Ontario plans public awareness campaign on cannabis legalization

Ontario's attorney general says the province will launch a public awareness campaign when recreational cannabis is legalized to promote social responsibility and highlight the dangers of using the drug.

Attorney General Caroline Mulroney says ads to begin running next week

Ontario's Attorney General Caroline Mulroney speaks to the Empire Club of Canada in Toronto on Tuesday about provincial plans to deal with cannabis legalization. (Nathan Denette/CANADIAN PRESS)

Ontario's attorney general says the province will launch a public awareness campaign when recreational cannabis is legalized to promote social responsibility and highlight the dangers of using the drug.

During a speech at the Empire Club, Caroline Mulroney says the ads will begin running next week and will emphasize the rules around pot use and measures to protect children.

Last month, the Progressive Conservatives announced they were moving to a private retail sale model, shifting away from the previous Liberal government's plan to sell pot in publicly owned shops.

Mulroney says the Liberal plan would have failed because there would not have been enough stores open after legalization to compete with the black market.

The provincial government has said it would sell recreational cannabis online when it is legalized on Oct. 17, with private retail stores set to be in place by April next year.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario will regulate the marketplace, and will have the power to grant — and potentially revoke — licences as well as enforce provincial rules on cannabis sales.

Caroline Mulroney says the plan proposed by the previous Liberal government would have failed because there would not have been enough stores open after legalization to compete with the black market. (Nathan Denette/CANADIAN PRESS)