With marijuana legalization set for summer 2018, the questions on lots of peoples’ minds in Ontario is how much, where will the cannabis be sourced, and where will a consumer be able to make their purchase?
In September, the Ontario government committed to approximately 150 marijuana stores across the province. For anyone looking to buy cannabis in Liberty Village, they may soon find themselves going to the neighborhood’s own pot store. Where to get it in Liberty Village is not yet clear but there are a few places where we think you may be able to pick some up.
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Between Liberty Village, Parkdale, Queen West, and King West, there’s a sufficient amount of people here to believe that somewhere there will be marijuana available for purchase. There’s an LCBO at 1357 Queen down in Parkdale and Liberty Village’s own at 85 Hanna Avenue, #103. The Ontario government has already communicated that none of the retail stores it is lining up will be near schools. With the Liberty Village LCBO being more central among these 4 key Toronto West regions, we think there may be a store set up somewhere close by.
The coming weeks are set to announce some definitive plans on where pot stores will be set up but for all intents and purposes, there’s no reason to believe Liberty Village won’t get its own setup.
That said, it might not be as soon as you think. The first set of 40 stores will open in 2018 and there will be another 40 stores open by July, 2019. That’s across the whole province of Ontario thusly it may take some time. The legal purchase age for marijuana in Ontario will be 19, and the province is among the first to announce a detailed plan on how it intends to sell and distribute the drug.
What Liberty Village has going for it is that the neighborhood does not presently have any schools, it is a community of predominantly younger people, and it is a very open, artistic-minded area. The pushback that may be felt in a neighborhood such as Parkdale and/or elsewhere in Toronto West may not be as present in Liberty Village.
When/if LCBO does confirm a marijuana store, expect to hear about it. The organization is set to post notices online for any pot shop opening, inviting locals to ask questions and give feedback as to their thoughts.
Perhaps the worst part of the Ontario government’s plan to roll out these stores is the unfortunate announcement that there will be no independent owned stores – it depends who you ask. Any independently owned marijuana store/dispensary will be operating illegally and subject to penalties in accordance with the crime. Liberty Village is a community with a strong base in independent stores, boutiques, and small business ownership. When it comes to the selling and distribution of marijuana, Liberty Village certainly will not have any independent setups, at least not in the near future.
There’s been much criticism on the Ontario government for not allowing independent producers. In response, some provinces including Manitoba have chosen to work with the private sector to distribute and sell marijuana products throughout. In terms of Ontario though, for a neighborhood like Liberty Village, this means a delay in providing cannabis sale services in the community itself.