The Ontario government has announced a framework to manage the sale and use of marijuana, which includes an online ordering service and roughly 150 stand-alone stores.
Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Health Minister Eric Hoskins are scheduled to reveal the Ontario plan at a news conference Friday morning.
More recently, a survey conducted by Nanos Research in July 2018 found that 55% of Ontario residents preferred cannabis be sold by licensed private retailers rather than province-run liquor stores.
Ontario unveiled plans to sell recreational marijuana through government-run stores and online on Friday, choosing a monopoly model it hopes will stamp out a proliferation of illegal stores and the broader black market.
Only those 19 years of age and older will be allowed to purchase or possess it.
Ottawa plans to legalize marijuana by July of 2018, but is leaving it up to the provinces to design their own regulatory system.
Alcohol and cannabis will not be sold alongside each other.
"We want to take the time to listen to and consult with the people of this province to ensure we implement the parts of this legislation that are under our control in a way that works for Saskatchewan".
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The province will continue to engage with municipal and policing partners, stakeholders and community partners, including Indigenous and First Nations partners to ensure we are giving police the tools they need to prioritize the protection of public health and safety, including road safety.
Legalization would make Canada the second country to have nationwide legalization, after Uruguay. People would not be allowed to consume any form of recreational cannabis in public places, workplaces or when inside a motor vehicle.
The federal government has pledged to work with provinces and commit resources to pot-related needs like public security, policing and educational campaigns.
"Frankly, this is uncharted territory and we're going to have to monitor it and see how it develops", Sousa said.
But despite the concerns, Ontario is moving ahead and Naqvi said the time-tested model at the LCBO made sense as a blueprint for cannabis in the province.
Ontario's opposition parties both panned the government plan.
The government also promises new measures to address drug-impaired driving in the coming weeks.
"Now, we're left to ask if the number of locations is correct, where they'll be located, how communities will be involved in the decision process, and how pot products will be priced and taxed", Bisson said.