The province of Ontario has announced its plans to source, vet and notify the public of stores that will (legally) sell marijuana next year.
As reported last month, Ontario's government will soon be rolling out approximately 150 standalone pot shops across the province.
This will no doubt bring many new options to people in Toronto who want to buy cannabis.
Of course, It'll also see the closure of every other dispensary that already exists in the city – and if you live downtown, I don't need to tell you how many highly-frequented but not-so-legal weed stores are thriving right now.
So Ontario plans to open 40 pot shops in 2018? There are 60 dispensaries in Toronto alone and mine is lined up half an hour deep most days.— Benjamin Rayner (@IhateBenRayner) September 9, 2017
"Today, letters were sent to all municipalities in Ontario to share the next steps for establishing retail stores," reads the Ministry of Finance release. "The process will be led by the LCBO, working closely with the government and local communities."
Step number one involves choosing the municipalities where stores will be located. The province will determine this based on geographic distribution and the number of illegal dispensaries currently open in any given region.
Next, The LCBO will "identify specific store locations" with the goals of ensuring young people are protected (read: no pot stores near schools) and that the illegal market is impacted.
Once a potential store has been identified, the LCBO will post a notice online for locals to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback.
All of this needs to happen before the federal government legalizes cannabis (as planned) in July of 2018, so expect to see a lot of NIMBYism hot takes this winter and spring.
Only 40 stores will be open to start, but the news release says that "online distribution will be available to service all regions of the province" as soon as pot becomes legal in Canada.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO