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The OPHA is a not‐for‐profit member‐based association that provides leadership in advancing public health in Ontario. Our Association represents six public and community health disciplines and our membership represents many public health and community health professionals from Ontario. To learn more about us, our structure, strategic direction, or membership, please visit the following links:

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The OPHA leads the development of expertise in public and community health through collaboration, consultation and partnerships. Learn more about our Constituent Societies here.

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Ontario Public Health Association Encouraged by Ontario’s New Cannabis Plan


Ontario Public Health Association Encouraged by Ontario’s New Cannabis Plan

Ontario Public Health Association Encouraged by Ontario’s New Cannabis Plan
September 8, 2017
OPHA is pleased to see the Ontario Government putting the public’s health and safety first in its announcement today of a new system for the sale and distribution of cannabis. 

“The Province’s plan to regulate legalized cannabis reflects many of the recommendations we have been advocating for,” says OPHA Executive Director, Pegeen Walsh.

Important elements OPHA was encouraged to see included having a separate government-owned and controlled retail system and an awareness campaign on the harms of cannabis. Intentions to reinvest revenues into activities that will protect and support public health, especially young people, and promoting community safety, prevention, and harm reduction are also viewed favourably by our Association.
 
The Association is also encouraged by plans to restrict the use of recreational cannabis in public places, workplaces and cars, as well as the announcement that cannabis will not be sold alongside alcohol.

OPHA also made recommendations about who should be able to sell cannabis, and we are thus pleased to see a commitment to employing trained and knowledgeable staff that will sell products in a safe and socially-responsible manner, and give consumers the information they need.

While the province is on the right track for protecting youth and the public from the potential harms of cannabis, there are other measures OPHA would ask governments to consider as their plans are further developed, such as placing additional restrictions on edible cannabis products, marketing of cannabis, and home cultivation.

“It was good to see a plan that proposes a strong framework building on the lessons learned from tobacco control. We appreciated the government drawing on the expertise of organizations such as ours and look forward to working with the Ontario Government to ensure a comprehensive system is in place to protect the health of Ontarians”, notes Ms. Walsh.

“We’re concerned that there is not enough public awareness about the harmful effects of cannabis and further research is needed to more fully understand the impact — be it on youth brain development,  pregnant and breastfeeding women or other areas.”
 
For more information, contact:
 
Pegeen Walsh, Executive Director
pwalsh@opha.on.ca
416 367-1281

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