The march towards international legalization of cannabis is taking a great leap forward as Ontario, Canada has announced plans to open 150 government-run pot shops. Additionally, and perhaps of greater interest, is their plan to also begin an online mail-order system, allowing responsible adults to purchase recreational cannabis without the hassle of visiting a retail store.
As the country prepares for legal recreational sales of cannabis to begin next July, the east-central province of Ontario, home to Toronto and Ottawa, is giving control to a subsidiary of The Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Law in Ontario will require those in possession of pot to be at least 19 years of age, one year older than the federal minimum of 18.
“The Liquor Control Board of Ontario will reach the 150-store target by 2020 and manage the sale and distribution of marijuana, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said Friday. The stores won’t be housed inside government-owned liquor stores, and there will be as many as 80 stores operational in the first year, he said.” [Source]
This news is groundbreaking as Ontario is the first province to announce official plans to control and regulate the public sale of recreational cannabis, and because Ontario is making provisions to include online sales.
“Ontario is the first province to announce how it will regulate and distribute sales of marijuana when Canada moves to legalize recreational sales by next July. The plan also includes online sales and will ensure safe and controlled sales of marijuana and allow the province to shrink illicit sales and shut down illegal dispensaries, Sousa said. Buyers must be at least 19 years old, matching the minimum age for alcohol in Canada’s most-populous province.” [Source]
Comparing Ontario’s plan with that of the State of Nevada, where legal pot sales began in 2017 and there are only 37 stores licensed to sell recreational cannabis, the model of allowing the liquor industry to govern the sale of cannabis is less than perfect, to say the least. In Nevada, the new regulations actually create a whole new set of cannabis crimes around regulation laws, and as distribution is being managed by the alcohol industry, shortages of cannabis have been reported throughout the state.
Only 40 stores are slated to be open in time for legalization next July, and provincial officials are just beginning talks with municipalities about where they should be located. Officials say they intend to target areas with high concentrations of illegal marijuana dispensaries. Eighty are set to be open by July of 2019.
Ontario’s motive in taking such strict control appears to be the intention of eradicating a blooming unlicensed sales industry throughout the province.
Never-the-less, this opens the door to many greater possibilities in the future, as cannabis is rapidly losing its long-held stigma as a harmful, psychotic drug and becoming culturally welcome. In the U.S. elderly people now make up the swiftest growing demographic of cannabis users, demonstrating the unforeseen realities of legalization.
About the Author
Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.
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