ontario cannabis store rules

Ontario announces rules for cannabis retail stores

Want to open a pot shop? In just over a month, you'll be able to apply for the privilege—unless you have back taxes, an "association with organized crime" or already own a store that sells cannabis.

These are but a few of the regulations released by Ontario's PC government Wednesday night pertaining to private recreational cannabis stores, which will open for business across the province on April 1, 2019.

"The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe," said Attorney General Caroline Mulroney in a news release. "And to ensure all people operating in this tightly-regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest."

So, what are they?

Well, for starters, nobody under 19 can enter a private cannabis store. Ever. Not even with their parents.

Stores must also be placed at least 150 metres away from schools and be considered "stand-alone" locations (read: they can't be in strip malls). 

Licensed retailers will be able to sell weed between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. every day, under these regulations, with a maximum of 75 stores per operator allowed in Ontario.

Anyone working at one of these stores will be required to complete a government-approved training program in the responsible sale of cannabis.

Applications for licenses to sell will begin on December 17, though the release notes that any "illegal cannabis retailers who were operating after legalization on Oct. 17 will not be eligible to receive cannabis sales licences."

As it stands now, Ontarians may only purchase marijuana from the province's not-so-smooth online store. That, or illegally.

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