Expert Available: Will Province’s changes to regulation of sales of cannabis impact public health?


TORONTO, August 14, 2018 ­­– Yesterday the Ontario government announced a new online retail model that will allow cannabis to be sold online and through private retailers. Under the new planned regulation, the Ontario Cannabis Store will provide an online platform for the sale which will be followed by a private retail model by April 1, 2019. Consumers 19 and older will be able to purchase cannabis via an online retail platform provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store.  The OCS online channel will include a verification system that will ensure safe at-home delivery for cannabis products.

But what will the new provincial change for the sale of cannabis mean for public health?

Researchers at York University have identified the most important organizations around the world that contribute to health and would need to be mobilized quickly in the event of an international health emergency like a pandemic.

Steven J. Hoffman is director of the Global Strategy Lab and a professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University. He is a public health expert and international lawyer who has expertise on the UN drug control treaties and Canada's cannabis legalization plans. One of Canada's most influential scholars in global health governance, law and policy, Hoffman has served as an advisor to several national governments, the UN and the WHO. He is available for interviews on:

  • Government vs. private sale of cannabis: will the Ontario government’s new plan leave the public vulnerable to public health risk via gaps in standards of regulation?
  • Can provincial changes which allow private companies to operate marijuana stores, with the provincial government still managing distribution and online sales, still meet federal cannabis sale regulations?
  • Commercialization vs. legalization: can the two co-exist?


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Media: For interviews or to attend, please contact Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 44543