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LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

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Re: LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

Post by Guest on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 15:44

Pot legalization brings tougher penalties for all impaired drivers in Ontario

September 18, 2017

The impending legalization of marijuana has the Ontario government planning to toughen the penalties for driving drunk, not just stoned.

The changes, announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne and Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca Monday morning, will particularly affect drivers under age 21, novice drivers with limited licences and commercial drivers. None of them will be permitted to have any alcohol or cannabis in their systems if they’re driving, and violations will be treated with harsher roadside punishments — steeper cash penalties and, in some cases, longer driving suspensions.

Technically, these are “administrative penalties,” not fines, which means police can apply them unilaterally, on the spot.

“Let me be clear: Driving while impaired is not acceptable and will not be tolerated,” Del Duca said at the Queen’s Park news conference, his manner grim. Ontario has one of the best records on traffic collisions and deaths in North America, he said, but “our previous accomplishments in this regard do not necessarily guarantee future success.”

Though driving impaired by any drug is illegal, drug laws have done the heavy lifting in punishing stoned drivers. Once pot is legal, the police will need other ways of handling drivers they catch going 15 in a 50 zone, red-eyed and giggly.

In Ontario, cases of impaired driving have been declining. Between 2008 and 2014, the last year for which the province has published complete figures, the number of criminal convictions for impaired driving fell from about 7,000 to about 3,400. The number of roadside licence suspensions declined from about 17,600 to about 13,600.

But the trail-blazer in North America everyone looks to is Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2014 and has seen the number of road fatalities involving drivers with cannabis in their systems more than double.

So, first thing, no pot at all for youth drivers, those with graduated licences, or at the wheels of commercial vehicles. They’ll test your spit with a (yet-to-be-approved) cannabis-detection device and if they find any, it’ll mean a three-day licence suspension on the spot, a $250 not-a-fine fine and possible referral for re-education. Graduated-licence drivers might have to start over again. Being caught a second time will mean a seven-day suspension and a $350 penalty; a third time will mean a 30-day suspension and a $450 penalty.

The reason for treating novice and younger drivers more harshly is that they’re more likely to get into collisions and especially need their wits about them, the government says. Commercial drivers are more likely to pilot larger, heavier vehicles that can do more harm in a crash.

The same penalties will apply to all drivers with blood-alcohol readings over 0.05 and those who fail sobriety tests because of any kind of intoxication. That toughens the current financial penalty of $198. And drivers caught with blood-alcohol readings over 0.08 will face the same 90-day suspensions they do now, but increased financial penalties of $550.

“All of these measures are in addition to federal criminal charges for impaired driving,” Del Duca said. A driver could face a pile of these various penalties for one impaired outing behind the wheel.

Toughening the drunk-driving penalties at the same time as bringing in new drugged-driving rules is meant to make them easier to remember and understand, Del Duca said, because there won’t be one set of penalties for alcohol and one for marijuana.

The transportation minister was the designated heavy, taking up the role shared by the finance minister, health minister and attorney general in a similar presentation about a week ago on how Ontario will sell pot. The subtext of all four ministerial performances has been that they’re doing this because the feds are making them and they really hate it.

Wynne, meanwhile, was in isn’t-this-an-interesting-policy-problem mode, which is perhaps her favourite. She hadn’t been at the retailing announcement so this was her first time talking about the logistics of legalizing marijuana. She herself decided the government’s initial plan for 40 LCBO-like marijuana shops wasn’t enough, that it would leave too much of the market to illegal sales, she said. So that’s why the plan is to open 150 stores within a couple of years of legalization next summer.

“This is a new frontier for us here in Ontario. It’s a real shift for all of us across the country,” she said. The government’s been working on its plans for months and is one of the provinces that’s done the most so far.

“We in Ontario had a very clear goal. We had a goal to balance the new freedom that people in Ontario will have to use cannabis recreationally with the expectation that it will be used safely.”

