Major Papers


Cannabis, Canada, Ontario, Regulation, Municipalities, Local Government


The legalization of cannabis has been a controversial topic within the last two decades in many developed states. The legalization brought medicinal benefits, economic opportunity, and a projected decrease in organized crime. It has, however, also prompted new challenges for different levels of government. In Canada, legalization was a federal decision that was then regulated by provincial governments. However, local governments were on the receiving end of both federal and provincial legislation and regulations that often restricted municipal autonomy with respect to cannabis.

This paper aims to provide a better understanding of the legal and regulatory framework of retail cannabis in Ontario and to contribute to other long-term studies with respect to this matter. Through case studies of the Town of Tecumseh and the Municipality of Lakeshore, it focuses on dissecting the role of municipal governments in the Canadian example of cannabis legalization and regulation. It finds that the downloading of federal policy and provincial regulation has kept municipalities in a subservient state.

Primary Advisor

John Sutcliffe

Program Reader

Lydia Miljan

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Internship Paper

Convocation Year