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Ontario introduces pot legislation with steep fines for illegal dispensaries

Last Updated Nov 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm EDT

Ontario has introduced legislation to regulate the sale and distribution of recreational marijuana starting next summer and it includes steep fines for illegal dispensaries.

The rules would take effect once the federal government makes the drug legal in July 2018.

Ontario was the first province to announce its detailed marijuana plan last month, which included the sale of the drug in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

Those stores will only sell to people 19 and older, a minimum age that would also apply to possession, home growing and use of marijuana.

The bill will also contain new penalties for people or businesses that are convicted of illegally selling or distributing cannabis, including fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and/or jail of up to two years less a day. Corporations would face fines of up to $1 million for the same offence.

The law would also allow police to immediately close premises they suspect are being used for the illegal sale or distribution of marijuana.

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