Alongside bottles of vodka, whisky and rum, marijuana will soon be stocked on the shelves of liquor stores in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The provincial government announced last week that the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC), the province’s sole alcohol distributor, would be responsible for selling recreational marijuana in the province once Canada legalizes weed — a move expected in 2018.
Nova Scotia’s Minister of Justice Mark Furey said NSLC, a Crown corporation, would be selling pot in an as-yet unknown number of physical outlets and also online. The province’s current marijuana dispensaries will be rendered illegal, he added.
“The NSLC has the experience and expertise to distribute and sell restricted products like alcohol and now cannabis in a socially responsible way,” Furey told reporters on Thursday, according to the CBC. “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.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has left it up to Canada’s 10 provinces to create their own policies and regulations governing the public consumption of legal weed.
In Nova Scotia, consumers will be allowed to have up to 30 grams of marijuana for personal consumption and to grow up to four plants per household. The legal age limit in the province for marijuana use will be 19.
Other Canadian provinces are reportedly mulling the option of selling weed in liquor stores. Proponents say that doing so could help restrict the sale of marijuana to people who are of legal age.
The method has its critics, however, with opponents arguing that specialty stores will be able to offer better selection and expertise.
Some have also questioned whether having alcohol and marijuana so close together could increase the amount of each that people will buy.
“Does it increase or decrease cannabis consumption and alcohol consumption to have the two together?” asked Mark Haden, a public policy professor at the University of British Columbia School. He told Newsweek that it remained a “debate with no evidence.”