Private cannabis stores can sell pot from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., attorney general announces

Under new regulations for private cannabis retailers announced by the provincial government Wednesday evening, you'll be able buy pot from 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. when the stores start opening in Ontario next year.

Regulations are aimed at protecting children and youth, Caroline Mulroney's office says

New regulations the Ontario government says are aimed at protecting children and youth, keeping communities and roads safe, and combat the illegal cannabis market, took effect on Wednesday, Nov. 14. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Under new regulations for private cannabis retailers announced by the provincial government Wednesday evening, you'll be able buy pot from  9 a.m. and 11 p.m. in Ontario when the stores start opening next year.

The attorney general's office released the regulations, saying they're aimed at protecting children and youth, keeping communities and roads safe, and combating the illegal cannabis market, the attorney general's office announced Wednesday evening.

In what the province calls the latest phase of its planned response to the federal government's legalization of pot for recreational use on Oct. 17, the regulations also establish a minimum distance of 150 metres between cannabis retail stores and schools — including private and federally-funded First Nation schools off-reserve.

The news release from the attorney general's office said that restriction will help protect students and keep communities safe, while other regulations will combat the influence and participation of organized crime.

"The purpose of these regulations is to keep kids safe and to ensure all people operating in this tightly-regulated retail system behave with integrity, honesty, and in the public interest," Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said.

"The application process for private cannabis retail store licences will begin on Dec. 17, 2018, and we will be ready with laws and regulations to protect Ontario's youth and to combat the criminal market in response to the federal government's legalization of cannabis."

Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said in the new release that the application process for private cannabis retail store licences will begin on Dec. 17, 2018. (CBC)

Other regulations established by the province include:

  • Retailers will not be permitted to allow anyone under the age of 19 to enter their stores.

  • Specific instances in which applicants will be denied a licence, including cannabis-related criminal offences.

  • A prohibition of the issuance of a licence to any individual or organization who has an association with organized crime.

  • A requirement that individuals or entities applying for an operator licence demonstrate their tax compliance status to show that they are in good standing with the government.

  • A requirement for all private recreational cannabis retail storefronts to be stand-alone stores only.

Additionally, under the new regulations, individuals with a store authorization, cannabis retail managers and all employees will be required to complete the approved training to ensure that any individual who works in the cannabis retail market is trained in the responsible sale of cannabis.

The government says hours for private retail recreational cannabis stores will be consistent with on-site retail stores for alcohol and will provide retailers with the flexibility to respond to local market conditions and consumer demands.

The government has committed to providing $40 million over two years to help municipalities with the implementation costs of recreational cannabis legalization.