How, for instance, are drivers who are allowed to have smoked a little pot to know just how stoned they can expect to get? That’ll take education and a clear labelling regime for how strong different strains of pot are. Even so, people are notoriously bad at judging how drunk they get, despite decades of effort by public-health and law-enforcement authorities.

“There’s a lot of work yet to be done and potency is one part of that,” Wynne said.


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Ontario forging ahead on marijuana with police ready or not

Post by Guest on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 08:51

Ontario forging ahead on marijuana with police ready or not

"The federal government is fairly committed to the July 1 timeline. They feel that they’ve provided sufficient time to everyone to get prepared," Naqvi said by phone from Vancouver on Friday. "Ontario is leading the pack at the moment."


Published on: September 17, 2017

While police in Ontario and Canada are worried they will not be prepared in time for marijuana legalization, Attorney General Yasir Naqvi says the provincial government is forging ahead, aiming to be ready for the federal Liberals’ July 1 legalization date, and he expects police will manage to enforce the law once it passes.

“The federal government is fairly committed to the July 1 timeline. They feel that they’ve provided sufficient time to everyone to get prepared,” Naqvi said by phone from Vancouver on Friday. “Ontario is leading the pack at the moment.”

That said, Naqvi conceded he would “keep the options open” if, at a later date, the Ontario government needed to go to the federal government and say, whoa, y’all need to slow this down. But, he reiterated repeatedly, following a media conference after a meeting of provincial and territorial justice ministers and federal counterpart Jody Wilson-Raybould, how committed the Ontario Liberals were to hitting the deadline.

It’s true that Ontario has got a decent amount done on the file, being the first province, on Sept. 8, to present how it plans to sell pot from LCBO-style establishments. Still, it hasn’t released its tax scheme and the plans to shut down the dozens of illegal dispensaries around Ontario haven’t been particularly well explained or justified.

What Naqvi said about Ontario simply having to get ready in time – which basically suggests that’s the case whether everyone likes it or not – revealed the crux of the issue of pot legalization: Justin Trudeau’s government did not provide a whole lot of guidance, downloading many of the decisions, such as point of sale and age of purchase, onto provincial governments. Some questions, it seems, just haven’t been considered: home-grown pot plants can only be 100 centimetres tall, but there’s no width set, as the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has noted. Yet it’s going to be up to police officers and pot retailers to handle whatever comes from politicians and quite simply make the best of it.

The problem with this approach (not that it’s unique in Canada, where provinces shoulder a whole lot of the burden of running a country) is that governments, at some point, are going to run out of people upon which to offload responsibility. The lack of guidance leaves those who are going to be handling this brave new world day-to-day in an awkward position. If something goes wrong, it’s going to be someone’s fault.

The only question is who.

Last week, the House of Commons health committee heard from witnesses on the marijuana bill, among them, police, who were extremely blunt in their assessment of the circumstances. “Canadian police services will not be equipped to provide officers with the training and resources necessary to enforce the new regime within the existing contemplated timeframe,” said a brief from the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

At the heart of this is a fairly serious conundrum: If criminalizing pot use is wrong, then day by day it becomes less and less morally defensible to enforce those laws and use them to press Canadians through the legal system.

That means it makes wonderful ethical sense (not to mention political, as this isn’t a promise the Liberals want to fail on) to legalize marijuana with all haste. It just might not make practical sense, especially when it’s police who are worried.

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly,” says Macbeth, a useful axiom, except that, in the case of pot, it won’t be done when it’s done. Legalization will be merely the beginning of whatever comes next, legally and socially.

Yes, the pot bill does legalize marijuana, but it also maintains a criminal regime. Strict rules are set on how much pot one can have on them (30 grams), how many plants can be grown in a home (four) and drug-impaired driving. Police are going to be responsible for dealing with this, and, if they’re not confident they can enforce it, that means there’s trouble ahead.

Naqvi, for his part, seems to have faith in Ontario’s officers of the law.

