How Will Different Provinces Deal with Canadian Weed?
Cannabis will be officially legal in Canada for recreational use starting in October, but the provinces are taking different, experimental approaches to the way they allow access to the plant. It's up to the provinces and territories to determine how to handle distribution, and they're trying several ways, to see what may work best, and what seems to fit for their respective regions.
Ontario has plans to open almost 150 stores run by its Liquor Control Board, which is a model of public ownership that is unusual in the U.S. No state owns marijuana retail outlets, though the tiny Washington state town of North Bonneville has one city-owned pot shop. British Columbia is planning for a mix of public and privately owned stores, while Newfoundland and Saskatchewan will have only private pot shops. In some remote areas where standalone cannabis shops might not be economically feasible, including in the Northwest Territories, cannabis could be sold at existing liquor stores.
Just like U.S. states, the provinces also have different views on home-growing, with many allowing up to four plants and others, including Quebec, barring it. Instead of a minimum age of 21, as U.S. states have set to match the age for alcohol consumption, Canada's federal minimum age to use marijuana will be 18. However, most provinces are opting for 19, which also is the drinking age in most places. The varying approaches make the provinces something of a laboratory for other countries to determine the best ways to legalize.