Late Switch to Private Sector Pot Sales Could be a Scramble, Experts Say

Article by Joseph Hall, The Star

Late switch to private sector pot sales could be a scramble, experts say By JOSEPH HALLCannabis Reporter With some reports of possible changes to the way Ontario will market cannabis come Oct. 17, experts predict it could leave businesses scrambling. (CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR)

If reports of Premier Doug Ford’s pirouette to private sector pot sales prove true, people wishing to buy cannabis products in Ontario when the legal market opens Oct. 17 may lack one thing.

Stores.

Both Vice News and the Globe and Mail reported Thursday that Ford is expected to announce next week that he is scrapping plans to have the Crown-owned LCBO oversee Ontario Cannabis Store operations, instead throwing brick and mortar retail sales over to private businesses.

While a spokesperson for the premier said the reports were not entirely accurate, no new information was available Friday.

With plans still unclear, some experts say it would be hard to pass legislation, create a regulatory and licensing framework, and vet potential retailers by mid-October.

“We still need to get exact details but … given the tight deadline for Oct. 17 for cannabis legalization it might be the case consumers will need to buy online until retail stores can be finalized,” says Rod Elliot, senior vice president with the Toronto consulting firm Global Public Affairs.

Read the full article here.

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