Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Ontario to sell recreational pot in stores, could BC do the same?

Ontario Premier Wynne smiles as she awaits Canada's PM designate Trudeau to arrive Queen's Park in Toronto Province solicits public feedback on pot legalization
Andrew Cummings | 10 September, 2017, 14:31

"It's also the best way to ensure product safety, through LCBO labs, and it's the best way to keep the criminal element out of the cannabis business".

During today's press conference, Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi also said the government is committed to shutting down the dozens of dispensaries now operating in the province illegally.

The province plans to open 40 stores by July 1 next year, growing to 80 in 2019 and 150 by the end of 2020, and to control all legal online sales via a government-run website.

The plan also includes online sales and will ensure safe and controlled sales of marijuana and allow the province to shrink illicit sales and shut down illegal dispensaries, Sousa said.

Buying pot will be like purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, you will have to be 19 years of age or older, not 18 has recommended by a federal task force.

The plan revealed Friday contains these elements. "Let me be clear: These illegal pot dispensaries are illegal and will be shut down". The province's justice minister has previously said Alberta expects help from Ottawa covering any extra costs associated with enforcement.

Sarnia's mayor still has questions about the legalization of pot including the prospect of what he's calling "toking tourists".

"The frustration is that these stores have reopened, and we have limited resources in order to do these investigations", said Bordeleau, noting the city is already dealing with other policing priorities, including the very deadly illegal opioid crisis.

"If you operate one of these facilities, consider yourself on notice", Attorney General Yasir Naqvi said. The stores would be run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, though they would be separate from the LCBO's alcohol outlets.

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"Decisions relating to pricing and fees will be taken after that the federal government will release more information", said the ontario government, which has not been advanced on the possible price of a gram of cannabis.

The LCBO will use the working members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union to control the sale of weed in stores and online.

The focus, provincial officials said, is on safety.

Ontario plans to convene an enforcement summit with policing partners, public health experts and other stakeholders.

Plans are to later look into "designed establishments" where people can partake. "I'll give her credit on this one", he said.

- Potential retail models, locations and rules.

"There is a lot of experience at the LCBO", he told HuffPost Canada in an interview. "There are no strong incentives to sell to minors".

He said cannabis can be addictive for some users and have an impact on brain development. That model also lines up with the federal government's expectations, such as prohibiting the sale of edibles and imposing restrictions on advertising.

The results are set to guide Saskatchewan's approach to marijuana legalization.

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