Marijuana will be sold in Ontario through a chain of government-run stores, all existing medical cannabis dispensaries will be closed, and consumption will be limited to private homes, Ontario’s Liberal government said Friday in announcing the province’s framework governing recreational MJ.
The measures effectively shut the door to private businesses in the retail space and will make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to get a slice of the legalized cannabis sector when recreational legalization is set to come into force next summer.
The stand-alone outlets will be run by the LCBO, Ontario’s government-run liquor monopoly, which operates a chain of 651 liquor stores across the province.
Legislation will be introduced later this fall.
In announcing the cannabis framework, the government said illegal dispensaries currently operating in the province would be “shut down.”
About 60 dispensaries are operating in Toronto alone.
The provinces have until next summer to come up with regulations on taxation, retail, public consumption and home cultivation.
Ottawa has committed to legalizing the adult-use industry by July 1, 2018.
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