The Ontario government’s decision to take a step back and rework the cannabis retail plan toward private retail next April is a refreshing splash of common sense in the overheated cannabis world. The previous Liberal plan was by far the highest-cost solution, with a dedicated retail channel staffed by gold-plated wages.
The Ontario government’s announcement that it’s going to use some sort of subsidiary of the LCBO to sell marijuana in the province is the worst possible option.
Already, the province has the existing infrastructure to sell cannabis: LCBO stores. Instead of going that route (which some health-care advocates worry places liquor and pot in too close proximity) or fully privatizing sales, such as with cigarettes, the Liberals have chosen a third path. It is tremendously wasteful and squanders a golden opportunity to make the LCBO more efficient.
Spring has sprung and along with robins and crocus blooms, Canadians are eagerly awaiting the legislation to create and govern the recreational cannabis market. In April, 2016, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced a deadline of “spring 2017” to bring in legislation. That time is now. We hope that the government is developing legislation that is bolder and more practical than the cautious and naïve recommendations issued nearly four months ago by its task force looking at the issue