Article by Rob Ferguson, Toronto Star
Ontario will begin selling recreational cannabis online when it is legalized Oct. 17 and allow “tightly regulated” private retail stores into the weed business by next April 1.
The sales model from Premier Doug Ford’s new Progressive Conservative government marks a sharp shift from the previous Liberal administration’s plan for 150 brick-and-mortar Ontario Cannabis Stores modelled on the LCBO by 2020.
“The government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores,” Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said.
“Instead, we will work with private sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market.”
The province will soon begin consultations on rules that retailers will have to follow, including those on hours of operation and guidelines for training staff, Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said.
They promised a zero-tolerance policy with “severely escalating fines” for any pot retailers operating in illicit markets on the side.