Ontario Shocker: Province to Restrict Legal Cannabis Sales to 150 Government-Run Stores

One of the great questions leading up to Canada’s 2018 legalization of adult-use cannabis is how individual provinces will handle their Trudeau-given duties to hammer out details of the newly legal plant’s distribution and sale.

“Online sales will begin next July.”

Today, Ontario gave us a shocking example of what such provincial hammering might look like, unveiling a plan that would restrict sales of legal cannabis in the province to 150 government-run stores—a move that would completely outlaw the province’s thriving, beloved, and, yes, illegal independent dispensaries.

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Other details of the plan, announced today at a joint press conference held by Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Health Minister Eric Hoskins, and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi in Queen’s Park: the aforementioned 150 government-run cannabis stores will be overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, and sales of legal adult-use cannabis will be restricted to those 19 and above (the same as liquor).

“There will be 80 LCBO weed stores in place across the province by July 1, 2019 and another 70 by 2020,” reports the Toronto Star. “Online sales will begin next July.”

Stay tuned for on-the-ground reporting from Toronto.


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