“I’ve always been struck by how hard they work and they always respect the law, and, if there is a law that is ready, and it comes into force on July 1, then I have full confidence that OPP and other police services across the province would comply with it,” he said.

Police, no doubt, will enforce the law as it exists. The issue is what happens after that. Already, the spectre of shabby science on detecting pot impairment on our roads has been raised. Politicians have gone out of their way to insist how seriously the issue of drug-impaired driving is being taken, and who can fault them? But the police, who are going to be enforcing this, if they don’t have the requisite training and the necessary equipment, these details will be fought out in courts, institutions that are already groaning under the load of criminal cases on the docket.

This doesn’t mean that slowing legalization is necessarily the answer. It might be, it might not. But it does mean, that at some point, for the federal government, postponing might be the best bet to ensure people are safe, police are prepared and the whole system doesn’t end up hurting folks when it’s supposed to be improving Canadian society.

Faith in the necessity – or virtues of legalized pot simply isn’t enough to make the new regime a success.

Tyler Dawson is deputy editorial pages editor of the Ottawa Citizen.


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Ontario’s cannabis regulations a good start, but with a few wrinkles to fix

Post by Guest on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 15:40

Ontario’s cannabis regulations a good start, but with a few wrinkles to fix

Published on: September 15, 2017

Last week, Ontario presented its draft regulations for cannabis use and supply under the forthcoming federal legalization framework. Overall, they present a good foundation towards provincial regulations for improved public health and safety. Specifically, they include provisions for a provincial cannabis retail monopoly with behind-the-counter distribution; an age-limit of 19 years for cannabis use; and a pledge for comprehensive prevention and harm reduction measures as related to cannabis use.

However, a couple of issues in Ontario’s plan raise some concern.

While the age limit of 19 years for legal cannabis possession is a sensible political compromise – especially vis-à-vis the correspondingly identical age limits for alcohol and tobacco – a crucial question is: What will happen to young people in possession of or using cannabis under age? Let us remember: Cannabis use rates are highest among those aged 16 to 18, where as many as two in five individuals are current users. Legalization will likely not decrease this rate – but may possibly increase use rates, at least initially, in this vulnerable group. So law-breaking in that group will be common.

The provision to “allow police to confiscate small amounts of cannabis from young people,” while pledging that the approach will protect youth and “focus on prevention, diversion, and harm reduction without unnecessarily bringing them into contact with the justice system” is neither sufficiently clear nor reassuring. Under prohibition, too many young lives have been harmed by the criminal consequences of trivial cannabis-related behaviours. Relying mainly on police inevitably will leave legal marks, and too easily extend young people’s entanglement in the criminal justice system because of some weed. To truly protect the health and welfare of young Ontarians, we must find better ways to deal with this issue outside of the heavy hands of law enforcement.

Further disconcerting is the plan to restrict cannabis exclusively to private homes. First, there is no good reason why cannabis, which is overall not more hazardous to others’ health than alcohol or tobacco, should be governed more restrictively in terms of sanctioned spaces for use (these other legal substances can either be enjoyed in licensed public premises, or in many public spaces). The proposed spatial restrictions extend a longstanding discrimination inherent in cannabis control that should be replaced by evidence- and proportionality-based approaches as we move towards legalization.

The use restrictions also confine and marginalize cannabis use – together with possibly a significant proportion of cannabis production, unless the ill-advised “home-growing” feature is deleted from federal legislation – into private homes, with potentially adverse consequences. Private homes, after all, are not just the homes of cannabis users, but many non-users as well, including parents, spouses – and children. Children should not be exposed to the health hazards of cannabis use (or production), especially since the home is the space most difficult for authorities to control. These provisions seem mostly driven by “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” motives, which renders them short-sighted and counter to public health objectives.

