ontario cannabis retail

Toronto weed smokers thrilled by Doug Ford's plan to privatize cannabis

Remember that time when Ontario spent $650,000 on an incredibly basic name and logo for a series of LCBO-run marijuana dispensaries?

It looks like we might not be needing any of that stuff after all.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford's PC government is reportedly set to reverse a decision, made by former Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne when her party was still in power, to give the Liquor Control Board of Ontario exclusive rights to the sale of marijuana in the province.

Both Vice and The Globe and Mail reported on Thursday night that the PCs would be announcing the news sometime next week, essentially scrapping plans for the controversial Ontario Cannabis Store chain and allowing private retailers to open weed stores of their own.

This has pleased activists....

Business people...

Lawyers...

Marketers...

And many a prospective seller.

If the rumoured reversal moves through as planned, Toronto's recreational marijunana market could look like it has until very recently.

Some of the now-closed, privately-owned dispensaries that surfaced (illegally) around Toronto over the past few years might even be able to get back in the action.

Government sources told the Globe that the provincial government will still oversee wholesale distribution and online sales of marijuana under the new plan.

They will not, however, give the LCBO a monopoly on weed sales, or open some 150 brick-and-mortar Ontario Cannabis Store locations by 2020 as expected.

Of course, with at least 40 stores scheduled to be open in three months, some are wondering if the PCs will have enough time to turn everything around.

Whatever happens, marijuana will be legal Canada-wide as of October 17 — which means that, regardless of how the province decides to regulate sales, you can smoke as much of it as you want this Halloween.

Lead photo by

Lauren O'Neil


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