After successfully laying out its Cannabis Plan last month and rolling out regulations for the legal sale and distribution of the drug, the Canadian province of Ontario has finally released the names of the first 14 cities where the first cannabis stores will be located when the government decriminalizes the drug next year.
These cities will be located in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton and Hamilton regions, Barrie, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Vaughan and Windsor.
The plan was outlined by the Ministry of Finance and Liquor Control Board of Ontario on Friday. The LCBO added that the shops will be run through a subsidiary. The shops are set to open on July 2018, in sync with the legalization date of recreational pot in the whole country.
The committees said they will convene with their staff in the following weeks to discuss the issue further and move the project along.
Based on the framework just rolled out just recently, certain guidelines are to be established in order to make sure that the interests of the communities are protected and that the needs of the citizens are served. Particular emphasis was placed on the protection of youth against illegal drug access by prohibiting any store to be near the vicinity of schools.
The government of Ontario says they will release new locations soon, promising a fair and easy access to the drug via an online retail platform.
The province plans to set up about 150 stores by 2020. The first 40 stores will be set up by next year with 40 more the following year.