The Nova Scotian government is making moves to stock marijuana on liquor store shelves. According to CBC News, the province’s government-owned alcohol distributor, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC), would be responsible for selling recreational marijuana in stores and online to patrons around the region once Canada legalizes weed — a move slated for the summer of 2018. Once NSLC outlets officially offer cannabis, existing dispensaries will be illegal.
The Canadian government has left it to the provinces to determine the specifics of legalization within their borders. In Nova Scotia, the legal age to purchase marijuana will be 19, which is also the legal drinking age. People will be allowed to have up to 30 grams for personal consumption. They will also be permitted to grow up to four plants per household.
“The NSLC has the experience and expertise to distribute and sell restricted products like alcohol and now cannabis in a socially responsible way,” Mark Furey, the province’s minister of justice, said at a news conference, according to CBC News. “We believe the NSLC is best positioned to sell cannabis, keeping it out of the hands of young people and making it legally available in a safe, regulated way.”
While Nova Scotia has chosen to tie marijuana and liquor distribution together, Stu Zakim, the communications director for the Marjiuana Business Association, says that the liquor industry is among the largest obstacles to legalization in the United States.
“In the U.S., the largest organized group standing in the way of legal cannabis is not the much-rumored tobacco or other companies looking to get in on the ground floor of what is clearly the largest new industry since the web; it's the liquor distribution industry who fears their loss of income and control of ‘sin’ products,” Zakim told The Daily Meal. “As each legal state has shown, the amount of revenue that cannabis drives makes the liquor distributors hostile and fearful of losing that control. Canada may be ahead of us, and if it works there, sharing selling spirits and cannabis may be the way of the future.”
He continued: “That said, with the various groups in the U.S. looking to control this growing business, it will be a long time before consumers will be able to walk into a store and choose the product they want to use for enjoyment.”
Nova Scotians, on the other hand, can expect to find marijuana at their local NSLC sometime in the coming year. For more on The Great White North, here are 10 things only people from Canada say.