Two northern municipalities to be the first stand-alone cannabis stores out of 14
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 11:43AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, November 3, 2017 7:22PM EDT
As the government prepares the plan to legalize cannabis by July 2018, the LCBO and Ministry of Finance have selected 14 Ontario cities to have stand-alone cannabis stores.
Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie made the list.
Here is a look at all the municipalities that have been selected:
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Thunder Bay
Staff from the LCBO and the Ministry of Finance will meet with the local staff in chosen cities to discuss the guidelines and the process in choosing sites examining local interest.
They have guidelines set up to ensure the safety of youth by promising no cannabis stores will be situated near schools.
Public notices will appear online as well as at the selected location.
Before sites are confirmed, the public will be able to submit questions or comments.
While many who are eagerly awaiting marijuana legalization this summer may be happy to hear that Sudbury is first in line for a new LCBO retail store, there's still mixed reaction to the Ontario government's plan to monopolize the sale of legal bud in the province.
Kevin Morgan has severe post-traumatic stress disorder, as result of childhood abuse and a mining accident. He's been using marijuana both therapeutically and recreationally for 30 years.
"Obviously we need regulation on any medicine, whether it's pharmaceutical or natural. But to have it all in the hands of one company, one organization, I think that's wrong. Because you're going to have people, like with the dispensaries, that have craft growers, and grow specifically for their clientele and develop strains that will help with very specific disorders. On the scale that the Ontario government is planning, I can't see that that's feasible." said Morgan.
Meanwhile, retired OPP officer, Ron Roy, who now advocates against impaired driving, applauds the government’s decision.
"The LCBO has done a real good job with the liquor aspect of it, and with that training and expertise, I think they're the people to do it. They're not doing it for profit, same as the liquor. So if they feel that someone is underage they always ask, there's signs that are up, if you look under 25, they're going to do the same thing with that. If you look stoned or what not, it's nothing off their backs. They're just not going to sell to you.” said Roy.
The LCBO plans to have the first 14 stores open in time for legalization to come into effect with a plan to roll out a total of 150 stores and online sales of cannabis products by 2020.