Marijuana Monopoly: Kathleen Wynne is Restricting Sales to 150 LCBO-Run Stores
Premier Kathleen Wynne is cornering the recreational marijuana market by restricting sales to 150 LCBO-run stores, sources say.
The standalone cannabis outlets – physically separate from existing provincial-owned liquor stores – and a government-controlled website will be the only place weed can lawfully be sold after Ottawa legalizes it on July 1.
In a move that will close scores of illegal weed “dispensaries” that now dot Ontario cities, the provincial government will limit the sale of cannabis to weed grown by producers licenced by Health Canada.
Only those 19 and older will be allowed to purchase marijuana.
Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Health Minister Eric Hoskins and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi are unveiling the plan Friday after Queen’s Park after months of work from Ontario’s cannabis secretariat.
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which runs the province’s 651 liquor stores – using workers who are members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union – will oversee all retail sales and run the online service.