Pubdate: Tue, 31 Oct 2017
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Toronto Star
Author: Robert Benzie
Page: A5


Cannabis sales to be handled by subsidiary of LCBO after legislation
passes, Wynne says

Ontario's forthcoming cannabis legislation should spell the end of the
illegal marijuana"dispensaries" that are still operating, warns
Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Attorney General Yasir Naqvi will table a bill on Wednesday that will
outline the provincial rules surrounding recreational marijuana when
the federal government legalizes cannabis next July 1.

The premier said Monday there would be no surprises in the new law,
which will restrict weed consumption to those19 and older and confine
its use to private homes.

"It will lay out more details around essentially the framework that we
have talked about, and, you know, as we said, the (retail) entity will
be a subsidiary of the LCBO," she told reporters. "We will have more
clarity then about exactly what we have to implement going forward."

Wynne said she hoped that, once the legislation is passed, it would
eliminate any ambiguity about the storefront cannabis shops operating
around the province.

"Our expectation is that those dispensaries will be shut down, because
we are going to be putting a new framework in place and the
legislation will make that clear," the premier said.

Asked why the illegal pot shops are still open for business, she said:
"That's a conversation that we need to have with municipalities and
with law enforcement.

"But I believe that, as it becomes clearer what the rules are going to
be, I think it will make it easier for municipalities to take action."

Queen's Park will give communities a say in where the 150 stand-alone
LCBO-operated cannabis shops will be located in order to keep them a
safe distance from schools.

In a presentation Monday at a St. Michael's Hospital symposium on
marijuana legalization, former attorney general Michael Bryant
expressed concern about the impact on children and youth. Bryant noted
there is already a "treatment deficit for kids with drug or alcohol
dependence" in the province.

"I sense little public pressure to kick a robust public health and
education policy into gear," he said.

"So many dollar signs in our eyes . . . we can't see that quiet,
isolated, angry, fearful kid in the corner who needs our help."
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