The Ontario government has announced a framework for legal marijuana.
The plan, unveiled yesterday, will allow online as well as brick-and-mortar cannabis stores. Ontario officials expect there to be 80 marijuana stores open by July 1st, 2019, with 150 open by the following year. Online sales are expected to start throughout Ontario by July of 2018. The government is proposing a minimum age of 19 for purchasing marijuana from one of these outlets.
The plan was unveiled by Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins. The announcement makes Ontario the first province or territory in Canada to publicly put forth a comprehensive framework for marijuana, which will be legal throughout Canada by next year.
According to Naqvi, one of the primary goals of the plan is “stopping the sale of illegal, unregulated and unsafe cannabis”.
For cannabis retail outlets; “Trained and knowledgeable staff will sell products in a safe and socially responsible manner to restrict access for minors and give consumers the information they need,” said the Ministry of Finance in a statement.
Under the proposed framework, cannabis outlets would follow the same standards that apply to outlets that sell alcohol, as well as federal requirements for cannabis sales. This includes no self-service and mandatory training for staff members.
For online sales, the ministry says it will ensurte “secure and safe” delivery across Ontario.
About Anthony Martinelli
Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.