The Ontario government put all illegal cannabis dispensaries "on notice" at a press conference unveiling the province's plans for legalization today.
Finance Minister Yasir Naqvi made it clear that illegal dispensaries will not play a role in the province's cannabis framework.
"If you operate one of these dispensaries, consider yourself on notice," he said.
The province's Liberal government announced that it will launch a government-controlled cannabis monopoly that will see 40 cannabis stores across the province by next year and 80 by 2019, with a goal of 150 by 2020.
The system will be governed by the province's Liquor Control Board of Ontario, but officials made it clear that cannabis will be sold in standalone stores stocked by federally approved producers without the presence of alcohol. Legal sales will be limited to those 19 and older.
While little is known about the legalities of social consumption in the province as of yet, Naqvi said: "you will not be allowed to vape or smoke cannabis while walking down the sidewalk."
"At this point we will not be permitting any venue to...allow consumption of cannabis," he offered on the idea of social cannabis clubs.
The Canadian government plans to legalize and regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis by July 1, 2018, but decisions regarding how to sell and tax the drug are up to the provinces.
But the backlash to the Ontario government's proposed regulations has already begun. Before the press conference wrapped, an activist shouted, "You're doomed to fail if you continue to criminalize the market!"