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Nova Scotia will be ready for pot legalization says justice minister

The prime minister announced earlier this week that cannabis will become legal on October 17th
050718-POS Store in Store
An artist's rendering of the Clyde Street cannabis store's main entrance (Photo courtesy of NSLC)

When cannabis becomes legal in Canada in less than 4 months, Nova Scotia will be ready.

That's according to the province's Minister of Justice Mark Furey.

"We originally prepared for July the 1st, positioned our resources and programming for that target date," he told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show.

"As time progressed we saw a softening of that date, but just recently the Prime Minister announced October the 17th so Nova Scotia is well positioned to be ready for legalization."

Furey said there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to how much it will cost to implement their cannabis distribution plan, including the renovation of the NSLCs that will sell the product and other variables.

"The enforcement, the policing, the training, we have a general idea of cost," he explained. "We're presently negotiating with the federal government to secure money for those purposes and those negotiations are ongoing as we speak."

A dollar figure of how much Nova Scotians will be paying for pot also needs to be worked out.

A recent online survey from Statistics Canada showed Nova Scotians dole out an average of $7.12 per gram, and Furey knows the price point will be crucial in transitioning the public over from the black market.

"We've also recognized through some research that consumers are prepared to pay a little more for a known product that has regulatory oversight and inspections," he said.

Twelve NSLCs in the province have been chosen to sell cannabis, four of them are in the Halifax area; Portland Street in Dartmouth, Joseph Howe Drive, Downsview Plaza in Lower Sackville and Clyde Street in the south end.

The latter will be the province's only stand-alone cannabis store and will carry around 300 products. The other 11 stores will each carry about 150 products. 

Furey said the first two renovated stores should be ready to show off to the public within a week or so.

Nova Scotians over the age of 19 will also be able to order pot online and grow up to four plants at home.

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