Ontario Premier Doug Ford plans to hand over cannabis sales to the Private sector.
Big changes are on the way in Ontario’s approach to cannabis sales and that’s before the previous law has taken effect. According to Vice News and The Globe and Mail, new Premier Doug Ford is looking into allowing the private sector to take control of Cannabis sales.
This is a big change from the plan put in place by the previous Liberal Government of Kathleen Wynn who favored a model where the government controlled distribution, online and in-person sales through a government run monopoly. Part of the proposal from liberals included 40 stores by legalization as well as another 150 by 2020.
That’s all in the past. The new plan we’re told will mirror the Alberta model, where privately owned stores are permitted to sell cannabis as long as they carry a license from the liquor commission. This isn’t all too surprising. The Toronto Star reports that as early as back in March of 2018 the Premier suggested he was open to free-market sale for the cannabis industry. “I don’t believe in the government sticking their hands in our lives all the time,” Ford said.
For a company like Canopy Growth Corp., privatization is seen as an opportunity to introduce itself and to educate customers in Ontario. “We think when you exit prohibition, the first year is going to be all about fact-based education, quality transactions, where informed people are your guide,” said Bruce Linton, chairman and co-CEO of Canopy, in an interview. “We like it, but it’s actually more like the launchpad value than the immediate margin opportunity.”
We’ll keep an eye on this evolving situation in Ontario. With a change of government all bets are off in terms of imagining how marijuana sales will look like in the very near future.
Age of legal consumption: 19+
Where to buy: Government-operated storefronts and online sales TBD
Grow your own?: Up to four plants
Where to smoke?: Only on private property, subject to landlord restrictions
Other notes: 40 cannabis stores will be open by July 2018, 80 by 2019 and 150 by 2020