Ontario's brick-and-mortar cannabis shops to wait until April 2019

by Ephraim Vecina17 Aug 2018

While Ontario remains the leading destination of Canadian cannabis producers and merchants, the Progressive Conservative government has announced that the drug will be sold by the province’s private providers in brick-and-mortar stores only starting April 1, 2019.

This is nearly six months after the herb becomes legally available for recreational purposes, a federal policy move projected to earn $4.9 billion in sales nationwide by 2022, according to a recent study by U.S. cannabis research firms Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust earlier estimated that legal marijuana can drive demand for as much as 200,000 square feet (19,000 square metres) of rental and retail space across Canada.

Read more: Rental, retail spaces to see influx of demand with legalization

Diverging from the former Liberal government’s plan for cannabis to be sold in specialized facilities, Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives said earlier this week that marijuana sales will be offered through a government-run online portal once it is legalized on October 17.

The government added that the Ontario Cannabis Store’s verification mechanisms will guarantee that buyers are only age 19 and above, and that each purchase will be no larger than 30 grams.

“Implementing this new approach will take time,” Finance Minister Vic Fedeli stated, as quoted by Bloomberg. “We have to get this right and we will not be rushed.”


Related stories:
Calgary’s commercial spaces a prime candidate for cannabis
Lawyer urges condos to draft cannabis rules now rather than later


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