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Is it legal to sell cannabis in retail stores or dispensaries?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2421

Recreational Cannabis

Retail store front

Recreational cannabis and cannabis products can only be sold in retail stores that are government-run or private retail stores licensed by the provincial government.

Furthermore, municipal governments can choose whether they will allow retail stores to operate in their jurisdiction. However, there have been situations where municipal governments have prohibited cannabis retail stores and the provincial government has overridden the decision.

Currently, retail cannabis stores exist in all provinces and territories except Nunavut. Currently in Nunavut, recreational cannabis is only sold online from the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission, or from one of its approved agents. However, once the procedures have been decided, retail stores will be permitted in Nunavut.


Cannabis is also legally available for sale from government-run websites or the online sites of licensed private retailers.

Can you buy cannabis online from another province?

Because private cannabis retailers are licensed by their individual provinces and territories, they cannot sell to consumers outside their province or territory, only to consumers within their home province. This applies to government-operated sellers as well. However, online retailers may be licensed to sell recreational cannabis in more than one province.

Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis can be purchased legally in every province. Retail stores are not authorized to sell cannabis for medical purposes. Medical cannabis can only be legally purchased directly from a producer licensed by Health Canada (known as an LP – Licensed Producer).

For more detailed information and resources, refer to topic #2402 Private retailers and government sales.

Get help

To erase your criminal record for simple cannabis possession or any other criminal charges, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Contact our preferred criminal defence expert, Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyers for a free consultation at 416-938-5858 .

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