, possession above the prescribed limits, illegal retailers, etc. 

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit Department will be responsible for health by-law enforcement including rules around smoking restrictions and protecting people from second-hand smoke, public health education, emergency medical response and Provincial Offences Courts. It is unknown at this time what role, and the extent of the role, local municipalities will have as a result of the legalization of recreational cannabis and the potential cost implications. 


For questions related to zoning for production facilities and cannabis retail stores, please contact the Manager of Planning by email or at 705-324-9411 ext. 1246.

To report illegal cannabis activity in Lindsay, please contact Kawartha Lakes Police Service (in Lindsay) at 705-324-5252.

To report illegal cannabis activity in other areas of Kawartha Lakes, please contact the Ontario Provincial Police-Kawartha Lakes Detachment at 705-324-6741.

For general inquiries please contact the City's Senior Licensing Officer by email or 705-324-9411 ext. 1343.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the following webpages:

For information about the sale of cannabis in Ontario and information on opening a retail storefront please visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario webpage.

 Cannabis Cultivation and Production Regulations

Planning Staff are preparing amendments to the City's Zoning By-laws to introduce and regulate Cannabis Production and Processing in Agricultural and Industrial Zones. The proposed amendments include new definitions and setbacks from sensitive land uses. More information is on the Planning and Development webpage under "Current Planning Initiatives."

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