Canada is on a rollercoaster to cannabis legalization, and some provinces are experiencing more whiplash than others.
Members of the new provincial government in Ontario gave a press conference yesterday, announcing that the province will exclusively sell cannabis online on Oct. 17, the same date that brick and mortar stores will begin opening in all other provinces and territories. Ontario delivered itself this summer from Kathleen Wynne's Liberal party to Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative party. Doug Ford is the brother of Rob Ford who, among other acts, once appeared on Jimmy Kimmel.
When the Liberal party was unseated, so too was their plan for a government-owned monopoly on legalized marijuana sales. Ford expressed during his campaign that he would change the cannabis plan, but with so many critical details left up in the air and just weeks away from federal legalization, a regime change from the already established Ontario Cannabis Store—they had a very expensive logo!—appeared unlikely.
Alas, the Liberal plan seemed to have as many outspoken critics as supporters, with experts citing a considerable lack of access (only 40 stores to open in the first year) and expertise among the top concerns. Ford's problem with it? He's a privatization man, and so are the owners of the dispensaries already operating in the grey in Canada's most populous province.
As of October 17, Ontarians will be able to purchase cannabis using a website run by the Ontario Cannabis Store; the rest will be available starting April 1, 2019. For now, dispensaries in the province are being advised by the government, and more than just one lawyer, to stop operating now if they hope to proceed within the legal Ontario industry.Posted: Sunday, September 16th, 10:00am 10 days ago
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.