Cannabis retail stores are set to open to the public on April 1, 2018. And to guide private cannabis businesses, the Ontario government has released its retail guidelines.
Until cannabis retail sales are launched in April, the drug can only be legally obtained from the province-run online store, Ontario Cannabis Store.
What are these retail guidelines?
The applications process for cannabis sales licenses will start on Dec. 17, 2018. Illegal cannabis retailers operating after the October 17 legalization won’t be eligible to receive licenses
The government will not issue sales licenses to any person or organization associated with organized crime. Applicants must also show their tax compliance status in order to demonstrate that they are in good standing with the Ontario government.
- Each licensed retailer can operate up to 75 cannabis stores.
- Retail managers and store employees need to complete approved training in responsible cannabis sales.
- Stand-alone stores can be open on any day between 9 in the morning and 11 in the evening.
- Stand-alone stores must be at least 150 meters away from schools, including private schools and federally funded First Nation schools off-reserve.
- Stores must prohibit the entry of individuals below the age of 19.
Why the need for these guidelines?
According to a statement from Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, the purpose of these regulations is to ensure the safety of kids and the youth. These are also to make sure that roads and communities in the province are safe.
What’s more, establishing these guidelines will help the government combat the cannabis black market. These will help ensure that everyone operating a business in this tightly regulated retail system behave with honesty, with integrity, and within the public interest.
The Ontario government has also pledged to provide C$40 million over two years in order to help the municipalities with the cost associated with the implementation of recreational cannabis legalization.