Ontario’s network of government-owned and operated liquor stores will not be expanded to include weed, according to an article in the Globe and Mail newspaper tonight. The government will, however, establish a new network of weed dispensaries to handle the province’s legal weed distribution, according to the report.
That proposed 40-store retail network will not allow edibles or drinks to be sold, and will be responsible for online sales in the province, reportedly.
The province’s plan will focus on the price of the drug according to sources, specifically not charging consumers too much. A lower price will be aimed at concerns that heavy taxes could drive Ontarians to the black market. Most of the rules establishing how stores are laid out and how they can be operated will be set by coming federal legislation.
Ontario will also ban users from purchasing the product until the age of 19, a year older than federal rules dictate.
There is no indication in the report, which says a longer statement will be dropped Friday, as to whether Ontario’s decision to handle online sales will be to the exclusion of current licensed producers.
Meanwhile, PEI has joined Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick in hinting that monopolizing the weed business might be its easiest option, according to MJBizDaily. Further west, the BC and Alberta NDP governments have remained quiet on the topic.
— Chris Parry