Article by André Picard, Globe and Mail
Let the countdown begin: The end of pot prohibition – which has been in place since 1923 – is less than one month away.
Come Oct. 17, adults will be able to legally possess 30 grams of dried cannabis, or the equivalent in oil. But many details need to be worked out before then.
Like many other things in Canada (access to health care, for example), access to recreational cannabis will very much be a postal-code lottery.
In Ontario, for example, there will be no bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores until April, 2019, after the new Conservative government scrapped plans for 150 government-run stores in favour of private retailers.
In the meantime, consumers will be able to buy products online from the lame-duck government agency, Ontario Cannabis Store. By contrast, in Alberta, there are expected to be as many as 100 outlets selling cannabis in both Calgary and Edmonton, not long after Oct. 17.
Across the country, there are duelling philosophies about where and how cannabis should be sold. Six provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador – will license private retailers as will two territories, Yukon and Nunavut, while four provinces – Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island – and the Northwest Territories will have government-run facilities.