TORONTO, July 17, 2013 – The Ontario Convenience Store Association (OCSA) reiterated its support for the Ontario Safety League’s objectives regarding illegal drug paraphernalia. OCSA believes the League’s aims can best be achieved through Canada’s existing federal law (Criminal Code section 462.2), which came into force in 2013.

“The members of the Ontario Convenience Store Association are responsible community retailers and we do not condone the sale of illegal drug paraphernalia,” said Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association. “We continue to be supportive of the Ontario Safety League’s objective; however, Canadian law already prohibits the sale of these products. Duplicating federal law with provincial measures carrying much lower penalties is unnecessary, and would likely be ineffective.”

Current federal law already prohibits selling drug paraphernalia for the purpose of illegal drug use, and carries a fine of up to $100,000 and/or six months in prison for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry a fine of up to $300,000 or up to one year in prison – or both.

Ontario Convenience Stores Association members are proud to be strong partners of the Ontario government and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). All convenience stores selling OLG lottery products must register with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). In order to sell lottery products, Convenience store retailers go through a detailed screening, are subject to all of the requirements of Ontario’s Gaming Control Act, and other standards set by the AGCO, such as investigation concerning the character, integrity and financial competence of each retailer.

The Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA) represents convenience stores throughout the province that are committed to responsible community retailing. The convenience store industry generates $13 billion in sales annually in Ontario and employs over 69,000 people. More than 3 million shoppers visit convenience stores in communities across Ontario every day.