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Information for businesses producing and selling cannabis


To grow cannabis commercially or to produce cannabis products, you need a federal license. Beginning October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada will regulate and license cultivators, producers, processors, testers, researchers and sellers of recreational cannabis, as well as nurseries. 

More information on the Government of Canada's rules for cannabis businesses can be found at: Who should apply for a cannabis license?

If you want to grow cannabis commercially in Ottawa, here is what you need to know:

  • The City of Ottawa’s Zoning By-law currently regulates production of cannabis for medical purposes and may be updated to align with the new federal regulations on cannabis production for commercial purposes.
  • The Zoning By-law regulates where production may occur and imposes land use conditions, such as separation distance.
  • The by-law currently permits medical marijuana production in licensed facilities only, and these must be located in specified industrial and agricultural zones, with a 150-metre buffer from residential and institutional zones.

The City may amend the Zoning By-law in 2019 to allow commercial production facilities for recreational cannabis in the same locations where medical cannabis production facilities are permitted, and to consider the extent to which outdoor cultivation may occur in an agricultural context.


In Ontario, only the Ontario Cannabis Store can sell recreational cannabis as of October 17, 2018. The Government of Ontario is planning new regulations to authorize and regulate private cannabis retail stores, to be in place April 1, 2019.

Cannabis for recreational uses will be sold through authorized cannabis retailers as licensed by the Province of Ontario. All unlicensed retailers of cannabis are illegal and subject to enforcement.

Council voted on Thursday, December 13 to allow private cannabis stores in Ottawa under the rules of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The Ontario Cannabis Store will purchase cannabis from federally licensed producers and sell up to 30 grams of cannabis to adults 19 years of age or older through online sales only.

See also: Retail store FAQs