(Canadian Press)

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Canada’s most populous province says it will sell recreational cannabis through an online retail channel when it is legalized this fall, with plans to have pot in private retail stores early next year.

Online sales in Ontario will be operated by a government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The province says a “tightly regulated” private retail model will start operation by April 1, 2019.

The Tory government is reversing course on their Liberal predecessors’ plan to have legalized cannabis distributed through publicly owned and operated stores.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, who made the announcement today, say municipalities can opt out of hosting any pot shops within their boundaries.

The legal age to buy recreational cannabis will remain 19 and consumers will only be allowed to use legalized pot in a private residence, including the outdoor space of the home.

Mulroney said the government’s key objective with the new retail model was public safety.

“We will be ready to put in place a safe, legal system for cannabis retail that will protect consumers,” she said. “We will also be ready to undermine the illegal market and protect Ontario’s roads. Most importantly of all, we will be ready to protect our kids.”

Fedeli said private retailers will have to follow a series of rules including prohibiting the sale of marijuana to anyone under the age of 19. Anyone caught violating the rules will face “severely escalating fines,” he said.

“The government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores,” he said. “Instead, we will work with private sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market.”

Fedeli added that the online retail channel will have a “robust verification system” and will ensure safe home delivery for cannabis products.

The province says it will learn from the private models being implemented in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The previous Liberal government had planned to give the Liquor Control Board of Ontario a monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Champion horse gets Hall of Fame nod

Willy from the Donalda Cassidy stable to be part of 2020 Canadian Pro Rodeo HOF inductees

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19 recovered cases continue to rise in Alberta

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

Drug trafficking charges laid in central Alberta investigation

Investigation included Ponoka, Brazeau, Leduc counties

Ponoka County may see big road repair bill

Elkhorn Road could cost upwards of $300,000 to fix

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Trump threatens social media after Twitter fact-checks him

“Interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election”

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Most Read