LCBO to manage cannibis sales in separate chain of stores

For The Globe and Mail

Under the legalization, adults will be allowed to cultivate four plants each and to possess up to 30 grams of the weed in public places.

The government expects to recoup the costs of setting up its marijuana distribution system, although it put forward no exact revenue figures.

Alcohol and cannabis will not be sold alongside each other.

Still, Ontario's decision not to include the private sector in its plans raises questions about the province's capacity to supply the full demand for recreational marijuana.

- Quebec is now holding public hearings into the legalization of cannabis and hopes to table legislation this fall. That province has yet to implement those recommendations. Each of the country's 10 provinces and three territories must decide how to distribute the drug to avoid illegal trafficking.

Sarnia has no illegal dispensaries, Police Chief Phil Nelson said.

"We're going to walk on the wild side, but we're going to do it with what I call Presbyterian rules".

Salz believes a majority of Canadians already believe that dispensaries are legal, and Ontario's decision will only increase confusion.

"If you operate one of these facilities", Naqvi said on Friday, "consider yourself on notice".

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Naqvi said setting the minimum purchasing age at 19 is meant to protect youth from potential drug use.

According to details announced at a Friday press conference, the province will set the minimum age at 19, the same as alcohol.

Asked about expected revenues, Finance Minister Charles Sousa could provide no estimates, saying the market conditions and federal tax levels will impact the bottom line and are unclear. But Mr. Naqvi said the possibility of allowing the consumption of cannabis in some licensed establishments could be part of a later phase of legalization, after more study. Ontario will also work to support the federal government's planned national public awareness campaign to promote prevention and harm reduction.

"In a Nanos Research poll we commissioned in the summer of 2016, Ontarians picked the LCBO as their number one choice to sell cannabis", he said. "We have to be prepared by next year". "I suspect we would probably be looking at other options".

It has also been mentioned that in the announcement Premier Wynne will let the public know if the Ontario will be having its own Cannabis Control Board. Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General.

In the lead-up to federal legalization, to help ensure public awareness of this transition and the new measures that will take effect, the province will undertake a public information campaign.

"We are working closely with our partners to ensure law enforcement is well trained, to build capacity across the country and at our border, and to raise awareness about the dangers of drug-impaired driving", Goodale said in a statement.

The LCBO will be its legal retail distributor and will handle online sales which will be launched across Ontario by next July. While Ontario is proposing to open approximately 150 marijuana outlets, the LCBO has about 660 stores and 212 agency locations selling liquor.

Only 19 years old or above people can consume cannabis while pot smoking has been restricted to home.

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