Ontario is far behind in preparedness on its legal cannabis stores

Ontario's only cannabis store is not ready for legalization yet. (File image via Global News)
Ontario's only cannabis store is not ready for legalization yet. (File image via Global News)

The Cannabis Act is back in the Senate for final approval, with some officials expecting the recreational use of marijuana legalized by the week’s end.

However, Ontario, Canada’s most populated province, is ill-prepared.

In Scarborough, a district and former city in Toronto is the location of province’s only government-run Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) that has been announced so far.

With a sign that says “FOR LEASE,” Ontario’s only OCS is not ready to open on day one when recreational cannabis is legalized, Global News reported.

With a population of 13.6 million, Ontario has announced that it will open 40 OCS stores in 2018. That means there will be on OCS store per 338,000 Ontarians.

In April, the locations of Ontario’s first four OCS stores were announced. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and the OCS said the shops will be in Guelph, Kingston, Toronto and Thunder Bay.

four - Ontario is far behind in preparedness on its legal cannabis stores

Interestingly enough, Ontario was the first province to announce a detailed plan to sell and distribute recreational marijuana and will set the legal age to purchase it at 19.

But elsewhere in Canada, some provinces are all set.

In Quebec, the French-speaking province will start with 20 stores on Day 1 of legalization, one for every 408,000 residents.

In Saint John, N.B., a brand-new CannabisNB store was opened earlier this week. It is one of 11 across the province that are ready to open any minute, Global News reported, adding that another nine will follow in the fall, leaving a cannabis store for every 37,000 New Brunswickers.

Meanwhile, on Day 1, P.E.I. will have four stores open, one for every 35,000 residents, while Nova Scotia will open nine to start with and three more in the fall, or one for every 76,000 Nova Scotians.

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