Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, left, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins unveiled the plan on Friday.

Ontario's Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, left, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins unveiled the plan on Friday.
Photo Credit: (CBC News

Ontario announces cannabis stores

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The latest word from the federal government is that the ruling Liberals are sticking to their agenda of legalizing marijuana by July 1, 2018.

The provinces are still scrambling to develop policies on how to deal with legalized pot.

Ontario’s is Canada’s most populous province and provincial leader, Premier Kathleen Wynne, announced a partial plan on Friday on how the province would handle cannabis sale and distribution once recreational use becomes legal.

The government of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Friday that it will create a cannabis control board and open storefronts across the province to sell marijuana. Opposition critics said the announcement on Friday was timed to divert attention from a Liberal byelection bribery scandal trial.
The government of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Friday that it will create a cannabis control board and open storefronts across the province to sell marijuana. Opposition critics said the announcement on Friday was timed to divert attention from a Liberal byelection bribery scandal trial. © Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press

Pot will be sold through the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) chain, the provincial government monopoly which sells wines, spirits and some beers through over 600 stores throughout the province.

The plans were outlined in a document called,  ‘Ontario’s Safe and Sensible Framework to Federal Cannabis Legislation”.

The plan indicates that the marijuana sales will be separate from the alcohol sales in “stand alone” stores operated by the LCBO, about 40 by the projected time of legalization, and 80 by the end of 2018, ande eventually 150.

A provincial government LCBO store in Kingston, Ontario. The LCBO will direct and run the separate pot stores
A provincial government LCBO store in Kingston, Ontario. The LCBO will direct and run the pot stores which will be separate from the current liquor sales outlets © LCBO

Sales will be limited to those ages 19 and over and recreational marijuana cannot be used in public places, workspaces, or vehicles.

Currently there are dozens of private and illegal marijuana dispenseries operation in the province. These will be shut down in the coming months.

An online service will also be set up and run by LCBO staff which can deliver to your door, provided someone elegible can sign for it.

No word on prices yet, but they will be more or less in line with current street prices in order to curb blackmarket sales and the government does expect to reap substantial tax revenues.

While many official sources are mildly approving of the plans, noted pot promoters and dispensary owners Jody and Mark Emery say it’s disgusting that those officials and politicians who fought against marijuana sales such as there are now about to “cash in” on legal pot sales while shutting them down.

High-profile cannabis supporter Jodie Emery, left, wife of fellow activist Marc Emery, right, is among those criticizing the plan, tweeting out that it’s ’disgusting’ that police and politicians who fought against legalization are now ’cashing in on legal pot.’
High-profile cannabis supporter Jodie Emery, left, wife of fellow activist Marc Emery, right, is among those criticizing the plan, tweeting out that it’s ’disgusting’ that police and politicians who fought against legalization are now ’cashing in on legal pot.’ © (Lauren Pelley/CBC

Other critics say that with so few legal outlets planned in the huge province, blackmarket sales will continue.

Another province, the western prairie province of Saskatchewan, is now in the province of consulting residents on how it should distribute marijuana.

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3 comments on “Ontario announces cannabis stores
  1. Peter Ashcroft says:

    Prevention is better than controlled sale. Legislation should be only for a decade trial period, or even a shorter timespan.

  2. James Tripp says:

    The replacement of an existing, functional, prosperous, and completely viable, dispensary market with an overpriced, overburdened, and monopolistic, government owned corporation is patently INSANE.

    Our government is being misinformed by organizations that are pervaded by negative bias against all forms of cannabis use and as a result, our legislation we will be full of flaws based on gross misconceptions regarding how cannabis affects individual human physiology.

    Current legislation seems more fixated on the potential profits generated by the emerging recreational Cannabis industry rather than the many medical benefits that cannabinoid therapy could provide to a large segment of the Canadian population.

    Please research phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and look up patent 6630507, just for starters, before making any assumptions about Cannabis Use and general health and DO NOT let unfounded fear and negative bias block access to the many medical benefits of Cannabinoid Therapy.

  3. James Tripp says:

    The replacement of an existing, functional, prosperous, and completely viable, dispensary market with an overpriced, overburdened, and monopolistic, government owned corporation is patently INSANE.

    Our government is being misinformed by organizations that are pervaded by negative bias against all forms of cannabis use and as a result, our legislation we will be full of flaws based on gross misconceptions regarding how cannabis affects individual human physiology.

    Current legislation seems more fixated on the potential profits generated by the emerging recreational Cannabis industry rather than the many medical benefits that cannabinoid therapy could provide to a large segment of the Canadian population.

    Please research phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and look up patent 6630507, just for starters, before making any assumptions about Cannabis Use and general health and DO NOT let unfounded fear and negative bias block access to the many medical benefits of Cannabinoid Therapy.

    https://youtu.be/Z2QdezPoupM