The use restrictions also ignore the sentiment that legalization will bolster the status of cannabis use as a social activity, rather than one confining it to the proverbial private “bedrooms of the nation.” Many people are likely to defy the proposed public use ban and consume cannabis in public streets, parks and squares anyways. What will enforcement authorities do? Ignore the public resistance? That would make a mockery of the categorical public use restriction – which gives the best reason to scrap it now. Or will violations be enforced? That would likely entail selective and arbitrary enforcement, focusing mainly on a few and likely vulnerable public users – and hence just reproduce some of the injustices of cannabis-use enforcement under the current prohibition practices.

Ontario’s cannabis plan is a good first draft for sensible, public health-oriented regulations for upcoming legalization, but with a couple of wrinkles that could spoil its otherwise positive foundation. These should, and can easily, be revised by July 2018.

Benedikt Fischer, PhD, is Senior Scientist, Institute of Mental Health Policy Research, CAMH, and Chair in Addiction Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.


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Sell pot just like LCBO, where boss earns $500K and clerks $27 an hour

Post by Guest on Tue 12 Sep 2017, 07:54

Sell pot just like LCBO, where boss earns $500K and clerks $27 an hour

Published on: September 11, 2017

The government selling weed to anybody is a terrible idea.

So is the creation of a subsidiary of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario to create and run a retail network.

I was noodling around Ontario’s sunshine list on Monday, the phone-book sized document that catalogues public-sector salaries over $100,000.

The LCBO has either 359 or 313 employees on the list — honestly, it was like counting jelly beans in a giant jar — including a president and CEO who made $494,308 in 2016. Everyone worth every penny, no doubt.

But it brings us to the central point when the government retails anything: the overhead costs are ridiculous. The stand-alone Cannabis Control Board of Ontario — if such is even its name — will be required to have “a board,” with paid members, supporting staff, some kind of secretariat one imagines, and an audit committee and such, and an annual report, and a logo, and offices and, one assumes, many, many more people on the sunshine list. This is before it sells a single gram.

The LCBO as a model? I was skimming its 2015/16 annual report, a 104-page gripper I’m sure cost nothing to produce. It listed 10 vice-presidents. It did not list the names of 8,000 in-store employees, most of them casual, some of whom earn close to $27 an hour to put wine in a bag.

That year, it cost $874 million in total expenses to run the LCBO, a scandalous sum lost in the vast billions that liquor brings in and the annual premium it sends to the province ($2 billion, give or take).

(Under “divisional expenses,” there was an entry for $122 million for “administrative” work, plus $43 million for sales and marketing and $31 million for logistics. The noodle boggles.)

For our own safety, no doubt, the LCBO reported it did 633,000 “quality assurance lab tests” in one year, for which there must be a whole department, with staff and supervisors and directors and barons and earls. Lord only knows how they’ll test truckloads of weed to be smoked by our kids.

You know, life was so much simpler when the mob and bikers ran marijuana.

So, the point is an old one, like the story of the $1.99 hammer that costs $59.99 after nine departments and six committees, in two languages, decide it is an appropriate device to strike nails. The government, not driven by a profit motive, is bad at selling and buying things.

Already, the first 40 stores — we’re guessing Ottawa gets three or four — sound silly. There will be no self-service and the products will not be “visible” to youth, instead in some kind of behind-the-counter setting. It being the government, the stores won’t be junky, but high-end, full of security devices and vaults and probably cost the Earth to lease or build.

People will line up for their pot, one assumes, like getting your licence-plate sticker, or returning stuff to IKEA. It sounds miserable. The products will not be sold alongside alcohol because, you know, these are two nations under God that never intersect.

Staff, the government assures, “will have knowledge of the individual products and public health information about how to use cannabis responsibly.” (On that note, I’d like to see the one living public health official who is going to encourage anyone to use cannabis “responsibly” or otherwise.)

There seems to be all this concern about keeping these weed shops away from schools. Why? Isn’t cannabis a suitable product for anyone over the age of 19? If not, why is the government selling it? And doesn’t the CCBO want to sell as much marijuana as possible? If so, set up right across from Carleton University and uOttawa and Algonquin.

Or are we just embarrassed about the whole thing?

The Globe and Mail published the results of an interesting poll on Monday. It found only seven per cent of respondents agreed with the Liberal government pitch that legally distributing marijuana would lead to a drop in consumption by Canada’s youth.

That’s because 93 per cent of Canadians are smart.

On the weekend, a friend related this comment passed along by her buddy: “You know, I haven’t talked to one parent who thinks this is a good idea.”

Look at the lead quote from Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s attorney general and himself the father of young children, who makes it sound like the province is retailing vials of nitro to young people with the jitters.

“We’ve heard people across Ontario are anxious about the federal legalization of cannabis.” (Oh, “heard” have you?)

Booze, gambling, weed. How are any of these a public service in Ontario, Yours to Discover?

To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email


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Province's pot proposal – what are they smoking?

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 08:36

Province's pot proposal – what are they smoking?

Published on: September 8, 2017

Welcome to the 1950s, that post-war period when, if an Ontarian wanted to legally purchase alcohol, he or she entered a bland warehouse, filled out and signed a written order form, then handed it to a dour clerk behind a counter who disappeared into a back room and eventually emerged with a limited amount of booze for purchase.

That sounds a lot like what Kathleen Wynne’s government has just proposed as a 21st-century approach to cannabis, which is to be legalized nationally as early as next July (assuming Wynne’s federal counterparts have their way).

Under the province’s plan, you won’t be able to buy cannabis from private entrepreneurs, or at an LCBO. Instead, the Ontario government will set up an independent subsidiary of the liquor control board to peddle pot in separate stores and, eventually, online. Advertising will be limited, there will be no self-service, the products will be kept behind the counter, and you’d better be able to prove you are 19 or older.

This approach, we submit, is rubbish. It disrespects the spirit of the yet-to-be-passed federal legalization legislation, which, though reluctantly, recognizes that individuals have the right to make choices about what they consume. Ontario seems to feel that if it must allow citizens to smoke pot, it will at least make this as difficult as possible.

Beyond ignoring the fundamental principle of free choice, Ontario’s approach is bad for other reasons:

— It will create more government bureaucracy. Yet another provincial agency is poised to spring from the drab imagination of the nanny state, this time to run a retail business. There is absolutely no reason for governments to sell stuff.

— The province will have to make guesses about the right pricing, since it wishes to shut down the black market in drugs. But the best way to get prices right is to let private entrepreneurs determine what they wish to charge and take the associated economic risks. The cannabis control board, or whatever it will be called, will also have to figure out which pot products it wants to market. That, too, is a risk best left to private entrepreneurs.

— While the current batch of pop-up pot shops is illegal, these outlets nonetheless offer the beginnings of a private-sector model for selling marijuana. They have supply chains, a certain expertise and a client base. If made legal, they would obviously require careful regulation (being currently illicit, they aren’t subject to any rules – just to police raids), a robust regime of health inspections, and would need to adhere to zoning and other local rules. But all businesses that sell consumables (or hazardous goods) are subject to such oversight. Further, governments could still tax pot products, just as they tax cigarettes, gasoline and other goods.

We have long argued that if a pot shop is illegal, it should face charges. But we believe the ultimate answer is to legalize them, not to throw more police resources into charging 20-something clerks.

In retrospect, no one should be surprised that the province has taken a school-marm approach to marijuana. There’s a provincial election next year, and it is natural the Liberals would want to keep this new area of legal commercial activity under tight control, at least until then. The government’s “safe and sensible approach,” as it dubs its pot policy, is indeed that – for the governing party.

But it does not make a good deal of sense for consumers. Just as it didn’t in the 1950s.


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Ottawa signals plan to stay clear as provinces role out marijuana regulations

Post by Guest on Mon 11 Sep 2017, 08:25

Ottawa signals plan to stay clear as provinces role out marijuana regulations


OTTAWA — The federal government appears ready to take a hands-off approach as provinces begin rolling out how they plan to police the sale and use of marijuana once it becomes legal.

