Ontario says it will sell recreational cannabis through an online retail channel when it is legalized this fall, with plans to have pot in private retail stores early next year.
Here are the highlights of the announcement:
- After cannabis legalization on Oct. 17, the Ontario government says it will create an online platform and a private retail model for cannabis by April 1, 2019.
- Consumers who are 19 or older will be able to purchase cannabis on an online platform provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store.
- The OCS online channel will include a verification system for home delivery of cannabis products.
- Online purchase will be limited to 30 grams to comply with the federal government’s possession limit.
- The OCS website will provide a selection of dried cannabis, cannabis oil-based products, cannabis seeds and accessories.
- Private retailers will have to follow a series of provincial rules, such as only selling cannabis to those 19 or older.
- There is a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or up to two years in prison for first convictions for those who sell or distribute cannabis illegally, or those who allow their property to be used to sell or distribute illegal cannabis.
- There is a maximum fine of $1 million for corporations that sell or distribute cannabis illegally or allow their property to be used to sell or distribute illegal cannabis.
- As of July 1, 2018, Ontario will have tougher drug-impaired driving laws, including a “zero tolerance for young and novice drivers and commercial drivers.”
- The provincial government will provide $40 million to municipalities over two years to help with costs, such as law enforcement, incurred with the legalization of recreational marijuana.
- Municipalities will also have “a one-time window” where they can opt out of permitting physical cannabis retail stores within their boundaries.
- The provincial government says there will be consultations with municipalities, Indigenous communities, law enforcement, public health advocates, businesses and consumer groups and other provinces.