Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jan 2018
Source: News, The (New Glasgow, CN NS)
Copyright: 2018 Transcontinental Inc.
Page: A4


Far out, man, New Glasgow is chosen as one of the select spots around
Nova Scotia that will have marijuana available. If you're one of those
interested in partaking of the herb once legalized, consider yourself
lucky, because these places are few and far between.

If you live in a remote corner of Pictou County and think driving in
to town for groceries is a long haul, well, it's a lot less daunting a
prospect compared to what some tokers will face.

The province announced Tuesday that cannabis products for recreational
use will be sold in nine stores across Nova Scotia, all of them NSLC
outlets, as had previously been ordained. Four will be in the Halifax
area, which kind of makes sense since that region is home to well over
a third of the population. Otherwise, in addition to New Glasgow's
East River Road liquor store, you'd be looking at a trip to Amherst,
Truro, Yarmouth or Sydney River.

That's right, a single outlet for all of Cape Breton. If you live
along the South Shore, or far end of the Annapolis Valley, figure on
an excursion to Yarmouth.

We can only surmise, with this model in place, that the long-term goal
would be to eventually make it available at some other stores, to cut
down the distance for interested buyers.

There will, in addition, be online sales offered by the liquor
corporation, with home delivery available. And people will also be
able to grow their own - up to four plants per household.

Granted, far from a majority of Nova Scotians intend to consume
marijuana, certainly not on a regular basis. A recent survey pegged it
at below 20 per cent, and some of those would be occasional users.

But this kind of setup begs the question of why we're going through
this in the first place. The federal government's point of legalizing
this drug, long used illicitly for recreational purposes, was to take
sales out of the hands of the criminal element.

The thing with that is, making legal sales inconvenient helps keep
opportunities open for the underworld.

Many might question why a government would want to put two potent
drugs under the same roof - even if sold in separate areas.

There is, however, some rationale in the approach in that liquor
stores already tend to have good security systems in place. We trust
personnel will need to go through extensive training for the new
products, not only to restrict sales to those old enough but to have
reasonable knowledge about different strains and varieties.

But the distances between some of these outlets presents a dilemma.
Nova Scotia's conservative approach to liquor sales post-Prohibition
certainly fostered a flourishing bootlegger trade in every nook and
cranny across the province. Expect the same with cannabis sales.

And, apart from that, where did you say those seeds are available?
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