Questions Swirl Around Ontario’s Pot Plans as Doug Ford Prepares to Take Power

Article by Mike Crawley, CBC News

Questions swirl around Ontario's pot plans as Doug Ford prepares to take power Ahead of election, Ford floated opening marijuana retail market to private sector Mike Crawley · CBC News. A spokesperson for Ontario premier-designate Doug Ford declined on Wednesday to say whether the PCs will stick with the outgoing Liberal government's plans for marijuana sales. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press). The Ontario Cannabis Store put out a call in the spring for marijuana growers to submit bids to supply product to the retail agency. (Ron Ward/Canadian Press )

Ontario’s plans to sell marijuana through a provincially-controlled monopoly are still moving ahead, but Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are opening the door to changes once they form government next week.

Recreational pot is set to be sold in Ontario only through a new Crown agency called the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corp., an arm of the province’s LCBO liquor stores. An online sales portal is due to be up and running as soon as the federal marijuana legalization takes effect, and 40 Ontario Cannabis Store locations are to open by the end of 2018.

On Wednesday, Ford’s spokesperson declined to say whether the incoming PC government is sticking with the plan as-is.

“We are currently in the midst of a transition process, and we will have more to say once we form government,” said Ford’s director of communications, Jeff Silverstein. Ford and his cabinet officially take power on June 29.

Kathleen Wynne’s outgoing Liberal government decided the province would control the retail sales market  for recreational marijuana. The Liberals brought in legislation to create the cannabis sales agency and to provide for stiff fines on anyone else selling pot.

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