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Evidence mounting that new government will allow private sector to sell pot.
Canada’s biggest market for legalized marijuana may end up being a bit more laissez-faire than first imagined.
According to reports from the Globe and Mail and Vice News, the Ontario government is preparing to announce that it will allow private stores — not just government-owned ones — to sell recreational cannabis when it is legalized on Oct. 17. The province is reportedly still expected to control the distribution of marijuana to the stores, as well as maintain control over online sales.
The move would be a significant shift from the previous plan for pot sales in Ontario. Under the previous Liberal government, the province had been on track to sell cannabis in-person and online through a government-run monopoly. As part of that plan, the Liberals proposed to open 150 brick-and-mortar stores by 2020, including 40 by legalization.
But the Liberals are no longer in power. Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party he leads ousted the Grits in Ontario’s June election and now control the province’s future when it comes to selling marijuana.
Since then, evidence has been mounting that the previous pot plan may be subject to some tweaks from Ford and Co.
PHOTO CREDIT: Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck