Cornwall Ontario – In an announcement that will benefit everyone but the actual users of Marijuana, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne basically said.
It’s all mine!
- The LCBO will oversee the legal retail of cannabis in Ontario through new stand-alone cannabis stores and an online order service. This approach will ensure that there will be only one legal retail distributor for cannabis in Ontario and alcohol and cannabis are not sold alongside each other.
- Approximately 150 standalone stores will be opened by 2020, including 80 by July 1, 2019, servicing all regions of the province. Online distribution will be available across the province from July 2018 onward.
- Illicit cannabis dispensaries are not and will not be legal retailers. The province will pursue a coordinated and proactive enforcement strategy, working with municipalities, local police services, the OPP and the federal government to help shut down these illegal operations
What this plan does is essentially gobble all retail marijuana distribution for the province. It keeps the unions happy by having a LCBO type structure, and finally it keeps law enforcement happy in that they will still have plenty of black market law enforcement to justify their budgets.
It’s a political win win win except again, for users and consumers of marijuana.
Ontario, being the largest province in the country, will most likely see its model copied in many provinces.
The problem with this system is that the Black Market will still thrive as many consumers of marijuana distrust licensed Marijuana after multiple incidents of tainted product; in particular pesticides.
Currently there is a black/grey market of dispensaries across the country and online. Many operate only for medical users, but far more are straight retail operations which will now be legislated closed keeping police and the court system busy.
The press conference was held early in the morning to limit early response from BC where Cannabis is one of the largest industries in the province. If BC goes this route it would impact communities and employment on levels unseen in the rest of the country.
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