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NBA Finals: What Sports Fans Need to Know About Cannabis in Canada

Published on June 10, 2019 · Last updated May 13, 2022
Toronto Raptors/Facebook

The Toronto Raptors are in the NBA Finals for the first time. With the Raps leading the series 3-1 going into Monday night’s game, it means the city will play host to at least one of the Finals games.

Whether you’re in town rooting for the home team or visiting from out of province, we’ve put together this primer for cannabis-friendly tourists and sports enthusiasts. Here’s what you need to know if you’re visiting Toronto for the Finals.Join the Leafly Canada Community

Public Consumption

Unlike many American canna-legal states, you can generally consume in public! But, there are exceptions.

Canada has provinces, which you can think of as the country’s version of American states.

In Ontario, where Toronto is located, there is no law against public display of cannabis, which is prohibited in some US legal states. More significantly, smoking and vaping cannabis is actually legal in most places in Ontario!

However, there are a number of places you cannot smoke or vape. Even in places that are legal to smoke, stay mindful of young children, families, and where they might congregate. This means you cannot consume cannabis near playgrounds, for example, or in the public space that is Toronto’s Jurassic Park fan zone.

You aren’t allowed to smoke or vape in restaurants, on patios, and there’s a bylaw against smoking within 9 metres of exits and entranceways of public buildings such as restaurants and offices. You also cannot partake within common areas of condos, apartment buildings, or student residences.

One thing to keep in mind is that you cannot consume cannabis in a vehicle or boat in any way—even non-smoking/vaping options such as edibles.

For a full list of where smoking and vaping of cannabis is prohibited in the province, click here.

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420-friendly Accommodations

Your hotel likely won’t allow smoking or vaping, but your Airbnb might.

That’s because due to provincial laws, guest rooms in hotels, motels, and inns must have special “designated” status to allow smoking and vaping—similar to the laws for tobacco.

On the other hand, Airbnb doesn’t have a strict cannabis policy, so you may find some cannabis-friendly accommodations through their website if permitted by the host.

Cannabis Products for Sale

Cannabis became legal on October 17, 2018.

However, only certain products became legal to purchase from licensed retailers upon legalization, namely: seeds, ingestible cannabis oil, ingestible capsules, fresh cannabis (which has yet to be sold), as well as good ol’ dried cannabis (in whole flower, milled, or pre-rolled joint form).

You can still legally produce your own edibles and concentrates at home if you have the time, resources, and a proper place to make them. Just don’t use organic solvents, which are banned.

Bringing Cannabis to the Game

Yes, you can bring some into the game—just no edibles and no consumption.

Edibles are legal to make but are not yet legal to purchase from licensed stores.

That being said, Scotiabank Arena’s cannabis policy states that edibles will not be “granted entry” into the venue. Despite that, you can bring cannabis in with you. Always stay mindful of the 30-gram limit.

Further, the arena also adds a couple things in their cannabis policy: smoking of any kind will lead to ejection, and there are strictly no in-and-out privileges, unless you have proper medical documentation for medical cannabis use. While their cannabis policy doesn’t mention vaporizing, their Smoking policy is clear that their smoke-free policy also includes electronic cigarettes.

It doesn’t appear that Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Toronto Raptors, have a published cannabis policy with respect to Jurassic Park, the outdoor area outside of the arena where thousands of fans have taken in the game through giant television screens. Instead, they might be extending the rules of the Arena to Jurassic Park; one reddit user claims that security came up to him and told him he could not smoke or vape in the space.

Where to Buy Cannabis Near the Game

There are some legal cannabis stores close to the arena.

There are only five stores licensed to open in Toronto, because of a lottery system the provincial regulators instituted that saw only 25 stores get licensed across the whole province.

That limit on stores was purposely put in place due to a national cannabis supply issue that may or may not be alleviated in the near term—depending on who you ask in the industry.

Fortunately, all five of the Toronto stores are in the downtown core, and some are only a brisk walk or transit ride away from the stadium.

There are still some illegal shops operating in Toronto, including at least one within walking distance of the arena, but be aware that these aren’t permitted by law.

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Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan
Harrison Jordan is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and enjoys reading and writing about the regulatory affairs of cannabis in Canada and around the world.
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