Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Economy | By

Marijuana will sell in online stores

Marijuana will sell in online stores

The recently elected Progressive Conservative dumped the Liberals' plan for the province to keep on a monopoly on cannabis sales that would have seen the government operate 150 brick-and-mortar stores by 2020.

In a press conference on August 13, Finance Minister Vic Fedeli and Attorney Caroline Mulroney announced that the government would be introducing an online market for marijuana purchases provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store.

Cannabis stocks across the board experienced drops following the Ontario retail announcement on Monday.

Shopify declined an interview requested by IT World Canada for this story and provided a statement that Shopify "supports every retail model". Moreover, the OCS will act as a provincial wholesaler, similar to the role played by government bodies in other private-model provinces, meaning that all private retailers will need to purchase their cannabis from the OCS.

As we now move into a new environment of private retail sales of cannabis, Ontario's marketplace has been thrown into a state of flux.

ITWC reached out to LCBO for this article but did not receive a comment in time for deadline.

The Ministers further announced that the province would immediately begin consultations in advance of opening up a tightly regulated private retail model for cannabis that will launch by April 1, 2019.

Online pot sales will begin October 17 and the private retail stores on April 1, 2019. "Instead, we will work with private sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market".

"Simply put, relying exclusively on online sales until April 1 isn't an accessible enough model to sway people away from the black market", Clement said.

With MedReleaf, a licensed producer of medical marijuana, in Bradford West Gwillimbury, the town's deputy mayor, James Leduc, said council plans to talk to a lot of different people before deciding whether to allow retail stores. Alberta is approving privately run stores while Quebec plans to sell through its government-run alcohol agency.

"We will be ready to put in place a safe, legal system for cannabis retail that will protect consumers", said Mulroney. "We will be ready to work alongside municipalities, law enforcement and Indigenous communities to combat organized crime and the illegal market".

The plan is a marked departure from the previous Liberal government's preference for government-run pot sales, both online and in physical stores.

In another policy change, Ontario municipalities will have the option of saying no to cannabis stores within their boundaries and will be given C$40 million ($30 million) over two years to help them cover costs related to legalization. The Edmonton-based marijuana grower plans to be a "significant" retail player in Ontario's market with its partner Alcanna Inc., said chief corporate officer Cam Battley.

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