Today, the government of Ontario sent out a letter to the many municipalities across the province to inform local governments of the next steps in determining where the first provincially-run retail cannabis outlets will open.
The two primary objectives for store locations will be “to achieve geographic distribution of stores across the province” and “to reduce the number of illegal stores, including dispensaries, currently in operation.”
Ontario plans to open 150 cannabis retail stores by 2020, with 40 planned for 2018 and an additional 50 the following year.
After the government decides on a prospective store location, a notice will be posted on a new website created by the Liquor Control Board (LCBO) for Ontario cannabis retail news.
Before a final decision is made on a location, the public will be invited to comment on the location’s suitability for the neighborhood.
“Municipalities are essential partners in our efforts to distribute cannabis across the province,” said Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. “As we move forward with retail implementation, officials from the Ministry of Finance and the LCBO will meet with municipalities that have been identified for potential sites to discuss concerns and next steps in this initiative.”
On Sept. 8, the government of Ontario announced its plans for a provincially-controlled monopoly on cannabis sales, overseen by the LCBO. The province of New Brunswick recently announced a similar retail structure.
Photo courtesy of Derek Purdy