Article by Rob Ferguson, Toronto Star
Ontario will have a cannabis retail system open for business when recreational marijuana is legalized across the country in less than three months, says Finance Minister Vic Fedeli.
“We are going to be operational by Oct. 17,” Fedeli said Monday as questions swirled about how the province will sell weed following reports private retailers are being tapped instead of the government stores planned by the previous Liberal administration.
“You’re going to be hearing more from us in the future, but our sole goal will be to provide public safety for children, keeping the stores away from schools…and eliminating the organized crime activity,” said the finance minister.
He would not say what form the stores would take or whether existing marijuana dispensaries — which are illegal — would be allowed to apply for cannabis sales licences.
An announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.
Under former premier Kathleen Wynne, the province was setting up Ontario Cannabis Stores through the LCBO, which would control distribution and handle online sales.