Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government has announced that cannabis will be sold by the province’s private providers in brick-and-mortar stores only starting April 2019, a full half year after the herb becomes legally available for recreational purposes.
In a sharp swerve from the former Liberal government’s plan for cannabis to be sold in government-operated facilities, the Progressive Conservatives said earlier this week that marijuana sales will be offered via the Ontario Cannabis Store once it is legalized on October 17.
The government assured that the online portal will include mechanisms to verify that buyers are age 19 and above, and that purchases will be no larger than 30 grams. Private retail sales will take place only on April 1, 2019 onwards.
“Implementing this new approach will take time,” Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stated, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We have to get this right and we will not be rushed.”
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Ontario remains the leading destination of Canadian cannabis producers and merchants, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust noted.
RioCan estimated that legalization can drive demand for as much as 200,000 square feet (19,000 square metres) of rental and retail space across Canada. Marijuana is projected to earn $4.9 billion in sales nationwide by 2022, according to a recent study by U.S. cannabis research firms Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.
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