Province releases regulations for private cannabis stores

Irving Hamilton
November 16, 2018

"Now that hours are expanded, it is time to allow for private retail sale in Ontario convenience stores, and to end the LCBO's monopoly on the sale of spirits", said Clement. This approach and other regulations were developed to address the risk of youth exposure to the cannabis retail market. The process will be open to those who previously ran illegal dispensaries, although they will have to have been shut down prior to Canada's October 17 legalization day.

Licences also won't be issued to anyone who has an association with organized crime, and applicants must demonstrate their tax compliance status.

Under former Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne's plan for recreational cannabis, the product would have been sold out of government stores that were a minimum of 450 metres from schools. Cannabis shops will bar entry to anyone under the age of 19.

Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said in the new release that the application process for private cannabis retail store licences will begin on December 17, 2018.

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Finance Minister Vic Fedeli has confirmed LCBO, Beer Store and grocery store outlets for purchasing alcohol can all choose to open from 9 a.m.to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

The hours "will provide retailers with the flexibility to respond to local market conditions and consumer demands", the provincial government said in a news release.

The government has committed to providing $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.

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