Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Marijuana stocks are down on Ontario private sales

Marijuana stocks are down on Ontario private sales

Advertisment The Government of Ontario has announced that retail sales of marijuana in the province will be delayed until April 2019, and that people will have to purchase the recreational drug online until next spring.

"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.

David Clement, a Toronto-based North American affairs manager at the Consumer Choice Center, said the decision by Ontario to embrace private retail is a win for consumers and smart public policy.

While Canada will be the first Group of Seven nation to legalize recreational cannabis in October, it has chosen to make a cautious start.

The previous Liberal government had planned to sell legal marijuana both online and in government-run brick-and-mortar establishments but those plans have now been altered in favour of a privatized retail model for physical sales.

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.

In altering its intended retail model, Ontario will join Western provinces, including Alberta and Manitoba, that aim to have a private-sector component to their legalized pot sales.

The initial Liberal government plan was for 40 stores across Ontario in the first year, rising to 150 by the end of 2020 - all run by the provincial liquor board.

As for which establishments will ultimately be permitted to sell marijuana, Mulroney said that will be the subject of extensive consultation in the coming months.

"We want to be receptive of (MedReleaf) and respectful of them", Leduc said, adding he is planning to meet with its owner this week, as well as with council members before heading to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference next week. "We will also be ready to undermine the illegal market and protect Ontario's roads".

"Through Alcanna, the nation's largest private retailer of a controlled substance, we will leverage long-standing relationships with landlords, regulators and other stakeholders, and through superior capitalization, we will rapidly establish a significant presence in the province", said Aurora CEO Terry Booth in the statement.

- Online purchase will be limited to 30 grams to comply with the federal government's possession limit. "They've got to be ready for that in some form or fashion anyway", she said.

"The one warning I would give to the market is this should be focused in a way that's licensed for local businesses, local farmers and Indigenous organizations and not a sop you would give to big business or friends of the premier", he said.

Battley added that online sales can be done safely with proper age verification.

The two companies say they have already scouted out over 100 potential retail locations in the province.

- with files from Alanna Rizza and Armina Ligaya.

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