Ontario’s New Cannabis Retail Regulations ‘Step in Right Direction’ if Enforcement Has Teeth, Lawyers Say

Article by Amanda Jerome, The Lawyer’s Daily

New cannabis retail regulations ‘step in right direction’ if enforcement has teeth, lawyers say

The Ontario government has announced new regulations for the licensing and operation of private cannabis stores, which include a zero-tolerance approach for any retailer serving youth under 19 and a prohibition on licensing anyone associated with organized crime.
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The announcement seems to follow standard licensing procedure for alcohol and tobacco, lawyers say, but how the government goes about handling enforcement will be something to watch out for.
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“The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty and in the public interest,” said Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney in a press release.
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“The application process for private cannabis retail store licences will begin on December 17, 2018, and we will be ready with laws and regulations to protect Ontario’s youth and to combat the criminal market in response to the federal government’s legalization of cannabis,” she added.
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The regulation announcement, released on Nov. 14, said the regulations will establish “a minimum distance of 150 metres between cannabis retail stores and schools, including private and federally funded First Nation schools off-reserve.” This distance is intended to help protect students and “keep communities safe.”

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