Highlights of Ontario's online platform, private retail model

Ontario to sell pot online in fall, in private retail stores next year

The previous Liberal government had planned to give the Liquor Control Board of Ontario a monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis, opening as many as 150 retail stores by 2020. "We have to get this right and we will not be rushed". The province still needs to conduct consultations, go through a tender process and award retail licenses and it "seems very plausible that could take a year as opposed to six months", Bottomley said. "But that's what we've identified as potential markets where we could open", he said.

And while cannabis companies don't yet have permission to open commercial retail outlets - and the government hasn't even indicated if they ever will - several firms have already rushed to secure real-estate in what media has declared a "frenzy," with the hope that permission will come later.

"By harnessing the power of the private sector, while responsibly regulating cannabis sales for adults, the government of Ontario has removed the capital and operational costs of bricks and mortar retail from taxpayers and shifted this burden to the private sector: A move that will save the treasury countless millions", said Allan Rewak, executive director of the Cannabis Council of Canada, an industry group representing major medical marijuana producers, in a release. "I took the announcement yesterday as a positive piece".

"There is a point that the attorney general and I would like to make very clear today, the cannabis dispensaries and storefronts that are open today are illegal and they will remain illegal after October 17", he said.

Authorities said that all this is done for the reason that most important for them is public safety. "We will be ready to work alongside municipalities, law enforcement and Indigenous communities to combat organized crime and the illegal market". "Most importantly of all, we will be ready to protect our kids".

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Under the previous Liberal regime, recreational cannabis would only be sold at government-run "Ontario Cannabis Stores", to be operated by the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation, a crown corporation established as a subsidiary under the LCBO. "You can order wine for home delivery by Canada Post and you have to have age verification at the door".

"We're looking forward to hearing what their public consultation is going to look like", she said.

As well, Mulroney said the government will look into any issues of people travelling outside Canada who may be concerned about an online trail of marijuana purchases. Ontario will begin to consult on a number of rules all retailers will be mandated to follow including set hours of operation and staff training.

The Ministers also announced a zero-tolerance policy, including severely escalating fines, for any retailer or dispensary who continues to operate in the illicit markets.

"The concerns I heard before the (provincial) election are still present in many people's minds", she said.

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