(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.

Just Posted

Festival of Trees needs your support

As the Ponoka and District Health Foundation (PDHF) gears up for its… Continue reading

Ponoka Agricultural Society Bench Show winners, photos

The Ponoka Agricultural Society’s annual Bench Show was held at the Ponoka… Continue reading

The Ponoka Little League girls softball team win bronze

Ponoka defeated Calgary 17-2 in Canadian Little League playoffs

Ponoka Aquaplex will be closed from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30.

Many improvements planned for Ponoka pool

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Panel to review impacts of safe injection sites in Alberta

It will look at crime rates, social order and property values, and not harm reduction or housing

Five suspects arrested by Leduc RCMP with help of Wetaskiwin and Maskwacis

Leduc RCMP work with Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP to make arrests

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

PHOTOS: 5th Annual Alix rodeo bucks the competition

Cowboys and cowgirls risked it all at the Alix Rodeo

Wetaskiwin RCMP arrest two in Camrose after report of suspicious persons

Fugitives try to flee on ATVS, one allegedly steals police car

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read