Ontario last week became the first province to unveil its plans for handling legalized pot by announcing that it would closely mimic the province’s current system for liquor.

Marijuana will be sold at 150 dedicated stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, it will only be sold by those aged 19 or over, and consumption will only be allowed in private residences.

The proposal has sparked anger and concern from some pot activists and aspiring retailers, who have warned that Ontario’s proposed model will limit supplies and do little to eliminate the black market.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale refused to weigh in Sunday on Ontario’s proposed plan, and indicated that the federal government would stay out of how provinces address marijuana legalization.

“Each province has the flexibility to design it the way they think most appropriate. Ontario has laid out their proposal. That’s within their jurisdiction to do,” he said.

“Other provinces, I would imagine now, will come forward with their recommendations. They may follow the Ontario model. They may choose a different approach.”

Goodale, who spoke to reporters following a ceremony to honour fallen firefighters in Ottawa, reaffirmed that the purpose of legalization is to keep pot away from minors and organized crime.

And he expressed confidence that whatever model individual provinces decide to adopt, those aims will be met.

“Each province will adopt different tools as they see fit for their jurisdiction,” Goodale said.

“But there is no diluting of the goal: protect our kids and stop the flow to crime. And Ontario, I’m sure, will be designing that they believe will accomplish that objective effectively.”

The Trudeau government is moving to legalize recreational marijuana by next July, and earmarked $247 million over five years on Friday to support policing and border efforts associated with that plan.

Goodale said the money is part of the Liberals’ promise to ensure provinces, municipalities and law-enforcement agencies have the tools and resources to enforce the new laws governing legalized pot.

“Law enforcement will need the tools to do that job, so we put money on the table as promised to assist with training and to assist with the acquisition of the right kind of technical equipment,” he said.

The promised new funding includes $161 million to train frontline officers in how to recognize the signs and symptoms of drug-impaired driving, provide access to drug-screening devices and educate the public.

Some of that money will also be used to develop policy, bolster research and raise awareness about the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

The remaining $113 million will go to Public Safety, the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure organized crime does not infiltrate the legalized system and to keep pot from crossing borders.


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Where will you be able to smoke pot?

Post by Guest on Sat 09 Sep 2017, 16:09

Where will you be able to smoke pot? At home — and maybe in 'designated establishments'

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen Published on: September 8, 2017

Where will it be legal to use recreational cannabis?

Only in private residences, including apartment buildings and outdoor areas such as decks, porches and yards. But not in public places, workplaces or inside a vehicle, said the province in an announcement Friday.

This approach is guided by existing laws for consuming alcohol and the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. In other words, if you can’t use tobacco or drink a beer in a place, you can’t use marijuana there, either. So, no smoking pot in parks or in front of a school.

But there are inconsistencies. While you can drink a beer in a bar or a nightclub, you won’t be able to smoke marijuana there — at least for now, although the province has left the door open to introducing other places where cannabis can be used. In the coming months, Ontario will consult with municipal partners, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and other organizations to “explore the feasibility and implications of introducing designated establishments where recreational cannabis could be consumed.”

Jeffrey Lizotte, the CEO of Next Wave Brands, a cannabis consulting firm, said Friday he’s concerned about inconsistencies in the Ontario framework.

“You can smoke in your apartment in front of your children, but you can’t smoke a vaporizer on the street? That doesn’t make sense. It’s not healthy to smoke around your kids,” he said.

He’s also concerned that some people will have few options for where they can use cannabis — those who live in non-smoking apartment buildings, for example.

“If you have a landlord who says ‘no smoking,’ what alternative do you have? Telling people they have to smoke only in their own homes is not viable,” said Lizotte.

What might “designated spaces” look like?

