Apr 01, 2019
By Maria Madden
Although cannabis has been legal in Canada since October, the first bricks and mortar stores opened their doors in the province of Ontario on Monday
However, fewer than half of the outlets awarded licences were ready to serve customers by the April 1st deadline.
The PC government had planned to have 25 stores across the province launch today, but in the end, only 10 shops began trading, three in Ottawa, two in Kingston and one each in Toronto, Brampton, Burlington, London, and St. Catharines.
Many of the others are still working through a lengthy approval process.
Public reaction to the news led Premier Doug Ford to defend his government’s approach to cannabis retail stores and their decision to award licences based on a lottery system.
Ford says two more stores will be opening within the week, while promising that the government will work to open the others as soon as possible.
Up until now, cannabis had only been available for purchase legally in the province through a government-run website.