Ontario Set to Unveil Plan for Private Marijuana Retailing Next Spring

Article by Christina Pellegrini and Marina Strauss, Globe and Mail

Ontario set to unveil plan for private marijuana retailing next spring CHRISTINA PELLEGRINI AND MARINA STRAUSS

The Ontario government is set to announce on Monday afternoon that it will open up the sale of recreational cannabis to private retailers, sources say, ushering in a dramatic policy shift that could see legal marijuana stores open next spring at the earliest.
Multiple sources in the cannabis and retail industries expect the new Ford administration to reveal that it will allow private companies to operate brick-and-mortar marijuana stores, leaving the provincial government to manage product distribution and online sales.
Ontario is targeting a launch date of April, 2019, for in-store sales, according to the sources, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity. One of these sources said Ontario is looking to award up to 500 licences for private retailing by next spring.
These changes come nearly two months before the federal government is set to legalize recreational marijuana on Oct. 17. Last month, The Globe and Mail first reported that Ontario is planning to scrap the existing retail model adopted by the Liberals that would have seen the government control all recreational cannabis sales through an arm of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

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