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana has been legal since December 2012 for those over the age of 21, cannabis has been easy to buy, but there are few legal places to use it. Tourists have been a problem in Denver, smoking in alleys, hotel balconies and other places were marijuana is not illegal. A patchwork of state, local and private regulations bans marijuana use from public places including parks, sidewalks, airport smoking areas, hotel rooms, gallery events and nightclubs.

In June, Denver announced a pilot project that would allow people to use marijuana at some businesses, as long as they have the support of a group such as a registered neighbourhood organization or business improvement district. Interested businesses have included yoga studios, coffee shops with patios, restaurants and bars.

There are also “membership clubs” for cannabis users in Denver and Colorado Springs, and customized party buses offer “mobile cannabis lounges.” But the legality of these pot clubs is unclear — some have been raided by police.

It’s uncertain as to what Ontario’s framework will mean for apartment dwellers.

The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations has argued that smoking marijuana should be banned in the same places smoking tobacco is banned. In a single-family home, what an owner-occupant does largely affects only themselves, said the federation. But in multi-unit dwellings, an occupant’s actions in one unit can affect the occupants of other units.

While a landlord can put a non-smoking clause in a lease, these are not easy to enforce, said Ottawa lawyer John Dickie, who is the president of the federation, which represents the owners and managers of almost one million residential rental suites.

A landlord needs to prove that other tenants’ enjoyment of their units has been affected — and this requires a neighbour of the smoker to step forward to tell the Landlord and Tenant Board that he or she has been negatively affected by the smoke, he said.

“People don’t like to complain about their neighbours. There’s the practical question of giving evidence.”

Eugene Oscapella, an Ottawa lawyer who teachers drug law and policy in the department of criminology at the University of Ottawa, also points out that saying people can use marijuana in their “residence” is very broad. “What if your residence is a seniors residence? There are seniors who will smoke medicinal marijuana and those who will smoke it recreationally,” he said.

Still, Oscapella considers the question of where people can smoke cannabis to be a minor one.

“These are things that can be regulated by sensible municipal bylaws. It depends on local culture. Ban it in public parks. It can be solved reasonably,” he said.

“It’s not like there will be a massive increase in use. If you didn’t smoke marijuana before, you’re not going to smoke it now,” he said.

Allowing marijuana to be smoked in a designated space such as a pot club makes perfectly good sense to Oscapella. “Responsible consumption, respectful consumption is what we’re working at,” he said.

Lizotte agreed. “You have to give people the option to smoke in a place that is not their home.”


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Re: LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

Post by Teentitan on Sat 09 Sep 2017, 09:55

Knowing the track record of Ontario politics marijuana is going to be taxed thru the roof!

The proof is the LCBO is going to run the operation. In Ontario there is about 4/5 taxes on booze so get ready for some real "creative" names for taxing MJ.
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Re: LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

Post by bosn181 on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 22:02

i don't see this as a bad thing i think its better than a ton of mom and pop shops starting up maybe with all the money they going to make they will have enough to take care of the vets like they been talking every election year

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LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

Post by Guest on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 16:08

LCBO will run 150 standalone marijuana stores when weed is legalized

By ROBERT BENZIEQueen's Park Bureau Chief
Fri., Sept. 8, 2017

Government-controlled outlets and website will be the only place that cannabis can lawfully be purchased in Ontario when Ottawa legalizes sales on July 1.

Premier Kathleen Wynne is cornering the recreational marijuana market by restricting sales to 150 LCBO-run stores.

The standalone cannabis outlets – physically separate from existing provincial-owned liquor stores – and a government-controlled website will be the only place weed can lawfully be sold after Ottawa legalizes it on July 1.

In a move that will close scores of illegal weed “dispensaries” that now dot Ontario cities, the LCBO will get its product from the medical marijuana producers licenced by Health Canada.

Only those 19 and older will be allowed to purchase or possess marijuana and pot consumption will be limited to private homes.

Smoking weed will continue to be illegal in any public space — including parks, workplaces and motorized vehicles.

