Ontario Helping Municipalities to Protect Youth and Combat Illegal Cannabis Market

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Province announces third round of funding to support implementation of recreational cannabis

August 20, 2019 11:00 A.M. Ministry of Finance

Ontario is partnering with municipalities to combat the illegal cannabis market and keep our communities safe by providing municipalities with $6.74 million through the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund (OCLIF). The government is also investing $3.26 million to support municipalities with enhanced enforcement against illegal cannabis operations.

"Municipalities are important partners in the implementation of recreational cannabis legalization," said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. "We look forward to continuing to work together to protect our youth and communities and combat the illegal cannabis market."

OCLIF was announced in 2018 as a $40 million initiative over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization. Earlier this year, the government provided municipalities with $30 million, and set aside $10 million to address costs from unforeseen circumstances related to the legalization of recreational cannabis with priority given to municipalities that did not opt-out of hosting cannabis retail stores.

Ontario is investing $3.06 million this year to help with enhanced enforcement through provincial joint forces cannabis enforcement teams, led by the Ontario Provincial Police. This is in addition to a targeted investment of $200,000 to the Toronto Police Service to support their efforts in combatting illegal cannabis operations in the City of Toronto.

"Enforcement teams work on a regional basis and are available to all municipalities and First Nations," Phillips said. "This collaborative approach enables law enforcement to target crime across the province in a coordinated, consistent way."

This week, the government is continuing to take a responsible approach to opening cannabis stores across Ontario, allowing private sector businesses to build a safe and convenient retail system to combat the illegal market, issuing up to 50 additional new cannabis store retail store authorizations.

Quick Facts

  • The government has distributed the remaining $6.74 million in OCLIF funding on a per household basis to municipalities that did not opt-out of hosting retail stores as of January 22, 2019, adjusted so that each recipient municipality received at least $5,000.


  • Municipalities were provided a one-time opportunity to opt-out of permitting cannabis retail stores within their boundaries. The deadline to opt-out was January 22, 2019.


  • Municipalities must use the funding to pay for costs directly related to the legalization of recreational cannabis.


  • Recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018.

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