TORONTO — Ontario plans to sell marijuana in as many as 150 stores run by the province's liquor control board after the federal government legalizes its recreational use next summer.
The stores will operate separately from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario's current outlets and the province expects all the stores to be open by 2020. This approach will ensure that there will be only one legal retail distributor for cannabis in Ontario and alcohol and cannabis are not sold alongside each other.
The LCBO will also sell marijuana online through a government-run website.
The move will see private marijuana dispensaries, which have sprung up around the province, closed.
The sale of marijuana will be restricted to those 19 and older. This will allow police to confiscate small amounts of cannabis from young people. The province's approach to protecting youth will focus on prevention, diversion, and harm reduction without unnecessarily bringing them into contact with the justice system.
The use of recreational cannabis will be prohibited in public places and workplaces.
The federal government introduced legislation in April with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational pot by July 1, 2018.
Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi announced the plan today.
The Canadian Press