Don't hold your breath hoping to be the first customer at a North Bay legal weed store.
The Province has named the first 14 cities that will receive standalone cannabis stores by July 2018...and we aren't among them.
The closest is Sudbury, about 90 minutes away.
Other stores will be located in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton. Also included on the list is:
- Sault Ste. Marie,
- Thunder Bay,
- Vaughan and
But before you get your hemp in a twist, don't worry. Consumers in all regions of Ontario will have access to cannabis through an online channel.
"Working together with municipalities, we are committed to implementing a safe and sensible framework for cannabis legalization. Ontario, through the LCBO, has extensive experience and expertise in dealing with controlled substances in a socially responsible manner," said a statement by Finance Minister Charles Sousa said today.
"Two primary considerations are being used to guide the identification of municipalities where stores will be located: first, to achieve geographic distribution of stores across the province; and second, to reduce the number of illegal stores, including dispensaries, currently operating in Ontario.
"The identification of municipalities will be in stages. We have already announced that up to 40 stores will be ready for July 2018, with online distribution available province-wide. The municipalities identified today are only part of that first phase, and more will be identified soon.
Approximately 150 standalone cannabis stores are expected to be set up by the province by 2020. The first batch of 40 stores will open in 2018 with that number rising to 80 stores by July 2019.