In a Nutshell
*Ontario is experiencing increased commercial movement, as cannabis companies scout out retail locations before October.
*The provincial government of Ontario has yet to release a formal plan for how recreational cannabis will be sold.
The province of Ontario is experiencing an influx of commercial activity, as cannabis entities prepare to set up shop in time for legalization of recreational pot. However, the government there has yet to lay out an official plan for addressing sales across the province.
“Ontario is a frenzy right now in terms of entrepreneurs, real estate developers, anybody within the cannabis infrastructure,” David Martyn, president of Colorado-based retailer Starbuds Canada and its medicinal division Compass Cannabis Clinic, told the CBC. “The level of anticipation that’s building up is massive right now.”
The provincial government has hinted that Ontario would allow private retailers to sell cannabis after October 17, the official legalization date, though the government would still have control over distribution to stores and online sales. The previous administration under Premier Kathleen Wynne said they would be giving the Liquor Control Board of Ontario full control over the sale of recreational pot, while the private sale plan would give retail stores licenses to sell.
But the government, now led by Premier Doug Ford, has gone quiet in recent weeks regarding its plans, sowing uncertainty in the cannabis community. “Initially, we heard this was going to be all private,” Deepak Anand, vice president of government relations and business development at Mississauga-based Cannabis Compliance Inc., told the CBC. “I think we’re now hearing this might be a mixed model, which is basically a mix of public and private stores. The government seems to be changing its mind before making an announcement here, so we really don't know what's to come.”