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Ontario to Treat Cannabis Like Tobacco for Public Consumption

On Wednesday, the Ontario, Canada provincial government altered its rules on cannabis consumption to align it with similar rules for tobacco, which will allow for some public consumptionCTV News reports.

The government of Ontario recently switched from a Liberal government to a Progressive Conservative representation. Among other changes made in the last few months, the Progressive Conservatives have loosened cannabis rules to fit the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which already applies to tobacco.

Previously, the Liberal government had made it illegal to consume cannabis outside your private residence and did not provide for lounges or other social consumption spaces in the rules.

The new government also did not place a cap on cannabis retail locations. Finance Minister Vic Fedeli said, however, that any record of interactions with organized crime providing cannabis to the youth or operating an illegal retail location will still result in an inability to acquire a dispensary license.

“We want to make sure the consumers are protected but we want to open up the marketplace. This is an opportunity for small business to get involved. We want to have as many participants as possible be involved.” — Vic Fedeli, via CTV News

Local governments in Ontario have the power to opt-out of having cannabis retail locations in their jurisdiction. The deadline for opting-out is January 22, 2019.

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