Prices will be kept competitive to curb the black market, but the government does expect a boost in tax revenues.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa, Health Minister Eric Hoskins, and Attorney General Yasir Naqvi unveiled the plan Friday at Queen’s Park after months of work from Ontario’s cannabis secretariat.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which runs the province’s 651 liquor stores — using workers who are members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union — will oversee all retail sales and run the online service.

But the branding of the government’s new pot chain will not necessarily include the LCBO’s name.

“When it comes to retail distribution, the LCBO has the expertise, the experience, and the insight to ensure careful control of cannabis, helping us to discourage illicit market activity and see that illegal dispensaries are shut down,” said Sousa, who has not yet determined how much tax revenue legalized weed will bring in.

Naqvi said the government has “heard people across Ontario are anxious about the federal legalization of cannabis.”

“The province is moving forward with a safe and sensible approach to legalization that will ensure we can keep our communities and roads safe, promote public health and harm reduction, and protect Ontario's young people,” the attorney general said.

There will be 40 LCBO weed stores in place across the province on July 1, 2018, 80 by 2019, and 150 in 2020.

“We will draw upon our decades of experience and work in partnership with the government to deliver on its objectives,” said LCBO president and CEO George Soleas, stressing the Crown corporation supports “moderate consumption.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas hailed the Liberals for “a prudent plan.”

“There is no downside to today’s announcement. It’s a model that we encourage other provinces to emulate,” said Thomas.

Online sales will begin next July after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government legalizes recreational marijuana.

Premier Kathleen Wynne has long said she wants the LCBO to have a role in the distribution of recreational marijuana.

Wynne has long touted the fact that the booze monopoly has staff trained to keep underage drinkers from buying alcohol and has a tightly controlled distribution channel.

The premier was an early opponent of the illegal storefront weed shops — some of which are supplied by or operated by organized crime gangs — that have popped up in cities like Toronto.

Friday’s announcement should provide police and municipalities with the clarity they have been seeking to close them down.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was hopeful the illegal storefronts would voluntarily cease operating without police intervention and that the province would provide the city the resources it needs for enforcement.

“My priority number one has always been safety of neighbourhoods, the safety of children and making sure that people are protected in that regard, and public health,” Tory told reporters at Hillcrest Community School during an unrelated news conference.

“Based on today’s announcement, I am generally satisfied that the government of Ontario’s approach will help keep neighbourhoods safe and address public health concerns,” he said.

“While I support the legalization of marijuana, I do not think the people of Toronto would support future widespread location of outlets for the sale of marijuana in residential neighbourhoods or in certain retailing areas.”

Jodie Emery, co-owner of Cannabis Culture, said the government should have allowed the existing storefronts to continue.

“Do not criminalize the existing industry — this is deeply disappointing,” said Emery, warning a government monopoly will not end the black market.

“This is doomed to fail,” she said.

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner accused the Liberals of trying to change the channel from the Sudbury byelection bribery trial that began Thursday.

“This announcement at this time is a cynical ploy by the Liberals to divert attention from their ongoing legal scandals,” said Schreiner.

Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock) said she is “concerned about issues of public safety, including ensuring that there are strong measures to crack down on drug-impaired driving.”

“We are calling on the Kathleen Wynne government to ensure that law enforcement, public health and local communities are properly consulted and have the tools they need as the Liberals roll-out out this proposal. Unfortunately, we don’t trust the Wynne Liberals to get this right,” she said.

The government is also looking at new road safety rules to curb impaired driving.

Other jurisdictions that have legalized weed have seen a spike in such offences, so the province will try to get in front of that with heftier penalties and new testing machines.

Currently, the only legally available marijuana is prescribed by a medical doctor and comes from 58 producers who are licensed and inspected by Health Canada.

It can only be delivered directly to patients’ doors by Canada Post or a courier.

The existing storefront “dispensaries” have nothing to do with the federal Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations.


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