(Canadian Press)

Ontario will sell pot online when legalization comes in the fall

There are further plans to have pot in private retail stores in early 2019

Canada’s most populous province 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.

Online sales in Ontario will be operated by a government agency called the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The province says a “tightly regulated” private retail model will start operation by April 1, 2019.

The Tory government is reversing course on their Liberal predecessors’ plan to have legalized cannabis distributed through publicly owned and operated stores.

Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, who made the announcement today, say municipalities can opt out of hosting any pot shops within their boundaries.

The legal age to buy recreational cannabis will remain 19 and consumers will only be allowed to use legalized pot in a private residence, including the outdoor space of the home.

Mulroney said the government’s key objective with the new retail model was public safety.

“We will be ready to put in place a safe, legal system for cannabis retail that will protect consumers,” she said. “We will also be ready to undermine the illegal market and protect Ontario’s roads. Most importantly of all, we will be ready to protect our kids.”

Fedeli said private retailers will have to follow a series of rules including prohibiting the sale of marijuana to anyone under the age of 19. Anyone caught violating the rules will face “severely escalating fines,” he said.

“The government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores,” he said. “Instead, we will work with private sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market.”

Fedeli added that the online retail channel will have a “robust verification system” and will ensure safe home delivery for cannabis products.

The province says it will learn from the private models being implemented in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The previous Liberal government had planned to give the Liquor Control Board of Ontario a monopoly on the sale of recreational cannabis.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mathieu Caron leads Chilliwack Chiefs to shutout win over Wenatchee Wild

Chilliwack’s netminder stopped 29 pucks Saturday night in a BCHL Showcase game at Prospera Centre.

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

VIDEO: Foster and adopted children claimed and named

Traditional ceremony welcomes children into community

Whitecaps see playoff dreams fade after 2-1 loss to FC Dallas

Goal in 87th minute seals Vancouver’s fate

Porsche impounded for going 138 km/hr in 90 zone during charity rally

West Vancouver Police said wet roads and heavy rain made it extra dangerous

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

Phase 2 of $1.35B Royal Columbian upgrades won’t be a public-private partnership

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix says it will be a design-build

Trump drains oxygen from Trudeau foreign policy with PM, Freeland bound for UN

A lot has changed since the Liberals came to power in Canada in 2015

B.C. man fined $15,000, barred from trading securities for fraud

Larry Keith Davis used money from an investor to pay personal bills

Emergency crews investigate small sulphuric acid spill in Kootenays

IRM states a small volume of less than one cup and three dime-sized drips were leaked from carrier

Most Read